Saturday, February 28, 2009
It wasn't the best thing he had read (nor me), but I think he appreciated that it's a real puzzler when it comes to working out where it is going.
That's what I love about it. It's too strange.
Though I can smell the Moray Firth in it...
Friday, February 27, 2009
In 2001/2002 the place was converted into residential. The two buildings were separated, a courtyard dividing them. The four apartments that make up the rear building were sold by the developer who retained and leases the remaining six flats in the front building.
In the rear building where we live, there are three gay couples, one gay lodger, and a straight woman living across the three levels of the four flats.
In the front six flats there is another gay couple, a straight couple, one girl, two guys and two other flats whose occupants are not know.
Here's how it was looking on Sunday morning at 11.15am.
The Lodger with the big cock
The room with the cockerel in the window belongs to the gay lodger of gay couple F. & S. Their bedroom is diagonally opposite the window with the Lodger's cock. The blinds are drawn, but they are not home.
F. & S. are in South Africa, on a two-month honeymoon. They got married
out there last month. S., the South African is Spouse A and F. is Spouse B.
It looks like The Lodger is still in his bedroom. The rest of the blinds in the flat (below the two bedrooms) remain drawn. We suspect that this is because there was quite a lot of coming and going on Saturday evening. We think there might have been a little bit of a late-night male-party, with The Lodger taking full advantage of an otherwise empty flat.
The Law Students
Opposite them on the other side of the courtyard (the four windows on basement and ground floor level, above the plants) live two guys. Suspected straight, and suspected law students. Don't ask how I know this exactly, save that some of this information was extracted from the rubbish!
The Straight Couple & the Gay Doctor
To the right of the Law Students as you look at the pic is the closed bedroom blind of the straight couple. I don't know what, beyond smoking, he does. She is a lawyer in the City.
Moving up one floor and looking at the second picture you can see to the far left at first floor level the kitchen window and bedroom window of tenants unknown. Then, on the same level, directly above the Straight Couple and to the right of the bedroom window of tenants unknown you see the drawn bedroom blind of the Gay Doctor and his boyfriend.
Sorted? Good. From time to time I'll reveal what goes on behind these blinds. Be assured that what I don't know for certain I probably will make up.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Suggested by Catherine in High Wycombe (are all the "do us a flavour" suggestions from women?):
Spicy heat with a dark cocoa kick! Sounds crazy, but is so TASTY! And as Catherine rightly points out, what more do you want from a bag of crisps?!
MiS: Gads - it's cardboard.
Xfe [blind tasting again]: [tastes one, rejects the rest] Take it. It's the chocolate? You can taste the chocolate. It's disgusting with crisps.
Ok, so after the initial taste it's a piquant burnt-chocolate brûlée. But it's not for crisps. Each time you pause before another mouthful, you still get the cardboard.
Favourite so far-fish & chips, though not a new flavour in my opinion.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I'm meant to meet him on Paris in 2 weekend's time, but the credit crunch has machinated his hopping straight from Israel to Cyprus, instead of coming back to Paris for a couple of days in-between, where I was going to hook-up with him.
I could still go to Paris, and see our friends, but truthfully, I prefer Paris with him.
This made me think of all the things mon C misses out on. Almost as if I, in Jeckyll & Hyde fashion, have a separate life without him:
My Burns supper -
I know, the puddin' looks like a vodsel part, but look how it turned out, with neeps and tatties, and gravy
A trip to the theatre and more theatre.
A trip to Scotland.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Suggested by Emma in Belper*:
Combining the mouth-watering flavours of bacon, buttered toast, eggs and tomato sauce, there's mortar [sic] Emma's crisps than meets the eye!
Xfe (tasting blind): ? It's like, erm, smokey or chicken or...well no idea what it is. [MiS reveals the flavour] It doesn't taste like breakfast at all. At all.
MiS: I think it's more smokey-hickory. I was expecting it to be like tomato. A bit like their tomato sauce favour. But it's not at all. Perhaps there's a bit of bacon rind. Not the bacon itself, though I guess with smokey bacon already out there you have to be v. careful not to make it the same.
Verdict: This one's not a winner.
*where on earth is Belper?
Monday, February 23, 2009
Well, it seems that I missed some:
Lt. Ilea from Star Trek, The Motion Picture, and some look-a-like racist glamour model wannabe.
'Fighting back tears'
Jade Goody and first husband Jeff Brazier enjoy a tender kiss, while convicted criminal ex-boyfriend Jack Tweed, looks "absolutely thrilled" after getting special dispensation from The Ministry of Justice so he and wife Lt. Ilea can spent their wedding night together.
The Ministry of Justice said the terms of Tweed's curfew, imposed following his release from prison, would be changed to reflect the "exceptional" circumstances.
Max Clifford, the couple's publicist, said: "We are absolutely thrilled. It will be the dream finish to her dream day, and it makes so much difference."
Justice for all
Ex-boyfriend Tweed was jailed for 18 months last September after assaulting a 16-year old boy with a golf club.
On the subject of their best man, Jade said, "Like Jeff-gawd I mean Jack innit, Blake is gonna be the most amazing dad." She said the couple [Blake and tragic addict wife Blame-Me] wanted identical twins.
But Fielder-Civil will not be released until at least December after admitting beating up a pub landlord and attempting to pervert the course of justice. Still Jade and Jack were optimistic.
"We'll get our intimate and closest, most-likely-to-speak-at-my-funeral friend, Max Clifford-
"-publicist Max Clifford", the happy couple's grey-haired spokesman interjects,
"- publicist Max Clifford," says Jade, with a smile, tenderly reaching out for the hand of her best friend and publicist Max Clifford.
"I thought that bloke was Simon Cowell, " guffaws Jack.
"- publicist Max Clifford," frowns Goody, "to have a quiet word with our other good friend Justice Secretary Jack Straw. Jack - the clever specky four-eyes one one, not my dip-shit thug husband to be - told me it is crucial that offenders are treated equally within the rules regardless of the publicity surrounding their, my, case. So he'll be a pushover to persuade it's reasonable to allow Blake out, " she reads from a prepared statement.
"After all, I'm dying, innit".
"Don't forget to tell them about the funeral rights for auction, " smiles Max, his hand still tenderly holding Jades.
"Yeah, like in 50 years time," chuckles Jade.
Suddenly everyone in team Jade looks at her, with alarm.
Jack-"Oh shit, Jade."
Max buries his hands in his head. " 'Jade - It's A Miracle, Innit', anyone?"
Jade Goody's wedding. With tenderness and tact. Lord help us all.
Tweed (left) and the groom's party left for the wedding on Sunday morning dressed in women's underwear.
Earlier, the star's bridesmaids arrived at her house wearing flesh-coloured bathing caps in a show of solidarity with the bride, who has been undergoing chemotherapy.
Postscript 22 March:
Jade Goody died this morning, 4 weeks after I wrote this post.
This post is a comment on the celebrity obsessed society that we are, and that I am part of (see here Made in Scotland: What The Doctor Said). What is tragic is that a 27 year old mother of two has lost her life.
Despite how this post reads, I do feel sadness at her loss and the loss of her family and I do consider that she was quite remarkable and courageous.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Dissociable neural pathways
I was amazed at how many brain surgeons and ER doctors were at King's Cross Underground this morning (Thursday February 12). Their rush to perform surgery or other life-saving operations can be the only explanation for why my two-year-old grandaughter was almost trampled underfoot in the ticket hall or why I, holding a buggy with sleeping infant on the escalator, was almost knocked flying. Or why my daughter was left struggling with toddler and suitcase at the bottom of stairs while I tried to push the buggy and baby up. In the end, it was a woman who came to our aid. This wasn't at rush hour, either. Alas, I suspect these charging males were not in business of saving lives. Or of enhancing them, either.
-Angela Fritz, by email
Oh, get a bloody life, Angela.
Spelling and grammar mistooks aside, only George Clooney does ER (and even then he hasn't for quite a number of years-he does coffee now). In the UK we have A&E, thank you.
And I think both the Royal College of Surgeons and the BMA would take umbrage at the implication that only men make up their esteemed membership? Come on, you moan like the kind of gal who burned her bra at Greenham Common (or whatever).
Get the lift, not the escalator. King's Cross is DDA* compliant (well, almost). That's what the lift is there for (not counting those selfish men in wheelchairs, just waiting for you to take them to task for filling the lift and leaving no room for the toddler, buggy, baby, suitcases and ...oh I give up, Angela. It's just too involved).
Don't get in the way of the rest of us by taking up the "walk on the left-hand side" of the escalator, please.
Instead of using the stairs, use the disabled ramps. Keep the push-chair out from under the feet of needy commuters, please. Don't worry about upsetting the wheelchair users who consider it their right to use the ramps. After all, Angela, you have the toddler, the buggy, a baby, some suitcases and you are obviously retired. Doesn't that earn you some right, right?
Come on Angela, get with it! It's 2009. Millennium men will not come to your aid. When we tried you got offended and reminded us you didn't burn your bra at Greenham Common (or wherever) for nothing.
And when we do, if it involves children, you think we are paedophiles.
Can I suggest that if your two-year-old granddaughter was almost trampled underfoot, then the negligence was yours - for not keeping her under closer rein? Have you learned nothing from James Bulger and the girl with the funky eye who went missing in Portugal while her parents were wining and dining, partying with their chums?
Come to think of it, weren't her parents surgeons or doctors? See, Angela - you can't rely on anyone. Except the LU staff who you should have asked to help you in the first case (like, yeah) and problem solved.
Angela Fritz**, by email, THAT'S LONDON LIFE, LADY!
*The Disability Discrimination Act
** wrong Angela Fritz, surely! That one is more chick than turkey.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
A few nights ago I had a dream that was very well thought through. Very well plotted-and not the often experienced random happenings of sleep.
In my dream one of the 2009 Doctor Who specials was being filmed, just behind my garden. I was taking photos to post to fan-sites, just like you find here:
Planet Gallifrey: More Doctor Who filming, 28.01.09
Anyway, in my dream I could see that he director was trying to keep a part of what was being filmed secret, hidden from prying eyes and my camera. They didn't want it becoming a spoiler.
The "spoiler" appeared to be the appearance of Doctor number 4 in the story (Tom Baker). It wasn't clear, but seemed likely as there was an "extra" in Baker costume - the hat, scarf and coat. I was snapping away on my Sony α DSLR.
Eventually the director said something to someone on the set. They asked me whether, if they were to take me to a special location, I'd stop taking pics, and in particular wouldn't publish them.
I agreed. In my mind, in my dream I knew I meant this. In my job, if I give my word I have to mean it to keep any integrity. So, I was genuine.
So, off I was trotted by one of the production team in a black-puffa jacket, to a location that looked not unlike Surrey Quays. And there, being filmed by the side of the water, in full 4th Doctor costume was Tom Baker.
I was introduced to him, and Tom Baker put his arm around me and walked with me, chatting. The production guy asked if he would like to take a picture of me and Tom. Of course I said yes!
He took my camera and started snapping. He stepped further back and then stepped to the side-into the water-firmly holding onto my camera, and taking it under the surface with him.
Having surfaced he handed me back a drenched camera, apologising. But I knew his game. It had all been set up so as to ensure all the pics on my camera were lost and incapable of being used.
I woke up incensed because I knew that I was a man of my word, and I would not have used them.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Suggested by Jane in Sheffield:
With millions of us enjoying this national favourite, Jane knew that Fish and Chips flavour crisps with a vinegary hint would be sure to catch on!
MiS: Haven't we tasted this before? Scampi fries anyone?
Xfe: Can I have one again, to remind me of the taste? [Eats 3 or 4] There's actually the taste of the batter. It's not bad, but it's really the taste of batter. Doesn't beat a good fish & chips!
Verdict: Not a looser. Tasty, but not a new flavour surely-it's a slightly milder scampi fries with less smelly fingers (phew)!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Whilst others may have a sweet tooth (mon C is prone to a chunk of chocolate a couple of hours after dinner, though I can resist it) I'm definitely into savoury, even salty pleasures on the tongue - but then again, aren't we all?
In the UK we are spoiled for choice, both in terms of brands and flavours. I remember the first time that I was in the US, world capital of consumers, and was shocked at the dearth of "chip" varieties! What's that about? Surely a lost opportunity.
My absolute favourite flavour of crisps is pickled onion. When I was a kid M&S used to do a big bag. I think it was purple. Golden Wonder did an awesome regular size bag. They still do, but they are hard to find.
Walkers continue to do pickled onion flavour, but again they too are a little harder to come by.
As those of us in the UK will have seen from the TV campaign and surrounding publicity, for the first time crisp manufacturers Walkers are asking the public to "do us a flavour" and choose its next great flavour. They've launched six new flavours inspired by suggestions from the great British Public. But only one can stay...
We have to vote for the one we want to stay from the following six finalists:
Xfe and I shall, for your benefit, be sampling and tasting so that we can bring you our expert opinion and indulge my salty passion. Yum.
So, let the taste test begin:
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Like its main turn, the book is moist, warm, irresistible and disgusting at the same time. We're introduced to Isserley, a woman obsessed with picking up well-muscled male hitchhikers in the highlands of Scotland:
The car's heater was on full as well, so the hitcher was soon squirming in his seat, taking his jacket off altogether. Isserley watched him surreptitiously, watched the mechanics of his biceps and triceps, the roll of his shoulders.
'OK if I put this on the back seat?' he presumed, bundling the jacket up in his big hands.
'Sure,' she said, noting the ripples of muscle momentarily expressing themselves through his T-shirt as he twisted round to toss the jacket on top of her own. His abdomen was a bit fatty - beer, not muscle - but nothing too gross. The bulge in his jeans was promising, although most of it was probably testicles.My best friend K. came across the book some years ago in the geography section of a bookstore, filed under "Scotland". Having read it, he bought a copy for me.
In turn I gave my copy to another friend after I had finished it. I then bought a copy for mon C who took it with him to China a couple of years ago. He loved the book.
I've ordered another copy to give to my trainee as she comes to the end of her 6 month seat with me, as something to remember me by. Whilst I'm sure she will find the book memorable, I'm not entirely convinced as to whether it's something anyone would want to be remembered by.
It is difficult to say anything more about Under the Skin without giving it away. Needless to say all is not what it seems-you may think you know where it's heading, but be prepared for some wrong-turns.
Trying to work out where Faber is taking you is a huge part of the enjoyment of this read. As the novel unfolds all becomes clear.
Having read Under the Skin it is still difficult to categorise the book's genre. Perhaps that's why K. found it in the Geography/Scotland section.
Anyway, I'm hoping that I can persuade some of you guys to read it and blog your thoughts...
Saturday, February 14, 2009
As regular readers will vouch though, the only back passage picture your likely to see here is this:
(Although you can find a picture of Xfe in some new underwear here).
However, following on from advice to "pull out blow hard down tube..." Xfe and I find ourselves in the position whereby we are both regularly giving blow jobs in the toilet. Let me explain...
Our private glory hole
We have an air flushing cistern system, which after 5 years of use, isn't working properly. After a week of using a bucket to flush our toilet I resolved that something had to be done. Encouraged by recent successes, such as my DIY installation of our new fitted washing machine, I started researching solutions on the internet, and happened upon the following advice:
"...pull out blow hard down tube if toilet flushes its the button needs replacing try plumbers merchant..."
So, I did some investigation, and found that putting one's lips to the tip of the tube and blowing hard does indeed make the toilet
Thus, fortunately, it's just the button that needs replacing rather than the syphon diaphragm which, according to Joe the plumber, is a tricky job.
We failed to find a replacement on a recent trip to Homebase. So until I can get to a plumbers' merchant our guests will just have to sit on our toilet and blow on the tube they will find poking, rather gloriously, through the dark hole situated above our toilet.
Literally it's a real gay blow job!
If you want to come round for a blow, just let me know.
Happy Valentine's Day all!
Thursday, February 12, 2009
We've even had a bold fox stroll into our flat while we've been sitting watching TV.
The recent snowfall gave me a chance to record just how much nocturnal fox activity we experience, these pictures taken on our roof the morning after the day of big snow.
The brown patch on the last pic is where their front paws slide down the wall from the upper ledge, the smudge at the side caused when they brush up against the wall, jumping back onto the lower roof.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Life together is sweet. Super sweet. Ah, that's just the smell of the lillies, though.
I like to buy Xfe flowers. These are some of the January ones.
Life is a learning experience. I met Xfe at the right time. I was with my first bf B for 5.5 years. I thought that it would be forever. Yet, I now see how immature I was in relationship terms. I thought all was fine, but I still had a great deal of learning to do.
S and I were together for 7.5 years. I thought I would never find a partner after B. Yet I did, and it was right. So I thought. But, after 7.5 years S left me. He was 9 years younger, and after 7.5 years together he thought that he might have given his best years away without clubbing, partying. So, he had to go off and do his own thing.
My relationship with S was far more balanced, but I still had growing up to do. At the time I didn't know it, of course. I thought we would be together forever.
When he left me I was lost, and that was he impetus for starting this blog.
In this relationship I'm totally grown-up. I have learned from mistakes I'm so glad I made with others that were not Xfe. I wasn't without fault.
Monday, February 09, 2009
Even when he's scolding me, Xfe remains super-cute. For example, after a sparkle spillage at Christmas I was in his bad books for "getting glitters [he pronounces it gleeters] all over the floor".
The other day he was telling the cat off for leaving "paws of piss" around the litter tray. I think he meant wet paw prints.
I've noticed that when telling me (or the cats) off, sometimes when he's tired, he often puts the "s" on the wrong word or he'll add one even when it's not needed.
Some mornings he'll ask if I would like "toasts" for breakfast.
The funniest moment of last week was when I was having lunch with friend D. He told how he'd recently been chatting to/chatted up by a really hot guy in a bar. After a couple of drinks he thought he really liked him-witty, handsome, good company. So, while the guy went to the toilet, D. decided that when he got back, he'd ask him if he wanted to go on a date.
However, D. changed his mind when cute guy returned from the toilet and told D. that he'd just got a "great mouthful of piss" from someone in the toilet.
Ah well, that's always the way with the cute ones.
Finally, it's that time of the year, again.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
When I started this blog in November 2005, and for some time after, the blog was called czechOUT. Literally I was on the point of czeching out. Not in a bad, black way though.
No, I was on the point of leaving London. My best friend (from Scotland) had been living in Prague for over 7 years, and we decided to buy a place in the country together. Some kind of holiday home. Probably in North Bohemia.
Then, 4 months later Xfe found me, and I had mon C, and life took an altogether different direction.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Unfortunately, only Xfe and I can see into his bedroom. Fortunately, I took a picture when he wasn't looking, so you can see just how erect it stands...
See for yourself.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
She didn't hang around afterwards. She was ushered out of the side entrance, after her companion had a quiet word with one of the theatre ushers.
Meanwhile, on-stage, one of the Cameri company was the Israeli-Arab actor Yousef Sweid, last seen in the Israeli drama about a gay romance, The Bubble.
He took part in the after show discussion, after which we were invited to greet the cast. Given that we were sitting right in front of him, in the front row (no stage) I thought I'd take the chance to say hello, and to mention that I recognised him from the film, which we had both very much enjoyed.
What a charming man, and I have to admit, he looked far more attractive in the flesh.
That's Yousef in the white shirt.
Here he is again, Yousef Sweid, a genuine Ashkenazi (now in London at the Barbican-for a few more days).
Monday, February 02, 2009
Our buses were grounded "for safety reasons", the first time in living memory. However by mid-afternoon there was a limited bus service.
I know that cities like Montreal, New York, Moscow, DC and Helsinki can cope with snowfall. However we're so unaccustomed to it, that even when it comes and we're warned about it, we're never prepared.
But is it economical, or realistic to expect us to be? After all, how often is it as bad as it was today?
We just don't have the equipment nor the ability to deal with it. For example, none of our buses have snow tyres; but why would they? We don't often have snow in central London, and we certainly hardly ever see snow like we've had today-some parts of London have seen up to 8 inches (20 cm) of snow.
Besides, if we did, then well, we'd have to work instead of having the day off school!
I love the Barbican it is so iconic. Even in the snow...
I wouldn't expect to pay for snow ploughs that are likely to be used only once every 5-6 years. If we had weather like this every year, then that would be a different story. (Edit - the clip of London Mayor Boris J linked to below explains exactly).
Old St - where's the traffic?
Even though we knew it was coming, this morning felt different. At 5am, when it was dark, it just wasn't. The snow reflects the street lights, and outside had a genuine sepia look.
It was also deadly silent. Normally with the window open we can hear some traffic in the street at the front of the buildings we live in. This morning there was silence, and not just the silence that a blanket of snow usually brings; I couldn't hear any traffic. Not even buses. When we turned on the radio we heard that all London bus services were suspended.
Knowing that most people wouldn't make it into the office I took my time before heading out. I grabbed my camera (but just the small one) in preparation for snapping London under snow.
The whole world was taking pictures! And how everyone was happy. People were excited, and nice and polite to each other-amazing. People were friendly and happy-how unlike London. However, the roads were, so, so quiet.
I usually walk to work in any event. However this morning I was taking full advantage of the inclement weather, making it into the office just before 11am. I took a round-about route to make sure I'd see some of my favourite sights, under snow.
I arrived in the office only to find out that people were being told to go home. At about 12.15pm I went up to the restaurant. Some catering staff had made it in, most had not, so it was an all-day breakfast. There were some sandwiches as well. However, in true blitz-spirit style, all food was free.
But, ouch! Someone took a tumble on Blackfriar's Bridge. I think they slipped and hit their nose...
I left the office about 12.30pm, and headed off to meet mon C for a chai tea latte at Moorgate, so we could enjoy the snow together.
Anyway, in common with most of London, I took plenty of pics which you can find on my flickr account. However, some are here. Just click on the pic to to to flickr and see the rest.
I just heard on Sky news that only 1 in 5 people made it into work today!! Well, why not. We work the longest hours in Europe. Hurrah! It's an extra holiday*.
As for tomorrow? Well, apparently "the worst is still to come"!!
London pictures snow, severe weather barbican in the snow bus services running in London services on hold severe delays on underground trains running in London
* London Mayor Boris Johnson has said he is cancelling the congestion charge for a day after "climatic" weather conditions brought the capital to a standstill. He congratulated "hardy drivers" who were getting into work and said that heavy snow was not an excuse for a "mass skive".