Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Death, Recurring Dreams And Menu Whoops

Someone was killed on their motorcycle outside my office this morning, just before I arrived. Right in front of the office actually. The police were cleaning up when I arrived. The road was sealed off as it was a fatality. The other vehicle was a lorry.

So, in comparison my dinner party menu whoops is nothing, no big deal really. I just found out after chasing everyone for their menu choice that I have to choose one menu, and everyone has the same entree, main and dessert. So I just went for a completely different menu from that originally proposed. It's stil not a hugely exciting choice...

On Sunday night I had another of my recurring dreams. It's really the theme that is recurring, actually.

When I was a child I used to have a recurring nightmare. Someone came into our house, and all I saw was this huge shadow of his head advance on us as my mother, brother and I hid in a cupboard in the kitchen behind the washing machine.

The dream I've had over the last few months (maybe longer, I'm not exactly sure) started with me forgetting about which flat I own and live in. I'm living in London, but I also have a flat in Aberdeen that I still own and is not rented out. I just forgot I owned it. Then sometimes it's slightly different. I'm working for my firm here in london, but I'm also back working for the firm in Aberdeen, deciding whether I will return to continue working in London-or not. Sometimes it's the flat and work. Not quite sure where I'm working/living and where I want to be.

The variation on the other night's dream was that I had a car, which I had parked somewhere, only I had forgotten it was mine, and when I remembered about it I had forgotten where I had parked it.

Hmm, what does it all mean?

And should I buy a new Viao just so I can play with Windows Vista?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Gay All Around

I'm surrounded by gayers-literally.

The guy who lives directly opposite me is gay. I can see him in his kitchen right now, with his semi naked botfriend.

The guys who live down below immediately next door to my left (street numbering +1) are a gay couple.

The guys who live down below immediately next door to my right (street numbering -1) are also a gay couple. They came round to my Burns Supper last night.

Gay couple +1 run a modelling agency. They often "import" models from Eastern Europe, and some come stay in their spare bedroom. Which I look right into from my little terrace.

The other night I noticed (and kept noticing) in the gap that had been left between the blind and the bottom of the window, a naked homme lying out on the bed, stroking and brushing his left hand up and down his thigh. Well, more like gentle caressing...a soft, light touch.


When I went downstairs to my deck I *really* couldn't help but notice it even better... I mean more obviously.

As you see from the pic, it's impossible not to notice such things.

Home!

In less than 7 hours, mon C (my hot French boyfriend) will be home after almost 3 weeks away!

Voila qu'il aime.

Burns Night Fun

What a mad rush to get ready on time. Because mon C was still away I had to do everything-all the home stuff that he normally manages. I had to vacuum up the cat hairs, make the bathroom sparkle, set the table *and* cook. I didn't have time for a shower... But I smelled sweet anyway. I always do, courtesy of Comme des Garcons.

I couldn't set the table the night before (after all, I didn't want the pussies waling all over it). I should have peeled the tatties and neeps the night before. However I did make the stock for the cock-a-leekie* (on that subject, my guests did remark on how meaty my cock was) the night before.

So, I was still cooking when the guests arrived, but fortunatley, the nice bunch they were, they mixed rather well. I had some old friends (I mean friends of an age, rather than aged) and some new friends. Late 40's to 21. It was fun.

Unfortunatley because of the stress of getting everything done on time, I didn't get the chance to take any pics. But there is one I prepared earlier...



* A fine and traditional Scots appetite stimulant to solid fare. As early as 1598 Fynes Morrison recorded that it was served at a Knight's house with boiling fowl (thus the "cock") and prunes. By the late 18th century, French statesman and gastronome Charles Maurice de Talleyrand opined that the prunes should be cooked with the soup but removed before serving. Ultimately they were removed from the recipe altogether. Sir Walter Scott in St. Ronan's Well cannot help exclaiming: "Such were the cock-a-leekie and the savoury minced collops...."

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Fabulous Day

Just home from work function. Expensive food, wine, restaurant. But means shit!

However, I have an email from musical celeb A plus (referred to here earlier). So it still might work for my birthday!!! I am *so* excited. I just wanna dance!!!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Snow Means Slow

As forecast, we've woken up to snow in central London.


That means today London will come to a halt.


I will have to walk to work-the buses will be full of extra people who won't walk because of the snow. Traffic, generally will be slower. Mor people on the tubes will slow the network down.


21st century London. 2011 days to go until the London Olympics!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Burns Night

Thursday is Burns Night, when all good Scotsmen have a Burns Supper.


I'm having friends round on Friday for haggis, neeps and tatties. We'll start with cock-a leekie soup, and finish with raspberry cranachan, made from a mixture of whipped cream, whisky, honey, and fresh raspberries topped with toasted oatmeal.

Can't you just feel the hairs ripple on my chest?

In the meantime, here's how you address the Haggis (well, just an extract).

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, (sonsie = cheeky)
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place, (aboon = above)
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Harrison Darcy

I just read No Necked's views on the Pride & Prejudice movie, here. Now this is something I can give a view on with authority.

I was never Jane Austen fan, but that was due to ignorance rather than choice. My last BF, of over 7 yeas, whom I thought was my partner for life, was however. He has written his dissertation on her. He was even named Darcy (honest). So, through him, as he learned musical theatre, I learned Austen.

And what a revelation. I loved the social commentary, the wit. Having been a law student I remember tutorials which hinged on The Married Woman's Property Act (which dealt with some of the problems Austen had to deal with 1874 or thereabouts). So I understood her...urgency. Her need.

The BBC Jennifer Ehle (is that her name) and Colin Firth (is that his name) is second to none. Excellent. Alison Steadman, wonderful. And the drama is never equalled. When Lady Catherine de Burgh comes a calling "Insolent child", well it ain't Judi Dench, and just as well, cos the BBC drama reaches other parts the Mat McFad and Keira movie never does.

You *have* to see the BBC version to believe how good drama can be.

ahoj

Suddenly, Sense

I was going through some of the stuff I'd tivo'd on Sky plus. I forgot I had Little Shop of Horrors, which I recorded just in case Xfe might like to see it, and compare it with the Menier production we saw before Christmas with Paul Keating and Sheridan Smith.

As you may recall, mon C is not a huge fan of musical theatre. But I keep trying to get him to change his mind... Through participating, you *will* comply...



So I just happened to watch, then my phone rang, I paused it, I finished my call, did some emails then was on YouTube, looking for stuff, thought about Idina Menzel (Wicked), which got me to Rent and Adam Pascal, who happened to have a clip of Suddenly Seymore...which just happened to be where I'd paused the Sky+. I don't just mean the song, I mean pretty much the EXACT point.


But look even closer (really close-TV and YouTube menu)-to where I'd paused, and where the clip I've posted was. Serendipity, focussing on sense...if you know what I mean!



Anyway, I love this song (aka to me as "Suddenly Sarah"). As all this was happening, I also had a breakthrough on something I'd been canvassing on other projects.

And I just love Ellen Greene.

Lac Annecy


I was just looking at some of the pics that I took of Annecy, when I spent there Christmas with mon C and his family.

When I was looking at this one there was something familiar about it. And I don't mean-looks familiar as in I was there 3 weeks ago. I'd seen this diving platform before. I had a picture of it somewhere else.

And then I worked it out. Here's where I knew it from:



Le Clan by Gael Morel.

Fingers And Pies

I'm beginning to feel like someone else. I've been neglecting my blog somewhat because I've been setting up blogs for some other projects, and plumping them up with content for a running start.

So, while I've been posting YouTube stuff here, I've been doing stuff like this and this.

Today I have had a chance to catch up on my personal life. I had an email from a Czech friend, and it was very nice to hear from him. Here he is: Marcel


Mind you, I don't know who the hands belong to (actually I do. Having looked at it again, I can see that it's the long term partner of a mega millionaire czech property developer).

Marcel is an actor. He mainly does musical theatre, but he does films. In fact, he is in a very famous Czech movie-Rebelove. Here he is in some screenshots I took:






As for the redness of face, it's not alcohol. I think I've explained the reason for glowing here.

Bad Wind

Britain and northern Europe are recovering from violent storms that have left widespread damage and disruption.

Eleven people were killed in Britain as rain and wind of up to 99mph (159km/h) swept much of the country.

BBC News, bbc.co.uk

I've mentioned before that I'm a light sleeper. It doesn't take much noise to wake me. So, this weather is a killer. Not only do I have to contend with the sound of the wind, but there's the creaking of the TV aerial as it sways. The noise seems to conduct down though the bedroom wall.

On the other side I can hear the neighbours satellite dish squeak.

On the "terrace", there are some lights, some plants and some seats. I can hear them shake, clatter and bang.

Mind you, what actually seems to have wakened me was my mind registering I was hearing something I should be paying some sort of attention to.

When Xfe's not here, I've got into the habit of sleeping with the radio on, at low volume. Just after 4am my consciousness became aware I was hearing Liza Minelli singing "Cabaret". It was radio 4, but overnight they link into BBC World Service broadcasts, so I'm not sure why-probably some documentary.

Anyway, I'm shagged. I've been out every night this week except tonight, and haven't been in bed before midnight. Monday singing, Tuesday, the Various Voices (2009 Southbank Arts festival) committee, Wednesday was another planning meeting, and Thursday night I was out for dinner with my "team".

A few of my team are Jewish, and one of the guys only eats kosher, so we went off to Six 13 (for the "secular religious pundit"). Nice atmosphere I guess, and the food was fine.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Zombie -v- Shark

It's another YouTube posting, but I found this quite bizarre. I can't fully work out what's real, what's not-and why? Did someone really wrestle with a shark for this?



But it's kind of fun.

Mon C still in Singapore, so I'm having another at home weekend, catching up on chores and other stuff. Oh, and I need to start organising for a Burns Supper I'm hosting at home next Friday night. It's a Scottish celebration.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

BAd Boyz

Someone sent me this by email. What a fright! Somehow I kept thinking Bonnie Langford when I watched it!


Must be the cats.

Were the 80's really that bad?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Agony

I was alerted to the fact that someone sending an email to Taste of Vanilla had it bounce. I'd let it lapse. I'd forgotten that when switching to New Blogger I'd set up a new email account to receive suggestions.

So, before I went to bed, I thought I'd check it, just to get the password confirmed. And lo! An email from a reader asking for my thoughts on an issue most pressing. They'd seen my post about my friend in need.

It's too late to reply now. I'll mull it over and post something soon, I promise.

On Leaving

I was reading Single Boy's post about saying Au Revoir to his job.

When I left my first place, I'd been there 11 years. I was given a £750 TAG watch from my partners, and £100 John Lewis vouchers from the rest of the staff, with which I bought a Siemens kettle (2 years later).

When I left the next job, after 3.5 years of burn out I told my secretary NO collection, NO card.

I had to hand over my pass about 4pm. HR were in the next door building. I realised I needed someone get me back through security in my building after that. I couldn't be bothered. I walked off into the sunset. I'd left some credit cards in my desk. I just cancelled them.

(When I changed teams there, though, my old team presented me with a steamer, to my total surprise. Fat lot of good, I thought though. If I'd known they were going to get something, I'd have suggested some Illy Espresso cups. But in fact I used the steamer a few Christmasses ago, when there was no room on the stove. I discovered that, in fact, it was rather good).

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Gravis Art/Who Retro Chic

I've just come across the rather good artist Anthony Dry Who is doing retro Doctor Who stuff based on new Doctor Who-inspired by the Target Doctor Who covers, and the Frank Bellamy Radio Times stuff. I've added him to my links.
If you look at the photo of my collection at the very end of this post, and in particular the Terror of the Autons cover (one of the books I pulled out), you'll get an idea just how good these are...


One day, when I was very little, when we lived on the 13th floor of a high-rise and hired a Radio Rentals' black & white TV, a lady came to the door. I didn't realise who she was at the time (a market researcher), but she asked us all in turn what our favourite television programme was.

I remember thinking seriously about it. Then I answered Doctor Who. Whether it was or wasn't, I've always been the loyal type, and from then on in it was my favourite. It was around the time that Planet of the Daleks was originally broadcast. Gosh, how very, very young.

From there on in I started buying and reading the Target Doctor Who novels. The first I bought with a Christmas gift token from Boots. It was Doctor Who and the Sea-Devils, and it cost me 35p. Next I bought Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters (The Silurians). Eventually I collected them all.

When I was in my second year at secondary school I remember my mother coming back from a parents' evening. She told me that my english teacher said that he thought that for my age I was well read. My mother was dismissive, She kind of laughed suggesting if he knew that I only read Doctor Who books! She wanted me to read Dickens, and other classics. It's only in the last year or so that I've realised I *was* well read. Those Doctor Who novels stood me just fine.

And here's my collection in all its fine glory. It goes 2 deep, so you can't see them all I'm afraid.

Melancholic Sentiment

Or maybe sentimental melancholy, I'm not sure which...

As you know mon C is away at the moment in Singapore. There's an 8 hour time difference, so there are only little windows of opportunity to speak, at social hours at least.

One of the things that mon C gave me this Christmas was the Doctor Who TV Soundtrack. I bunged it on while I was working. I love the two Neil Hannon tracks, from the two Christmas specials.

Today some of his "Song For Ten" Lyrics jumped out at me... So I sent mon C an email, hoping it might cheer him up a litle. For he is feeling lonely there...

Mon C. You gave me the Doctor Who music for Christmas. I was listening to it again today, and I especially caught the lyrics to this song, which after our chat, me here, you there, I thought were fitting:

Well, I woke up today
And the world was a restless place
It could have been that way for me
And I wandered around
And I thought of your face
That Christmas looking back at me

I wish today was just like every other day
'cause today has been the best day
everything I ever dreamed

And I started to walk
Pretty soon I will run
And I'll come running back to you
'Cause I followed my star
And that's what you are
I've had a merry time with you

I wish today was just like every other day
'cause today has been the best day
everything I ever dreamed

So have a good life, do it for me
Make me so proud
Like you want me to be
Wherever you are, I'm thinking of you
Oceans apart, I want you to know

Well I woke up today
And you're on the other side
Our time will never come again
But if you can still dream
Close your eyes, it will seem
That you can see me now and then

I wish today was just like every other day
'cause today has been the best day
everything I ever dreamed

I wish today was just like every other day
'cause today has been the best day
everything I ever dreamed

Love

Ton S

Now, there's some past tense there. Don't go reading into that, please. I'm well aware that only 13 episodes later, Rose was forced to leave the Doctor. But if you change some of the lyrics, it kind of fits! Honest. Besides, I always rather liked the quirkiness that is The Divine Comedy.

A Good Blow

Especially for Anonymous, who was most interested to hear about my big load, I thought I'd let you know about my good blow...

Indeed.Today's laundry has dried in super-quick time thanks to the brisk breeze that's blowing.

See what I mean!

Procrastination

Hmm. I've got this pile of papers to review so I can prepare and complete a report to clients for tomorow morning. Thus far I've done two loads of washing in the washing machine, and hung them out to dry. I've done the housework. I've caught up on some emails and spoken to mon C, in Singapore. Those papers are still there, far from tempting me...


At least the weather is slightly better. I'm fed up with all the strong winds and rain. It's still slightly blowy, but at least the sun is shining, it's cold-ish and crisp.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Nice Thought

Each day the "Today" programme on Radio 4 has a Thought for the day.

Yesterday, I paid particular attention. It made a lot of sense!

The Rev. Dr Giles Fraser

The Rev Dr Giles Fraser is the vicar of Putney and lecturer in philosophy at Wadham College, Oxford. giles.fraser@parishofputney.co.uk


As a Christian I'm protected by the law against discrimination - and I'm grateful for it. No one can legally deny me access to goods and services because of my faith. No one is allowed to put a sign up in their hotel window that reads 'No Christians' - or 'No Muslims' for that matter. Discrimination on the grounds of race and gender is equally outlawed. All of which is an unambiguously good thing. As indeed, I believe, is the extension of these provisions to include sexual orientation. For no one should be allowed to display a sign that reads 'no gays' either.

Some Christians, however, are strongly resisting this legislation. They argue that being obliged to provide goods and services to gay couples makes them complicit in what they regard as sin, and that this complicity compromises their deeply held religious convictions.

For some, however, these so-called 'religious convictions' are little more than a mask for prejudice. Why, they argue, aren't these same Christian hoteliers up in arms at a legal obligation to provide hotel rooms for unmarried couples? After all, conservative Christians believe sex outside marriage to be equally a sin, yet they haven't been protesting about this. Indeed, many of them may well believe gluttony is a sin, but they haven't been campaigning for Christian waiters to have the right to refuse fat people extra chips on moral grounds.

No, there is real inconsistency in the way some Christians apply the argument from complicity. Moreover, this inconsistency is indicative that they are treating homosexuality as a special case. In other words, this inconsistency is a tell-tale mark of prejudice.

And the sad truth is, there'd be little need for this sort of legislation if there wasn't so much prejudice about - both in the church and elsewhere. Indeed, it's worth saying that discrimination doesn't only shelter behind religious belief. There's prejudice outside the churches and mosques too. For the idea that this is an argument between Christian prejudice and secular enlightenment is a lazy media distortion that likes its arguments simple and binary.

Within the church there is real debate and much disagreement. Many Christians don't think homosexuality is a sin in the first place. In fact, I believe it a God-given gift - sure, it's a gift that can be abused like any other - but often it's a channel of grace, a means by which some human beings show love and commitment and hospitality, just like anybody else.

There's a hymn we often sing in church that goes like this:

For the love of God is broader than the measure of man's mind
And the heart of the eternal is most wonderfully kind
But we make his love too narrow with false limits of our own
And we magnify his strictness with a zeal he will not own.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A Big Load

I went to bed early last night. About 9pm. I skyped mon C in Singapore for half an hour, then read for a while.

Before I went to bed I had put on a load of washing. Some towels and stuff. I thought it was about time they had a boil wash.

This morning I woke up, and got out of bed about 8.30am. I went to feed the cats-then it registered. The washing machine was still going round-almost 12 hours later...

Not good. But I didn't have time to deal with it. So I switched it off, just so the engine didn't burn out. Thinking about it on my way to work I realised that mon C often adjusts the temperature to wash more delicate clothes. I'd been using it for 4 years before I realised you could do that. Anyway I thought maybe that had caused the problem. I mean if the thermostat was waiting for it to reach 90 C before it continued, and it never did, it might not continue.

I texted mon C to ask if he could remember the default setting "DOMESTIC EMERGENCY...". He even called me from Singapore on his mobile to find out the problem!

Now at home, I dug out the instructions. And lo! The first thing I turn to and read-"Temperature selector- Note: when using cyle number 2, do not use temperature settings below 60C". So I've got it going again. Phew.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

UNACCEPTABLE

When I came out to my mother, she cried. One of the reasons was that she worried that her child's life would be harder-she thought that people would hate me because of the label-and it upset her.

If I had my life over I'd choose to be gay-again and again. Life is far more interesting. OK it might be hard, unfair. But it's fun. Good clean fun. And sometimes good nasty fun.

But my Mum was right. There is always a battle for us to face. Each and every one of us.

I just read this:

JERRY SPRINGER THE OPERA - BLASPHEMY CASE BEGINS
Immediate 18.00 hrs Monday 8th January 2007
A criminal action for blasphemy against Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC, and producer Jonathan Thoday has begun in respect of Jerry Springer the Opera.
Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, laid information before Horseferry Road Magistrates this morning, Monday 8th January 2007.  It is two years to the day since the broadcast of the musical on BBC2 and six months to the day from when it finished its tour in Brighton last year.
Counsel Mark Mullins and instructing solicitor Michael Phillips made oral submissions to District Judge Caroline Tubbs to support the application for a summons to be issued in a private prosecution of the two executives. All the tests which had to be applied before a private prosecution can begin appeared satisfied, and Mr Mullins explained to the judge the complexity and necessity to gather evidence which had led to an interval of two years between the BBC2 broadcast and the initiation of proceedings.
The District Judge reserved her decision for later this week.
Stephen Green said afterwards: 'I saw the BBC Songs of Praise School Choirs singing on BBC2's sister channel last night. As one primary school choir was singing so beautifully, I wondered what kind of society they are growing up into, in this day and age.
'Will it be one with no respect for the Almighty or for other people? One with no sense of right or wrong? One with no limits? One with no acknowledgment of the sacred?
'There is a ancient law against blasphemy in this land because the law believes it should not occur. It is as simple as that. If artistic people do not where or how to stop as they push against the boundaries of decency, then the law must step in and tell them.
'In this present case, it appears prime facie that a most odious and wicked blasphemy was perpetrated against Almighty God and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Clearly, justice must be done.  No-one, be they ever so influential or wealthy, can be above the law.
'I noticed in Court that the learned District Judge sat under the Queen's Coat of Arms. The wording along the bottom is 'Dieu et mon droit.' The French means 'God and my right.' It is a reminder that the judge's decision is made under the sovereignty of God Himself in the interests of His justice alone.
'We await the decision of the Judge and ask for prayer so that: "Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven." Indeed the very first petition of the Lord's prayer is: "Hallowed be Thy name."
'The holiness of God's name is at the root of this case. There is a long way to go yet, but the first step was taken today.


Christian Voice and similar organisations are UNACCEPTABLE. What gives them the right? Enough shit!

What exactly gives them the right to tell us that we can't go form our own opinion on Jerry Springer-The Opera? Do they want us to live in a Brave New World that's more 1984?

And this too on a night when the House of Lords were asked by various organised religious interest groups to overturn legislation that protects gays from discrimination.

FORTUNATELY challenges to the UK gay rights' laws today, have failed. I admit, it's a little bit of a surprise that our uber-conservative House of Lords did us fair, and delivered what is our right.

But coming back to my point...how much responsibility do we take? I do little things to make a stand for me, and for others. But perhaps it's not enough when faced with stuff like this?

Maybe we ALL need to do more.

Everyone Wants Christophe

(It seems).

In case you didn't know, Xfe is the same person I refer to as "mon C". Mon C actually means *my* C (for Christophe). Mon is French for my. It's my term of endearment you see. Often when I speak to him I call him "mon C" instead of Chistophe.

Now, as much as you might like to have a piece of him, I'm afraid that you can't. So, gents, when you refer to mon C, you need to say "ton" C. That way you refer to MY Xfe (if you see what I mean...)

And when I said that you can't have a piece of him, maybe I was being a little selfish. Here's a little bit of him for you here...

And if anyone wants to make an offer for those aussieBums, please do. He found them a little too snug. It seems aB thinks 28" waist means small proportions... all round.

Happy New Year/Resolutions

New Year's resolutions. They never work. We expect too much of ourselves and want to change all our bad habits.That's why Boots have wised up and are running their Change One Thing campaign. Go on, Make the Pledge, Join the Gang. No thanks!

I never make resolutions. They always end up being honoured in the breach.

Mind you this year I am minded to try and improve my diet...for example, ditch the chocolate and try more healthy eating. Salad and stuff. After all, I'm sure there are better ways of dressing the salad, so it becomes more tasty...

(...don't you think?)

Anyway, that one's for Bobby, who has made it to day 10 of his body-for-LIFE programme (even though we're only on 9th Jan-well done that boy for his dedication and enduring a stoic 31 Dec/1 Jan).

If you would like to see a few more of my suggestions for enjoying healthier eating in 2007...just let me know! Oh, and if you really like to chew on a big piece of raw veg, have a look at my spoken out loud thought on NY resolutions here on Taste of Vanilla

Ce Vampire Ne Suce...Pas Que Le Sang.



Oh, happy day. Look what I found. A film that has two of my big interests. Vampires and......the French(!).

Actually it's an American film. Give me a moment and I'll try and find out the US release name.

Oh, it's the same, the rather unattractive Scab.

Still, what promise. As it says on the tin:

This vampire doesn't only suck blood!!!

Viva Morrissey


Morrissey is in talks with the BBC to represent the UK in this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

Mox is reported to have commented:

"I was horrified but not surprised to see the UK fail," he said. "Why didn't they ask me?"

when Daz Sampson's song, Teenage Life, came fifth from last in the 2006 contest held in Athens.

I've met and interviewed Morrissey twice. He is a fan of many things cult and camp. He told me that loved the Avengers (although he never put Emma Peel on the cover of any of their releases). Given the Smiths' collaboration with Sandie Shaw (Hand In Glove), it's no great surprise.

But faites-attention, Morrisey! Michael Ball (2nd place, 1992 with "One Step Out Of Time") said he'd rather stick hot needles in his eyes before enduring the contest again. Francis Ruffelle (10th place, 1994 with "We Will Be Free (Lonely Symphony)" prefers to keep mum on the subject of her Eurovision outing. And I'm not really sure what cheeky bubbly Sonia (2nd place, 1993 with "Better The Devil You Know") made of it.

Whoever represents the UK will compete against 23 other European nations in the final, which will be held in Helsinki on 12 May 2007 after Finnish hard rock band Lordi won the contest last year.

And given that mon C and I are going, you can be sure there'll be plenty more Eurovision fun & trivia appearing here!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Les Galettes des Rois/Lucky Me

In each galette there is a porcelain charm. If you get the piece with the charm then you are the king for the day. Elsewhere I said I was lucky...and guess what, beginners' luck or destiny. I was munching my slice of galette and inside towards the end I had the charm. So I got to be king for the day and wear the crown that comes with every cake!

Allez Les (Red, White And) Bleus

Right now I'm tapping away on the Eurostar, rushing home via Waterloo and enjoying another glass of pop on the non-stop voyage-voyage that is Eurostar 1er classe. Not because I always travel in style. Rather, it's Sunday evening and there are students, children and babies a plenty. And I'd just prefer to be away from them all, in the calm chill of personal service and free newspapers!

My latest thought about the Paris party is hiring a Tony-award winning actress to come sing us a (specific) mini-set of songs. I've no idea how much it would cost. But I'm thinking 4 figures, plus travel (1st class) and accommodation (perhaps one star less than the 5 that mon C & I have chosen) will swing it. The going rate for a lead-roll in London's west end is £900 per week. So more plus expenses paid seems a good deal for a 30 minute gig. All I have to do is find out if she is available...

I know the producer and MD of the last show she did, so I'll ask him to make the enquiry for me. But I might need to keep it quiet less she worries that she's fit only for the cabaret circuit.

Talking of which, Xfe and I took in our first show of 2007 in Paris this weekend. Les Cabaret des Hommes Perdus. I wanted to see it really because of one of the actors in it. Jerome Pradon, an Olivier nominated performer, who does a stunning Judas in the Really Useful Jesus Christ Superstar film. Despite the name, I hadn't realised that he was French.

It originally was scheduled to close before Christmas, but it's been a surprise hit, so it's extended until March. Actually I was very surprised by how good it is, as also all the other performances. It's a small piece-with only 4 actors playing a variety of linked roles. There are touches of Rocky Horror/Cabaret/the Producers, but really only in style, and the slightest of hints. It's not really any of them. But it's fun and could easily become a cult type show. I'd certainly invest in it if producers were looking to raise finance for London production. I can see a movie version... And I'd keep at least a couple of the original cast.

Jerome P is fantastic. He's a great actor, and acts his socke off, but all the time so very natural. He has a winning smile and a rough sexiness for sure. I'm not a Grant Mitchell fan at all, but if I was I'd find JP 100 times more sexy, and erotic to boot. My, we even see him in a jock strap. Yes, I certainly left a bigger fan of his generous performance.

Some friends have asked me to canvass opinions for a little dilema they are facing. I've promised them that I'll try to get round to writing about it. Alternatively I'll ask them to write "Dear Gay Banker".

Le Cabaret Des Hommes Perdus


Mon C and I went to see this yesterday. First theatre of 2007. A French musical. I wanted to see it because Jerome Pradon is in it. He was excellent. The show was great too.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Eurostar

I'm at the Eurostar terminal waiting for the embarquement of my train to Paris. It's dull here-thank heavens there is wifi internet access (which I get free minutes for thanks to BTOpenworld)...I'll be in Paris in time for dinner.

What a small world it is...Zefron blogged about Petr's cup. The information he gave about Petr sounded familiar, and after sending Z. some pics, it turns out that it's the same Petr who was friend of KC (best friend formely in Prague), and whom I'd met a couple of times in Prague.

On checking my iPhoto, I see that my last pic of Petr in Prague is dated 28 August 2005, when KC and I threw a Pimms party for some CZ friends.

I remember it well...we spent the afternoon sunbathing at the Podoli in typical CZ style.



...can you spot us on the grass somewhere...?

We were glowing from too much sun even before the party started.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

My Epiphany

The other day mon C and I enjoyed a delicious lunch at Itsu (minus the radiation).



I'm a big fan. I had the chicken terriyaki noodles and Xfe a seared tuna salad. We had dinner there the other evening before going to the Barbican for a Christmas concert.



Mmm, and healthy too. Doesn't it just look so appetising?



We did some bargan shopping at Broadgate/Liverpool Street, but decided against ice skating there. We weren't really dressed for it.



This lunchtime I popped over to Waterloo to collect my Eurostar tickets. Xfe is off to Paris tomorrow morning for a meeting with Chanel. I'm going to work until the afternoon, and catch up with him in time for dinner in Paris.

On my way I noticed these rather cool festive decorations outside the Royal Festival Hall, undergoing refurbishment currently. They are always tasteful on the Southbank I think.



(notice the pink neon around the cement mixer?)

Saturday is Epiphany, so I'm going to eat another traditional French cake (a galette des Rois) and hope that I'll be the king for the day.

By a strange coincidence I came home this evening to the sound of Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walking", only to stumble across these new shoes which mon C is rather proud of. French style-an oxymoron!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Fishy Goings On


I hate fish. I hate the things that you can't see in the sea. I don't know what it is, but fish and most things acquatic *freak* me out.

So, I'm fascinated and repulsed by some of the stuff on Swim At Your Own Risk, which I added to my blogroll a little while back.

Go czechOUT!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A Ginger Peachy Outlook

Well it's first day back at the office. I don't quite expect work to get full on until next Monday, so finger's crossed, I'll be easing myself gently into things.

For the very first time in as many years as I can remember I'm not feeling blue at the thought of January's arrival. I'm not quite sure exactly why. Mon C has suggested that it is partly to do with us, and I'm sure he is right. But that's not all of it.

I'm feeling rather positive about work too. I'm being asked to put myself forward for promotion, but once again, I think I will probably decline. The reason is the additional admin/management duties. I just don't want them. OK, I'll get a little more cash (but to tell the truth, I get enough anyway). The only thing which I really think I'd benefit from are the extra 3 days' holiday entitlement.

I'm surprised. I always feel rather insecure about my employment. I survived 3 rounds of redundancies at my last firm. What I feel makes me vulnerable is that I've decided not to go down the route of partnership (I was a partner in a top 10 Scottish law firm for 4 years before I moved to London). When I took this job I came clean and told them that in

Maybe it's in the maths. I much prefer odd years to even ones. And 7 is a more preferable number than 6.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Mrs. Von Trapp Trivia


Here is Samantha Bond, Sarah Jane's first Adventure's nemesis.

Ms. Bond has starred in four James Bond movies (as Miss Moneypenny).

She is also married to Alex Hanson, who is currently playing opposite Connie (Solve Maria Problem) Fisher as Cpt. von Trapp in the Sound of Music.

Alex played Alex in the UK tour of Aspects of Love, my favourite musical.

Andrew Lloyd-Webber, can you please, please, please revive Aspects? It is your best work.


...Next Up Trivia: Harley Lawsen vs. Leon Taylor

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