Friday, March 31, 2006

on the naming of toes

It was my birthday yesterday.

This is what happens on Colin’s birthday….

Small irate dog has an ulcer on his eye (courtesy of the cat who assaulted him years ago).

Large stupid dog, feeling left out no doubt, has a case of the electric shits.

Colin’s doctor opines, suddenly and alarmingly, that extra testiculari are bad, and (even more alarmingly) immediatley hits the phone to enlist the help of (any) local surgeon to remove said stellar objet d’art from bulging scrotum (I apologise if you are tucking in to a bowl of Cheerios at the moment)..

Colin sits endlessly in waiting room reading “Vogue” for surgeon to eventually shake him by the genitals and say “come back on Monday”, because it’s “my anniversary you see”, and he’d like to skip off and take his good lady to Quaglino’s….he has a reservation.

Colin finally plucks up courage to ask girl-at-a-distance out, for a little dinner and perhaps a few drinks

And inadvertently calls a lady in America instead. Just a slip of the thumb, but thank you Jessica, it was nice to say hello?

Yours truly wakes up in bathroom at 9.30 this morning wearing a Spaniel as a hat, and a message in lipstick on his forehead which reads…”X”

Thank #### I’m mellowing with age……

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

hello my name is Kili....Kili Manjaro

So, you know the whole interviewing malarky….

Well I’m involved with that at the moment. Interviewing for two new tele sales people to sell subscriptions for our publications.

I’ve involved our new sales manager, he will of course have to manage them. And I’ve positively laid the law down, made it quite plain that the ideal candidates will be those who fulfil the criteria, in terms of skills, required by the job.

There will be no relevance afforded to any physical aspect of the interviewees. I made it very clear. We will not be fatist, racist, gingerphobic, wavy toothitist, or even anti one-big-eye-in-the-middle-of –the-forehead….our ideal candidate will have a good telephone manner and be motivated.

Imagine my embarrassment then, when a lady who was at least 7 feet tall (over a certain height to me everyone looks 7 feet tall) with a robust figure of I’d say at least 250 lbs should be introduced by my secretary..

“This is Helena”

We stood up. I was far too close. I could no longer see her forehead, but stood rooted, like a rabbit in the glare of approaching headlights, staring through the v of her cleavage directly into her nostrils.

She was obviously quite fastidious in the nose department.

And she interviewed extremely well too (once she sat down and I could hear what she was saying). For a ridiculous moment I had thought she might yodel.

My sales manager seems very impressed

How can I tell him that I’m scared of heights.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

it must be Monday somewhere

I’d like to tell you about Singapore.

It’s a beautiful place. Incredibly green, which is hardly surprising considering the humidity, coupled with the heat, it all gets a little too much and the air throws off the excess liquid like a thrall sometime after lunch, and anyone used to the clime walks unconsciously, not unhappily, in the downpour for a few sodden minutes..

Whilst yours truly turns instantly into Curly Sue.

The people are friendly, it’s a safe place. Bear in mind here that capital punishment is probably preferable to spending 10 years in a gaol in Singapore, on a mat, with a bucket and no air conditioning - reformed prisoners must look like very old prunes.

That cabs are as cheap as chips.

About dinner in the Long Bar of “Raffles” (google it do), of Singapore Slings and finding the room where Raffles himself shot a Tiger under the billiard table.

Of the gentleman in the purple plush suit outside my hotel who used to pat my bottom while I waited for a cab, and who I naturally assumed was the concierge. Or Orchard Road, or the Thai market or Crab Key, where an unfeasible amount of Veuve Clicquot was ordered by a bluff, blunt, sweating and extremely lovable ship owner from Hull. I can’t believe that six Englishmen have been so drunk on half pints of champagne since we borrowed Hong Kong from the Chinese (“pretty little island Mi’Lord?”, “too bloody hot, shut up Jenkins and break out the good stuff there‘s a good man”.

Or indeed of Orchard Towers, a short step from my hotel, opposite “Muddy Murphy’s” the ubiquitous Irish bar. The Towers being affectionately known by one and all as the “four floors of whores”.

But I’m not really thinking about that.

I’m looking at the links on my blog and making a connection I hadn’t made until last night. Can you see it?

Sometimes there’s truth in a throwaway comment. More truth there, most likely, than in a constructed thought, it leaves the person who issues it as intuitively as it arrives at the person who receives it.

No criticism is implied by the observation, but nevertheless, you suddenly see your appearance, if not necessarily your motivation through other eyes. And if it arrives, as it did with me, from a friend and some one who’s opinion I value, then it sticks.

Ever wanted a mirror, to see yourself as others see you?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

shout or whisper

Okay I admit it I have sinned, doubly, “twist” I said, not “stick”.

I stole this from woman and passed it on to Melissa and Kristie, and Di (incidentally it’s Di’s very first post) even before I’d even done it myself.

I’m not really that big on meme’s but I loved this idea, it intrigues me, I want to know who other people's were said to and in what circumstance, so please if you read this and haven’t already done it consider yourself tagged.

List ten things you want to say to people you know but you never will, for whatever reason. Don't say who they are. Use each person only once:

1 Why are you laughing? We’ve known each other for years, and you’ve still not said anything funny.

2. Here’s a notion for you, wash occasionally instead of just using cologne.

3. It doesn’t matter what I say does it, you ‘re going to hear exactly what you want to and interpret it as a personal attack?

4. I fell in love with you the moment I saw you, I love you still and I always will.

5. Why did you have children if you don’t like them? One might have been an accident, but he others? What the hell are you anyway, just an angry gland on a stick?

6. Why is it always my fault that it doesn't fit properly? Have you considered the possibility that you have a vagina like a clown’s pocket?

7. Do you think you’d still exist if there were no mirrors?

8. Tell me honestly, write it down if you need to, is he mine?

9. Yes I am drunk, people do this occasionally for fun, and no you see, they are actually enjoying my company, apparently you are the only person who thinks I’m an arse, perhaps if you had a battery of your own and stopped following me around so you can criticise me…..

10. It was me, I’m sorry.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

two's company....

It’s as if a veil were lifted.

Two days of complete sobriety. I think it must be a similar sensation to that experienced by people who have recently given up smoking. Except that it’s not only affected my sense of taste and smell, (mind you I did find myself feeling awkwardly bloody starving at a christening this morning which is an unusual experience as I don’t normally have much of an appetite), but the world seems a bit brighter, less vapid, more in focus. I don’t like it at all (it’s unnerving).

Why? Why this sudden onslaught of sensibility? Well (if you’re eating dinner, or of a sensitive nature then you might prefer to blog off now)….

If you’re a man, or indeed you’re a woman who has slept with a man, you’ll know what Neanderthals we can be in the morning? No matter how civilised we are, when we sleep we are dragged to a place in a cave a with a flickering flame, a thousand generations ago where we idly cuddle a club and pick at parasites in the fur on our bum while we snort and gasp our way through slumber. In those few blissful moments between sleep and awareness, the twilight world, we still exist in our prehistoric state before we fully comprehend the soft pillow and chime of the alarm.

I’ve seen women make the transition between sleep and wakefulness gracefully, blooming into a new day with a flickering of the eyelids, a purr and a smile. You’re a lady you see, made of sugar and spice and all things nice - even should you fart a little while you stretch, it’s not the cacophonous racket that we make, more of a squeak than a fanfare to greet the new day.

What tends to happen next to the male of the species is a lot of scratching, bottom and belly scratching mostly, which I think is probably a genetic hangover. My Spaniel still does it, he wakes up and straight away puts his foot in his ear and waggles it about to rearrange the tangled fur in there.

And every morning, almost involuntarily, unconsciously, we check to see if our testicles are still there, to make sure that the bollock-elf hasn’t stolen them away during the night. (Italian men do this once every five minutes, draw your own conclusions).

So on Friday morning I went through the whole sordid business of slipping unsalubriously back into the waking world. With a scratch and great deal of rubbing at the dried spittle in the corners of my eyes, and the usual mild panic and pushing at the baboon on my chest, I followed my instinct and my hand went to check on the family jewels.

And I discovered I was rich.

Bear in mind this is an involuntary action. There’s the same result every day, you don’t hear men mutter, “good, still there”, it’s a bit like alarming the car, we know we’ve done it but it’s reassuring to hear the “beep beep”? So I spat out the pillow and rolled over testing knees and elbows for signs of rigor mortis, and knocked, as I always seem to, the open book by my side off the bed perilously close to the glass of water by the bed….before the message from my fingers finally arrived at my brain. Something was different, something had changed.

Something that required a more thorough examination. It was almost immediately apparent what the difference was. How should I put this, picture if you will the contents of my scrotum… Well let’s say it’s a miniature solar system, just the two planets of relative size, the earth perhaps, and venus, except today when my universe had suddenly gained a moon. Not a full grown planet, but a substantial celestial object nonetheless.

I lay and worried for a bit, then switched on the tv and retrieved my glass of water. Then I checked again, with the same out come, One…two…two and a half.


Time for coffee and shower and the rest of the morning ritual completing the transmission from knuckle scratching Neanderthal to urbane, civilised man about town (yes I’m laughing too!). All accompanied with the affected nonchalance of a person denying an urge to give in to mild panic.

My doctor’s surgery is on the way to the office and I arrived at 8.37. The waiting room was already full of coughing and sneezing adults and leaking children. It’s a shared practice, the receptionist asked my name (three times between ‘phone calls), and told me that my doctor was away on holiday. I told her that I thought it was rather urgent and she offered me an appointment with the locum next Wednesday. I told her that I didn’t think it would wait that long (by my estimation if I went to bed one night and woke up with the something the size of a cherry in the morning, if it grew exponentially, by the time my appointment arrived I might have to return with a wheel barrow), she said it was the best she could do. I told her it was delicate, she said there was a lot of influenza around. I told her that in that case I would sit in the waiting room with my scrotum exposed and show it to a doctor if they passed by. She said she would see what she could do….

Some hours later the good lady doctor asked me what appeared to be the problem, and I suggested that she might like to put on some gloves.

I have a fatty cyst, it’s completely unattached and quite unremarkable. Absolutely nothing to worry about. Boy, did I feel silly?

Not in the least.

Except that when she offered me the prescription and said not to drink alcohol I nodded gravely and completely ignored her. Generally the problem with drugs and alcohol is that alcohol is a diuretic, it makes you pee a lot and dilutes the efficacy of the drug – but whatever the hell it is that she gave me really doesn’t agree with booze. I was a naughty boy (and I think my last act was to email as much to a friend).

So, I’m enjoying a second childhood, I’m sober and I have a pocket of marbles.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

If music be the food of love, then I'll be sent back to the kitchen..

Tagged, or more likely "outed" by the luvverly Melissa!

Apparently I'm supposed to show a little of myself in the form of seven songs I'm listening to right here, right now. My taste in music is eclectic, rock, pop, blues, classical and some of it is downright embarrassing too, so I won't go there. The easiest way to do this is to offer a sample from the CD's that are currently loaded on the system in the car, stuff I listen to every day...

Push the Button - Sugarbabes - I love the Sugerbabes - and when I first heard this I was really disappointed , the first impression was complete bab (yes that’s a word), and then it grew on me

Hollerback Girl - Gwen Stefanie - Don't know why and I don't want to analyse it , but it works - k?

Rendez-Vu - Basement Jaxx - it's just in the blood, feels like a throwback to my Northern Soul

Perfect Day - Lou Reed - "you're going to reap just what you sow"

Clair de Lune - Delibes - Simply beautiful

Concerto for two Violins- JS Bach - Mozart was a prodigy, a maestro and constructively impeccable - but Bach was a genius

Alison - Elvis Costello - I play the album and flick between this and Diving for Pearls, and go somewhere else, somewhere warm and good and slightly moist in my head for a little while

I’m supposed to tag seven people….I’d be intrigued to know what these people are listening to:

Deadly Female

can’t count, won't count…

Allow the little children to come unto me

They may have to sell some property to pay the bill. Poor things.

Bad priest, naughty priest!!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

1, 2, 3, 4, 5....

It seems to me that one of the chief joys of blogenstance is reading your friend’s posts, learning about their lives, their good times and trials and tribulations and sharing their views – and occasionally finding that one of them has helped you to unlock a door in your mind.

It could take the form of Rick, who introduced me to the notion that racism is in fact an artificial, mental construct. Something I now believe and almost, almost understand, I’m still wrestling with the mechanics.

Or Wendy, who is sweetness incarnate and has been struggling recently because she is intuitive to the extent that the ‘connections’ she observes are so acute that coincidence just isn’t a good enough explanation.

And it’s what Wendy wrote recently that that struck a chord with me. What she seems to be describing is something I believe in utterly, and part of the overall belief system I hold. It’s not a completely developed ‘science’ of beliefs – it’s just the essence of what I think of as the truth:

That life is a wonderful accident, that we are in fact a remarkable, walking, talking, thinking, speaking accident of physics. There is no grand plan, no higher force, only nature. There is nothing that is ‘super natural’, only things that we don’t understand.

We connect with our world through our senses. They are remarkable but not mysterious. But we are also apt to other influences that we can’t explain, moments of what we call intuition. We’re aware of being watched, most of us have had an experience where we knew that the telephone would ring moments before it did, or heard a silent voice warning us of danger to ourselves or a loved one.

Have you ever been a room when your cat has hissed and spat at a spot on the wall, just like all the others, and then fled the room? Unnerving isn’t it?

I’m sure that what we are experiencing is a residual trace of another faculty that we once possessed which I would choose to call ‘perception’. A sense that we probably still possess in full measure, but that we have subverted as, over the course of time, we have come to place more and more emphasis on the accumulation of knowledge.

Our other senses provide us with a information that’s both good and bad, our eyes see beauty and ugliness in equal measure, and though we might not like what we see, we are not perturbed by how we receive the message? So imagine looking at a tree that appears to be perfectly healthy from the outside, that’s the message that you receive from your eyes – but at the same time you 'perceive' a canker deep inside it.

Unfortunately, if there was a conflict between our senses then we have tended to rely less and less on our intuition.

I believe that we have lost a perfectly natural gift that allowed us to connect more intuitively with our surroundings. After all radio waves travel through walls, light travels immense distance in an imperceptible moment, and we believe in (but can only prove in theory) subatomic particles and a brown matter that fills the spaces in the universe that we can’t otherwise account for.

Is it ‘unnatural’ then to suppose that the general health of a person might project itself to a loved one over a distance? Or that we might sense an impending accident, sense the storm coming, know the mood of a friend, loath a cheerful stranger or know a friend in an unlikely appearance – isn’t it possible that we are simply receiving a signal just like sight but on a different wavelength?

At least that’s what I believe, that it’s a great loss, and if you do happen to be highly intuitive then you should consider it a gift and indulge it.

And if you’ve not dozed off by now after wading through ‘the world according fish’ you might like to say hello to Anne, who’s lovely.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

flattery will get you everywhere

If you will allow me an addendum to the previous post….

I wasn’t disappointed, just taken aback for a moment. I’m no angel, but it’s not as if I had a master plan to talk the young lady out of her underwear either – it was just quite unusual to get on so very well, and talk so freely with a person you’d just met?

My gay friends are, on the whole, far friendlier, more open, interesting and generally more sensitive than any person I’ve ever been accused of being.

So I’m going to regard it as a compliment!

Monday, March 06, 2006

has anyone seen my mojo

And Toffee says, enough already, go to bed.

It was a friend’s birthday on Saturday and we all congregated in a bar for a few drinks on Saturday evening. The night was planned, her boyfriend had organised a club in town, and we were all on the guest list - I do like a plan, (that some one else has made), taxis were laid on for 8.30 and the only thing that required any thought at all was how to avoid Eric-the-Bore and Mandy (straight hair and wavy teeth).

The best laid plans of mice and men…..

This was one of those moments that you find out how popular you truly are. I am apparently less popular than the combined charms of Eric and Mandy. I only popped to the loo, it was a matter of minutes, just a quick timothy and some dabbing with toilet tissue (pale jeans), oh and a moment to admire the wit of some wag who had written something other than an obscene offer and a telephone number on the toilet wall: “Oedipus - ring your mum!”

And while I was in there, in those few short minutes, the taxis had arrived and decanted my friends into the city.

Which was nice of them I thought.

So I toddled around the town, a beer here and a beer there, on my own private pub crawl. Until eventually I bumped, almost literally, into some other people that I knew. They were just getting ready to leave for a night club in Hoddesdon. I should say here that Hoddesdon isn't exactly renowned for it’s night life, in fact it isn’t really renowned for anything, except perhaps for having more zimmer frames per capita than any other town in Hertfordshire. But what the hey, it seemed like a very good idea at the time.

I’m always a little bit apprehensive about provincial night clubs. The people there seem to try just a little too hard? The dress sense in most London clubs is relaxed, everyone there probably spends the entire week in business clothes be they men or women, so the weekend is an opportunity to relax and dress down. In Hoddesdon it’s completely the opposite. But it was fine, it was good, the people were friendly and the doorman gave my jeans only a cursory glance before nodding me in.

I admit to be a bit of a nomad in places like these. I find it difficult to stay with my group for the entire night and tend to toddle off on my own for long spells. On one of these little forays I got to talking to a young lady by the bar. We laughed and joked and shared a drink, and danced (for my part badly - I do a good impression of a washing machine on a spin cycle, even when both knees are working properly), and then we laughed and joked and drank some more.

I thought it was going rather well actually, look at me everybody, I’m a babe magnet, we were getting on like a house on fire. We moved to a quieter corner, and she leaned in and said “you know, I really do enjoy the company of gay men, it’s so non threatening if you know what I mean, so nice to just have fun….”. Well, my head was bobbing up and down, and I laughed as I nodded in agreement…

…when I realised she meant me.

Oh poo.