Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Interviewed by...

I volunteered to be interviewed the other day. It’s not something that I’d normally do, but I made an exception because of the esteem in which I hold the interviewer… none other than the lovely Finn.

I expected some thought-provoking questions and I wasn’t disappointed…

If earning a living were not an issue, what would you do with your time?

Hmmmm. Ironically, what I love the most – photography – proved to be rather more fulfilling as a hobby than as a career. Wandering around with a camera in some of the places I (one day) want to visit would be a lovely way to spend my time, though, and I’d have no problem filling my itinerary as there are so many destinations to choose from. India, Mexico, Peru, Madagascar, Haiti, China, most of the Far East, etc etc etc…

The reality, of course, is somewhat different and having failed to earn more than a meagre living as a photographer I was reduced to baring my all in the seedy world of male modelling.


What's the most important thing you've learned in your life?

I’ve spent much of my life paying emotional penance for things done that, given the time again, I’d know better than to do. It took me many, many years to realise that making mistakes is part of being human. In learning that, I managed to come to terms with myself, and eventually to like the person that I had become. It was a valuable lesson.

There are still things that haunt me from my past, but I’ve managed to find a kind of peace with them, at least most of the time. And I might still make mistakes, but at least they’re different mistakes.

What thing do you find sexiest in a woman?

Well, I’m assuming that you don’t mean physical characteristics (although if you did – bottom, lips, eyes, hair). Being serious, though, the things that attract me the most have nothing to do with looks; they'd include intelligence, confidence, sexuality, spirituality, and self-awareness.

Nothing unique there, I know, but a beautiful concoction (wouldn’t you say?). Now, spice that up a little with the physical, and… mmmmmmm.

What is your worst character flaw?

That’s a difficult one, because I have a few too many for comfort (and I’m also unsure that I want to expose them in such a public forum!). But as my arm’s being twisted I’d have to say that I’d like to be less stubborn than I am – a lot less stubborn, actually. I tend to be pretty sure that I’m right, and pretty much all of the time… the truth is that every now and again I’m not, and it always comes as something of a shock.

If I was permitted to add a second, I’d probably mention something about crying uncontrollably when I watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Is that a character flaw?

You have one entire day to yourself -- what are you going to do?

Now that’s not an easy one, because frankly I’ve never thought about it. And if I did (for too long, anyway) I’d probably come up with something that’s more a figment of my imagination than anything I’d really desire.

That said, I’m a thinker, and I find that time on my own gives me the opportunity to make some sense of all the crazy stuff that we’re immersed in every day. I guess the question, then, is where – and the perfect place would definitely be characterised by blue water, hot sun and a cool breeze. No sounds other than the sounds of nature, and nothing to interrupt me in my quiet contemplation of life.

Can I do that for an entire day?

Interview directions:

1 Leave me a comment saying “Interview me.”
2 I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3 You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions.
4 You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5 When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Musical Sunday Monday

Well, first of all I should say thank you for all the kind comments regarding Mum’s operation. She’s absolutely fine, and looking & sounding better than she has for months – already. Hopefully, all will go according to plan so far as her recovery from the surgery is concerned.

I’m posting for Musical Monday a little early this week, as it’s actually Sunday night as I’m writing this post. Bea was working until about 8.30 this evening, but texted me to say that she was going to go for a drink with one of the girls from work. That's fine, of course, but it got me thinking about trust for some reason. Because without trust a relationship is doomed, and that trust was so abused during the course of my marriage that I wonder sometimes why it isn’t still an issue. Not just with Bea, but in a general sense.

I guess the answer is that you’ve got to just leave the past in the past. Other than with regard to music, because this week I’m still stuck in a time warp. I was determined to post some Supertramp this week, but Hipcast wasn’t playing ball. In the end, I had to resort to some video clips but at least it’s a chance to remind everyone of a certain age what we must have looked like back then. Terrifying, isn’t it?

Anyway, I've always been something of a... well, a Dreamer, actually (in fact, I wanted to play Crime of The Century, but I didn't like the live version I found on YouTube and didn't have the time to keep looking). In any event, when was the last time you saw someone playing the wine glasses?

Okay, I've relented... because i just love this track! Crime of The Century... and I want that to be ME with my beautiful red and gold sax! At least i'd be a bit more flexible!

If you want join in with Musical Monday, just stick this in your sidebar or on your post, but change ALL the brackets to the pointy ones first:

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Friday, August 24, 2007


Anyone who knows me well, or has known me for some time, will also know that my relationship with the rest of my family has been a particularly difficult one. For six years or thereabouts – and until about 4 years ago – I was completely ostracised for reasons that even now are effectively unbeknown to me, and during that period I not only lost my Dad (and missed his funeral, as no-one deigned to tell me of his death until such time as it was too late for me to attend) but also went through some personal traumas that I never want to go through again. My life at that time was hard indeed and I had to contend with everything that was happening in the knowledge that my only support would be the strength that I found within myself. I still have issues with regard to Dad, and my relationship with him, but fortunately I no longer take responsibility for his bitterness towards me and the jealousy he felt.

The first time that I spoke to Mum again was when my ex-wife was in the final stages of destroying our marriage. I was at a conference in Cambridge, and she had been particularly horrible to me on the telephone that morning; I recall that I had a seminar to attend, but in my angst I just wanted to be alone and so went back to my hotel room to sit and… well, think. At some point, I realised that tears were rolling down my face and I had the phone in my hand.

It took three or four attempts before I got Mum's number right, and at first she thought that it was my brother on the phone. But as soon as she said my name I started to cry again, and continued – unable to speak – for about half an hour. Then I managed to describe for her the mess that my life had become; she just told me to get round there the moment I arrived back in London, and since that time we’ve been as close as we could possibly hope to be under the circumstances. But it can be hard at times to separate present from past, and consequently we don’t really talk about what happened between us. Some things simply can’t be resolved, and I guess that’s one of them.

Mum turned seventy-five last January, and as I write this post she’ll be succumbing to a general anaesthetic whilst her surgeon prepares to operate on one of her ankles, fusing the bones together and (hopefully) giving her the ability to walk without pain again. I found myself in a panic last night when I thought about her age and her vulnerability, and now – this morning – I’m keeping myself busy before going to spend some time at the hospital with her. I’m not allowing myself to think anything other than “Everything is going to be okay. Everything is going to be okay.”

I could go on, and on, and on with this post. But actually, all I really want to say is this…

I love you, Mum, and I’ll see you later.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Well I never...

I was stopping over at Trouble’s for a coffee the other day, and followed a link she’d provided to this rather funny site. Now, as a cat lover of unrivalled magnitude I felt it necessary to bookmark it, send the link on to all and sundry, and re-visit it periodically to see if there were any new little gems worth forcing on my friends.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered this is not just a matter of cute pictures with clever captions. Oh no… have a look at Wiki if you want to know about the Lolcat phenomenon, and follow the links there because it gets… well, worse. All of which goes to prove that there's a lot of strange, strange stuff going on out there that we know fuck all about. Well, that I know fuck all about.

Whilst I'm a bit discombobulated by it all, my salvation (in the shape of my 40" Samsung) should be arriving any time now. Whether I can enjoy it's 1080p splendour without being distracted by thoughts of Lolcats remains to be seen, but I'd say the chances are pretty good. And there's always Lola, who does tends to loll (I admit) but in a slightly more conventional sense.

Speaking of Lola, she's now forgiven me for going on holiday and is more or less back to normal. Every year I go away, I come home to find her rotund and happy having spent two weeks on a local kitchen crawl to ensure that she has multiple meals in addition to those my neighbour leaves for her in her bowl twice each day. Then she makes a point of ignoring me and staying out all night, just to make sure that I know that I'm dispensable. Luckily, I'm a parent so I've seen it all before.

Right, I'm rambling a bit, and I have work to do...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Musical Monday

I’ve been a very, very bad boy. Finally – after weeks of agonising over what can only be termed as my intended overt consumerism – I’ve allowed myself to accidentally hit the purchase button on an audio and TV website; consequently, the delicious beast you can see below will be arriving on Tuesday. Forty widescreen inches of 1080p high-definition Samsung gorgeousness… yummy!

Notwithstanding the mounting excitement in respect of the above, Musical Monday is about... well, music. And in terms of real stars over the last decade or three there's no doubt that one man from these shores has stood the test of time. Not only has his music continuously evolved, but he's also been a pioneer in utilising the new media to make his art more accessible, to more people, than ever before.

When I was in my early teens, my sister had every one of his albums and whenever she went out I'd be rooting around in her bedroom in order to borrow my favourite, which I'd then play on Mum and Dad's stereo downstairs (they had one of those "Radiograms" - wooden cabinets with the speakers on either end; you had to lift the centre section at the top to get to the turntable... remember them?). I'd usually find one or two other items of interest in there too, most notably the magnificent hardcore porn collection she thought she'd hidden under the bed, but I tended to hang around in her room with that... well, I was adolescent and overflowing - almost literally - with testosterone. What else was I to do?

For those of you who are now overcome with the tension and suspense that I very carefully created above, I should probably tell you that the man in question was David Bowie, and my favourite album was The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars. The track I've chosen is the very last on the album, Rock 'n Roll Suicide. And I love it just as much now as I did then.

If you want join in with Musical Monday, just stick this in your sidebar or on your post, but change ALL the brackets to the pointy ones first:

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The funniest thing...

Happened to me last night...

I was at the local supermarket, getting the usual kind of stuff (you know... panty pads, make-up wipes, leg wax, etc) and must admit that I extended what was supposed to have been a five-minute job to something a lot longer - even though I forgot half of what I went there for in the first place. (I love supermarkets - so shoot me.) I probably got back home about an hour later, and as I walked through the back door Bea shot over with an expression reminiscent of one of Sam's - when I catch him playing with his Nintendo (!) under the duvet. It was hysterical.

Anyway, a while later I noticed there had been a bit of a spike on my statcounter whilst I was out, and guess what? Yes, it was the consequence of a trawl through the archives from my own IP address. Anyway, I'm out at football tonight and this blog will be completely unprotected, so if you'll excuse me for a second...

Hi, beautiful. I love you xxx

Talking of which, it's Bea's birthday in October, and what could be more romantic than a few days in Paris? I've been a few times, latterly on business, although whilst I love the city I'm a little dubious about the Parisiennes themselves; but all is now booked. Feast your eyes on this... and if you want to meet us over there for some moules fritte on the Boulevard St Germain just let me know.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Musical Monday

I don’t know how many of you have tried to get into Spanish TV (not many, I imagine), but trust me when I tell you that it’s not the best in the world. So much so, that Bea and her family are all fans of imported dramas and comedies, their favourite by far being CSI.

Now, CSI is a series that I never watched until I imported something for myself a few months ago (get it?). Now, I’m a big fan of both Miami and Vegas, the latter currently being trailered to the beautiful accompaniment of Nina Simone. Every night when we go to bed, Bea has a shower and whilst waiting for her I turn on the TV in the bedroom – CSI is running on satellite every night, and we generally get to see about 20 minutes of it after Bea climbs into bed with me. After that, it’s off and we’re making our own entertainment between the sheets.

So, as evidence that a TV in the bedroom doesn't have to be the beginning of the end so far as an active sex life is concerned (take note, all you guys who are into your gadgets), I give you Nina Simone and “I Put a Spell On You”. Bea claims that I put a spell on her which is why she’s still here, and more in love than ever. I think it’s got more to do with my cooking, though… and now I'm just waiting for a new series of CSI, featuring the last 40 minutes of all the previous episodes. I think I might have a long wait, but I'm sure I'll find something to do in the meantime!

If you want join in with Musical Monday, just stick this in your sidebar or on your post, but change ALL the brackets to the pointy ones first:

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

HNT. Not.

It’s a funny thing, this blogging. Not that many months ago, the thought of missing an HNT post would fill me (and, it seems, others) with dread. I was getting about 300 hits a day, and maintaining the momentum of my posts was almost a full-time job. Now, I get one-tenth of the hits and often go a week or more without posting.

Partly, it was pressure of work – I had 3 large projects on the go, and barely had time to eat, let alone do the blog rounds. But it’s also the consequence of being in a relationship again. My time at the computer needs to be regulated, and in any event I find myself wondering where the hours have gone. And the nights spent ruminating, vodka on the desk and cigarette in hand, are gone. Although not forgotten.

This week, in particular, I feel a bit discombobulated. I think it might be post-holiday blues, but I can’t seem to focus on much, and what I do focus on has little to do with work. I’ve also put on a few pounds, and consequently rejoined my local gym to help work them off. I know I’m in good shape for a guy of 47, but I can’t help comparing myself to the WDKY of 10 or 15 years ago. Unfortunately, the aging process is something that just seems to happen when you’re not paying attention, and there’s no stopping it. Such is life.

The holiday was… well, perfect. The hotel was quiet, the kids had a marvellous time, and we all did things that we don’t normally do when we’re away (the consequence of Bea being back on home ground). We did see the Scottish Sisters, but they were distant and a little… well, bitchy, actually. Bea thinks it’s because they know they’re not going to be getting inside my pants – maybe she’s right. Whatever, I guess that's one holiday friendship that isn't going to stand the test of time.

I think it’s good to be back, but the truth is I’m not really sure.

PS If you want to read some real writing, have a look at this!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Musical Monday

It’s occurred to me that I might have been a little negligent in failing to mention that we were going off on holiday a couple of weeks ago. Well, we were, we did and we’re back and I have to tell you that I’m a rather lovely shade of brown. So lovely, in fact, that I’m thinking seriously about a return to the ranks of HNT this week if only to prove that not a single pair of Speedos made it to my suitcase. I have the tan lines to prove it.

That can wait, but today I want to talk and think music. I mentioned previously that the Floyd always took me back to my late teens/early twenties, and I kind of like being transported back in time like that. Tonight, though, while we were making dinner, I was playing – at a VERY high volume – another album from a band that epitomised the same period of my life. We would go to house parties most weeks, and having drunk some Southern Comfort and smoked one or two joints, we’d wait for this band to make it to the stereo. Then we’d ask the girl we wanted to dance, and we’d hope to end the night fucking in glorious youthful abandon. God, I loved those days.

So, today’s Musical Monday is from Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the album “Pronounced Leh-nerd Ski-nerd”. I resisted the temptation to choose Freebird even though it’s their signature track and opted for two others instead. Simple Man (because a simple man is what I am) and Tuesday’s Gone… I really love them both, and as always I would ask you to play them loud and right to the end. And think of me at those parties…

If you want join in with Musical Monday, just stick this in your sidebar or on your post, but change ALL the brackets to the pointy ones first:

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