Journey through space to the Planet Fabulous, where the Ruler of the Universe will see you shortly.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Once More With Hobbits

Well, it transpires that you can indeed get some Christmas spirit in your blood if you really try, and I’m sitting here in a glowing haze with a warm feeling running throughout. Yes, dear readers, Christmas spirit does indeed turn out to be rum! Ho ho ho!

As the taffeta veil draws upon another year in my remarkable and fabulous life, I always like to take time out to reflect on you, the little people, and what you’ve managed to bring before me to delight and amuse me over the last twelve months. Well, what a bumper crop of daftness and joy there has been, and here at Glitter for Brains, your Ruler brings you a slice of the best! Welcome to the Glitter for Brains Awards for Fabulous Things, Two Thousand And Three!

Best New Favourite Thing:
First place: the Alias! At last, a show that can fill all the voids in our programming. Is it a sci-fi/cult drama? Is it an action series? Is it a family-orientated soap opera? Why, it’s all of the above! It’s like a fabulous vitamin supplement of show! Who needs to watch anything else when it all comes in this one, deliciously-wrapped package?

Best Thing On My Desk This Year:
First place: The complete synopses for the Farscape Mini-Series, just begging me to read it. Ah, the pleasure. I did have to stop flicking when it was revealed who was carrying Aeryn’s child, though. Excitement!

Second Place: A Liberty X gold disc. I used it as a coaster then sent it away.

Best Single of the Year:
Girls Aloud, No Good Advice
What a wonderful piece of electro-pop nonsense, and the result of putting ‘Oh Mickey’, ‘My Sherona’ and a Blondie track in a blender, then baking it in tin foil at Gas Mark Fabulous for a week. Shamefully, the Girls haven’t been able to top this with any subsequent singles, meaning our already-fickle attention is wavering to whatever else is shiny in the hit parade. Still, I’ve just been sent a Christmas card from the Girls. Bless them.

It’s an e-card, but hey.

And it went to everyone on their mailing list, but I can’t help think there was a bit of extra love in mine after bumping into them outside a café a couple of weeks back. Nice that they remembered...

The Glittering List of Men
It’s been a bumper crop of totty this year, with all sorts of boys thrusting lasciviously onto our screen in the most provocative manner! It’s all a girl can do to flutter her fan and play coquettish! Here’s a list of who’s catching our eye and sending a cocktail over to our booth this year...

The Alias’ Secret Agent Vaughn, despite a nose you could plough snow with.
The Wife, especially when he puts a suit on.
Aragorn. But not Viggo Mortislock with short hair. He looks silly.
This Johnny Wilkinson. We have no idea why he’s here all of a sudden (I think he scored a home run for England or something) but we likes what we see.
Ben Browder, still a favourite. Fun fact: we were due to interview la Browder a few years back. There was even a call from the agent asking whether we wanted him in his leather-trousered costume (spluttered tea everywhere) but some fool blew up the Twin Towers and his plane was grounded. And that’s why we hate Muslim Fundamentalists, kids.

But the surprise winner is Will Tippin from TV’s the Alias! We shall be celebrating by rubbing the screen with our naughty parts every time he appears until we get a static shock. Oh, how we love it when they play hard to get. Rrowr.

Dropping out of the list:
Kelly from The Stereophonics. Get a haircut, you imbecile.
Justin Timberlake. You’re just too silly now, dear thing.
J from 5ive. I’m very sad about this entry as J has been top for many years, and not just that fabulous dream I had back in 1998. Do tell me the curly mullet we saw you with was just to fool your rabid fans, dear boy.

Word of the Year:
First place: Bonza!
Second: Philippino.

Best Failure of the Year:
H and Clare. Did you really think tampering with the world-encompassing powers of Steps would end pleasantly? Be gone, you half-wits. You are banished to children’s light entertainment shows, and will be forced to watch bandmate Lee’s terrible Crossroads episode over and over again.

Biggest Disappointment of the Year:
First: Matrix Revolutions. Don’t get us started.

Second place: Kylie’s Body Language. Poor effort all round, you little antipodean lovely. Apparently it ‘will grow on us’. Well, it’s been a good month or two and we still think it’s breathy twiddly-knobbed nonsense. Here – here’s a copy of the Sugababes’ new albumen. Go. And. Learn.

They Who Can Fuck Off:
Anyone associated with the joyless Dead Ringers, bar John Calshaw. He shall be held aloft as our new faux-Tom Baker.
Daniel Bedingfield.
50 Cents, you chuntering fool
Tourists incapable of Getting Out Of The Way

Man Your Spy in The Metro And Think ‘Fwoar!’ Before Realising Who It Is:
Ian Huntley

Best New Application Of Technology:
Oyster Cards. A dear friend called David Bailey took great patience in telling me how they work:
‘Transport for London have developed ultra-thin weevils that live inside the Oyster cards. When you wave the weevils against one of those big yellow discs, they all shout across to a weevil queen living inside, giving her details of how long it is until your card expires.’

How clever is that?

And finally, Daftest Thing To Happen To Your Ruler This Year:
First Place: Being told off at a party by a Doctor Who for throwing balloons around.

Second place: Going on a log flume with a former child star of the Famous Five, who then screamed ‘Aaah! It’s gone right down me arse crack!’

Third place: my cat starting to bring back cuddly toys.

Fourth place: getting fan-mail for this blog. Bless you. I really do adore being able to empty my brain of stories that I’d probably forget next week. And it’s odd to think that people actually read this nonsense to boot, but bless you all. I hope you’re all enjoying this rubbish as much as I do purging my head of it.

And that’s it from your Ruler. We’re leaving Maggie Philbin in charge for a couple of days. Oh, she’ll be fine: there’s some mince pies in the fridge from the Christmas party and all the cava she can drink. Until the new year, it’s a very merry Christmas to all of you at home, too.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Party Favour

I appear to be back at work. How dashedly inconvenient. You take just one Sudafed too much and you have no idea what you get up to!

Yes, your ruler ails again - a foul sickness that has taken hold of my nose and decided it should try and constantly empty it so it can make more room for boxes, one believes. You know the worst thing about having a continually runny nose? Having a goatee below it. Yes, think on that while you tuck into your lunchtime baguette.

My dear Wife has been an absolute star, as always, mopping my fevered brow and cooing show tunes to me to calm my raddled nerves. His healing hands deserve an award - they really do - as his laying on left well enough to attend A Very Gay Party on Sunday eve. As it was only to be around the corner from my fabulous Peckham palace, I grabbed some cocktail cherries and (what I believed to be) a handkerchief, and staggered up the road.

In one respect it was nice to meet so many new people, although I did initially wonder why they all kept giving me knowing looks and saying “Oh, so, you like to be pissed on, do you? And then clean it up?” which I must say is a very forward thing to ask of a gentleman, even in this uncouth day and age. Now, I’ve never engaged in any watersports of any kind, unlike my vaguely filthy evil best friend Declan. He was invited to by his then partner who was lounging in the empty bathtub at that point, and Declan being Declan thought it would be a jolly good laugh. And besides, this fellow wasn’t the most hygienic at the best of times so Declan’s 90% proof piss must have been like Calvin Klein to him.

It gave us all a good laugh down the local hostelry one evening as he told the story. It also earned him the moniker ‘Voldermort’ as now he’s most certainly had a slash on someone’s forehead.

Anyway. Back to me at a fabulous party. I was chatting away to all sorts of delightful people at this do, including one mary who has now redefined the term ‘theatrical’ for me. A gentleman of a certain age, his gestures were all hands, his voice pitched perfectly to reach to the back of the room. He even worked in the box office of a west end theatre, and told a delightful story of when he’d been out on the sauce at a showbiz party. He’d finished drinking at three, got to work for ten-fifteen. By ten-thirty, he was lying at the bottom of his box, flat as if he were in a coffin. By eleven, his eyes shot open at the sound of tapping on the glass at his window, and saw a rather worried woman staring down at him. He sat up, heaved himself into his chair and without an ounce of expression on his face said “I’m sorry. I fell down.”

I adore that, and him. He spent the rest of the night wrapped in a curtain singing Sunset Boulevard to anyone who went near, only pausing mid-chorus to ask me whether I like being wee’d upon before asking whether I like cleaning for people too. Before I could answer, he’d launched into a new number and was gone for the rest of the night. I was finding all this most perturbing and took the host aside to ask him why. With raised eyebrows, he asked why else would I have a yellow hankie in my back pocket, that on closer inspection turns out to be a cleaning duster.

That will teach me to grope for a handkerchief in the dark, won’t it just.

So the night wore on and Steps were played. I am aware it is foolish to drink with a cold still present, but I was reluctantly pressed upon to partake in the hilarious healthy side-options of alcohol. Just a little, said I. And make sure it’s a spirit. Now there’s only a few things that come in tots: whiskey and Michael Jackson (tatty-boom! I thank-ya!) but what I believed to be one glass of medicinal, life-giving whiskey turned out to be somewhat more: as soon as I put the glass down, it was topped up by my mischievous hosts. So the one glass I did drink ended up to be several.

It was all very embarrassing. I went to get my mobile phone from the back bedroom and awoke in the pile of coats some time after. Rolling around on the fake Prada and fun-furs, I became aware of another person in the room, standing by the door in puzzled bemusement.

I said: “I’m sorry. I fell down,” flicked my hair and left.

Friday, December 19, 2003


I am doing Return of the King tonight.

Thank heaven I kept the receipt.

I Got The Key! I Got A Secret!

With the fabulous gala premiere of Cold Mountain occurring last night (I’m sure my invite got lost in the post) dear Nicole Kidman was on hand to be unutterably fabulous and just darling, wowing the crowds with hints dropped about her sham marriage to Mary Cruise. And, joy of joys, Nicki (she hates it when I call her that) was given the prestigious honour of the keys to the city by Sydney mayor! How lovely!

From what I gather, the keys to the city used to be actually quite important, being the only way through some of the more imposing gates barring the way to get in (London) or get out (Liverpool). Heaven forefend you lose them: one instance is at the end of the 18th century Sarah Brocklebank, daughter of Thomas the gatekeeper, lost the keys to the city whilst playing a game, and as a result her father lost his job. He never spoke to her again.

I assume this ‘game’ was the incident played at the end of the night at the Halfcock Inn, where everyone throws their keys into the centre of the room, and Sarah managed to get the door key of a Mr Nevelle Shanksdip and was heard singing ‘Greensleeves’ in soprano through the wall at five-past three in the morning.

Anyway. Sarah became obsessed with finding the keys and spent her life searching, until, as an old lady, she finally remembered where they were. She burst in to the Lord Mayor’s parlour to tell him, but dropped dead before she spoke. Oh, irony of ironies! You won’t get poorer timing this side of a Cheeky Girls record, do you? Fortunately, this incident set a new standard, and now cities are happy to always leave a spare set with the neighbours. In this case, the charming market town of Harrogate is more than happy to come in during the holidays and water York’s plants.

Nowadays the keys to the city are beautiful yet completely useless (c.f. Phixx) with the only benefits being you can sit in the Alderman's court (that barrel of laughs) and drive your sheep through the precincts. Those of you whom have been to Croydon will know that you don’t need a key to allow you to steer your brood through the shopping area; merely a hair scrunchie and a benefits book. And the keys are presently not only worthless, you can get them for the most unlikely of reasons. For example, in 1916, Samuel Born won the keys to the city of San Francisco for inventing a machine that mechanically inserted sticks into lollipops. Yet while my initial reaction was ‘How daft is that?’ on closer inspection, perhaps the residents of this city saw this wonderful device and instantly thought of new and exciting applications for it. Voila! Instant award, and the midnight sounds of ‘Greensleeves’ in soprano coming through a multiple of walls.

Ah, happy days.

In confidence, I myself was awarded the keys to the city on two occasions, though these things never turn out well for me. I was awarded keys to the city of Atlantis (whoops), as well as the keys to Cambridge in 1992. Yes, um. It was all rather embarrassing, in truth. I’m sure you older readers are aware of the difficulties in getting in through your front door when drunk; that interminable time when you’re trying to put the key in the lock and keep missing time after time after time? Well, after a night on the shandybooze, I was there for a full hour attempting in a staggeringly wearisome manner to get the key in the city lock. And what do you know! It turns out I’d been trying to use my car keys after all! Oh, how I laughed - until worse happened: I managed to get the key in and turn it before I figured out it was the wrong one, only to find I’d left the whole city in gear! It was now rolling down the hill towards the river!

Thank heaven we caught it all on camcorder, though – that £200 quid from ‘You’ve Been Framed!’ paid for a lovely new hostess trolley.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Alias Mysteries Revealed!

Warning! Contains spoilers for Alias Season One!

I am utterly delighted to have introduced Gertie to the wig-centric gubbins that is Alias - he appears to be lapping it up with a fervour only previously seen in lifts, toilets and bushes. I'm glad I've finally got someone to chat it over to as the Wife has only managed to see the pilot and is therefore basking in the slightly misguided notion that it may actually be competent television.

Gertie's now up to the revelation on Page 47: that god-awful picture of someone who looks nothing like Sydney, despite the apparent convictions of the FBI agent endowed with The Wicked Witch of the West's nose. Even as the episode closes, Syd's trying to put her hair in up in a desperate 'hey-hey! Look! It's me!' You have to worry: this man has to pick out criminals for a living.

What's even more hilarious is that the production office realise this and have to address it in the next episode. But, thankfully, Gertie has already found out who this person is who's going to threaten the world with destruction.

It's Charlotte Bronté.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

One True Accent

This Saturday forged a rare occasion for your ruler, for I managed to catch some of the gormless Pop Idol for the first time in my life. It is oddly compelling, non? I even had to tune back in for the results to find that the vivacious Sam had been kicked out. Just how?

And, to add insult, someone informs me that the dead-eyed talent vacuum who's not Michelle comes from my neck of the woods. Ah. I thought his accent grated.

You see, I never really had this notorious accent, much to my surprise. It is probably due to never really going outside to be sociable, instead finding solace in television and the Doctor Who Knitting Book. Thus my accent is the fine, clipped English of a BBC newsreader of Thatcher's Eighties - i.e. not the semi-sexy rolling welsh of the new millennium. Ah, but listen closely to me, and you may be able to hear a fabulous exotic twang of Moira Stewart on my lower vowels.

Anyway. Back to this Mark. Further digging suggests that he's from Darlaston, near Walsall, a larger town some eight miles from my tiny burg. One of my learned friends suggested that he may have even gone to my school; we from that area just inclined to pick the biggest township that people down here have heard of, and that just tends to be 'Birmingham'. Walsall is some way down the pecking order of recognition, and there is a whole world of difference between it and Brownhills. Walsall has an art gallery and everything.

Well. Brownhills briefly had an art gallery too. It were called Athena.

Just imagine, though if he had gone to my school. He would have been a wide-eyed first year fag to my mature sixth former. A faithful, yet dead-eyed servant to laugh at my bonne mots.

What do you mean? There were plenty of fags at Brownhills Comp, as I have explained earlier. "One in four men has had or will have a homosexual experience in their life," said our sex education teacher.

"It'll be one in three when Binding learns to drive," shouted someone at the back.

Hmm. And for your information, one can drive. It's apparently terrifying to watch.

I just say that you can't get the full experience unless you're wearing a leopard-skin headscarf.

Getting A Load Off My Chest

As requested by a few of you, I shall tell you the saga of what happens when someone likes me. A little too much. And I warn you now, this is not a happy tale.

My stalker was the oddest gentleman: he kissed like his mouth was hinged at the rear of his neck and walked like a clockwork soldier. For the sake of this entry, we shall call him Steven, and we met when he arrived in the offices of the magazine I used to work upon and asked to speak to someone about Star Trek: Voyager.

You'd think that it would be a marriage made in heaven, wouldn't you? But no.

As I was busy, I arranged to meet with him for a drink later in one of the more glorious holes in old London town, despite my misgivings of fraternising with the peasant class. He was from the sticks and found the lights of this town beguiling, as well as monetarily befuddling: they hadn't gone decimal in his backward village yet. He also seemed to hang off my every word, which is always terribly flattering.

There are two defining moments when Steven became a stalker. The first: while supping an elegant ale with a friend, I receive a rather panicked phone call from my then housemate. Steven had called around at my house and was sitting in my lounge, waiting for me to get home. He also kept trying to get into my bedroom to 'leave me a present' and my housemate was having to manhandle him down the stairs. I found this oddly hilarious and duly told him to throw him out. He did - with much effort - and phoned me to tell me Steven was waiting on the lawn and wasn't going away. I theorised that he had to travel back to his little village some hundred miles away sooner rather than later and would be gone by the time I arrive home. Fortunately I was correct, but in retrospect am sad to have missed a boy calling up to my bedroom window that he loves me, and have since made sure I have a long blonde wig and a plastic red rose to hand in case it ever happens again. When it comes to romance, the classical look is always best.

Now, I am a forgiving soul. The gentleman obviously had some issues, and I misguidedly thought I could help him overcome his now-professed love of me. Well, I'd seen Tricia once, and fully believed I was more capable than the fake-nailed harridan. Not taking this seriously really was my biggest mistake, but I really did think stalkers were things that happen to other people. So I met him for a drink or two, explained that he was sweet, but he wasn't my type, yet he obviously wasn't getting the message. In fact he was getting more and more desperate in his attempts to seduce me - including rolling up at my house after his last train had long gone and begging for somewhere to stay. As I made up the spare bed, something obviously had broken on his trouser zipper as he had stripped naked and had started fondling himself. And me, a devout Christian! I decided this was too big for me to handle, so to speak, so I did something almost unforgivable: I gave him to my Evil Best Friend Declan to play with.

That, unfortunately, didn't go to plan. Declan, of course, broke the boy; one time leaving him lying on the concrete, vomiting his guts up in Trafalgar Square. Yet he wasn't as stupid as we both thought, and slowly started driving a wedge in between Declan and myself. Very slowly, very cleverly, he engineered Declan and I to have an enormous argument (that for once wasn't based on what was better: Princess Leia in Endor wear or Princess Leia in Hoth bodywarmer) and Steven attempted to manoeuvre in to be very consoling.

Declan and I put aside our differences for one rather frosty meeting in a bar and talked it all through, and discovered the common source of the propaganda was Steven. I was not happy, Declan less so. His eyes narrowed across the smoky table. "Open season," hissed my best friend, and we resolved something really must be done.

It was around this time that I got the second thing that confirmed Steven to be a stalker. A phone call:

(ebullient, bouncy) "Hi, Lee! It's Steven!"
(reserved, cool) "Hi. How you doing?"
"Great! I've got some fantastic news! I've got a job!"
"Really. That's good. Where?"
"In London! Isn't that great."
I sighed.
"But that's not the best of it," he added.
"Go on..."
"I'm going to be working on the same magazine as you! Two desks away! I can be with you all day!"

Oh lord. It's not just me, but that is a little desperate, isn't it? Well, desperate times require desperate measures. I theorised the only way I left was to give him what he wanted, but make it as sour as possible. So, following his lead, I did the exploit in the most selfish and horrid way possible. Three times on three separate days. And each time I could see his hopes dashed a little more. It was quite horrid to see, but it was beginning to consume my life. His presence was constant, asking me what I was doing after work, and following me around. Indeed, it was a risky gamble to take, but it was either this or the police. And I'm not bringing in Judy Justice and Her Talking Broach in case they dredge up my old shoplifting charge.

That shade of lipstick - never suited me.

He didn't speak to me after the final time, added to which I left the company a month later. Steven was a definite contributor to that. I did bump into him and his present boyfriend a few months ago along Oxford Street. He didn't stop, but stare he did. I hope to never discover whether it was shock, hatred or longing.

Going Bump In The Night

I really should get some Christmas spirit.

My housemate complained that the noise from Marley's Ghost is keeping him awake at night.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Sex For Breakfast, Sex For Tea

Just when one assumes you’ve shed all shag buddies, what I believe is the last has just crawled out of the woodwork. This is despite the almost ceremonious quitting of the more... racy websites available, the closure of several hotmail accounts and leaving my phone barren of numbers soon upon meeting the Wife. I thought I was free, but no. It appears this persistent little one has lain in wait, choosing to wait over two years before dropping me a line to ask me ‘how u doin?’ via text.

I did - briefly - hanker for the old days of meaningless sex in my fabulous royal bed when I received his slightly illiterate message (he wasn’t employed by me for his brain, lets say) until you weigh it all up. One argues that ‘why have cotton when you can have silk’, but in the case of these people, it’s more ‘why have nightly plastic disposable incontinence sheets when you can have a gorgeous Australian?’ Besides, I’m living it though Gertie anyway, who shed any vestige of moral high ground by having sex in a lift this weekend.

How very council.

Oh, he’s always maintained that he has the moral high ground: when confronted about this sort of thing, he always looks slightly taken aback and splutters that he listens to jazz and the World Service - like that covers everything. For one, he may be humming extracts from Berg’s ‘Wozzeck’ from his headphones in the middle of the night, but it’s normally in the rose bushes of Hyde Park attached to a Latvian. I, for one, would find it difficult to get the subtle nuances the arias with the gentleman tugging away down there with his mittened hands.

The second card he plays is that I once attained gentlemanly company when walking through Vancouver at 4am one morning with jet-lag, and ended up in an alley with this fellow. He’s just jealous as it was the alley that Sylvester McCoy got shot in during the 1996 Doctor Who TV Movie. Also, he somehow readily forgets that he too had a boy in an alley in the middle of the night, and was stopped by the police to boot. There have been many more: bushes, pub toilets, trains - the list goes on and on. He believes that he is somewhat purer by the belief that I did a lot of this first, and to some extent trained him to do it. But no - Gertie may be the follower in my footsteps in some respects, but he’s beating a whole new path through the bushes, and one I’ve never even dreamed of before. He’s most certainly Darth Vader to my Ben Kenobi. Oh, it was a long time ago he relinquished the moral high ground, and there’s certainly no way he’s going back up there, no matter how many lifts he rides.

His excuse for which? That the lift was that the blessed event was in was Art Deco.

Anyway. I’ve told this old shag to be off with himself, and after several semi-literate communications back about the various parts of my body he misses, he has finally got the message and gone off into the night. Besides, if the Wife does see sense and up and leave me, all I have to do to get my list back is hang around outside whatever Gents Gertie’s currently in and console whomever tearfully comes out of the cubicle, chased by the cheerful cry of “It’s not you, it’s me.” Or “I’ll call you. Really.” It’s often like the Normandy Landing when he’s been in there, truly.

How things have changed indeed, young Skywalker.

I've Been To A Marvellous Party

You know when you've been to a delightful party: your beard smells 80% proof and you leave your umbrella.

The Christmas parties continue apace, this time with a brief sojourn to Putney where former lesbisexual housemate Kimberly had set up house with the wonderful Lady Sarah of Drege. They now live in a terribly adult house with a terrifyingly large bookcase and a dado rail which may, or may not, turn into a dildo rail in the bedroom - we never found out. As we supped on some rather... medicinal-looking vodka, we talked house, of coving and plumbing, and they confessed they were missing our darling Peckham palace slightly - the sound of drug deals, the quaint 'pop!-pop!-pop!' of the drive-by shooting late at night. We discovered the loudest sound you get in Putney was the quick 'slap!' of a leather glove against someone's face, followed quickly by a cry of "You bounder! I shall see you on the common at day break!"

As the evening wore on and the Wife and I had further installed ourselves upon the plump sofa did the lesbisexual hosts inform us that the house is so old that we were over a trap door, leading directly to the deadly cellar containing all sorts of hideous paraphernalia like kd lang standees and a glut of Indigo Girls albums. Certain death would ensue; we took it that we both had to be very entertaining lest a large lever would be pulled and we drop into this hell-hole in a light entertainment stylee. We were never funnier, I can tell you.

The subject of Christmas rolled around. I still refuse to celebrate at the moment, and we briefly discussed my opening of a public house for other non-partying members of the parish. I could call it 'Bar Humbug'. Hmm.

But anyway. The witching hour fair approached, and with the cocktails fair potent, it appeared that everyone else was up to the eyes with Christmas spirit. And certainly full of it was the delightful Susan. I simply adore this woman; an Irish Catholic lesbisexual who can't hold her drink, who adores Kap'n Kathy Janeway as much as I. By the end of the evening, she sat clutching her whisky bottle and talked through her Christmas memories, with one causing the most raised eyebrows and the most laughs. When she was about six or seven, she would pray to God around the festive period:

"Dear Lord, I know you have some sort of divine plan for everyone, but if you could see to it that the angel Gabriel doesn't get me pregnant, I'd be really happy. I mean, go on if you have to, but if you can see to it that it's someone else, I'd be really happy."

Aww. Bless her.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Deck The Halls

Oddly, before the lesbisexual housemates left, the house was even more bedecked with tinsel and fairy lights than it is at the moment. There were four of us sitting around the lounge last night, mulling over the lack of basic glitter in our lives these days so close to the big day when an jolly fat man slides down your shaft in the middle of the night.

So raged the merits for a fake tree and for a real one. I have no problems with the former as I've grown up with a raddled old green tree that used to drop from the loft the day after my sister's birthday. There were several signs that Christmas had arrived: there was the yell of "Fuck!" by my skyward father as he tried to retrieve said tree. The second would be my mother dusting off the Phil Specter's Christmas album so we could listen to Darline Love and co belt out songs to distant and crackly it sounded like they were originally recorded on sellotape. The final one that proved that the big day was only around the corner was the arrival of the Kays Spring/Summer catalogue, abnormally.

The musing continued over dinner (in all other housemate's case) and over knitting (in mine) as we put across learned arguments as to what type we should get. Real, fake - all virtues were discussed, including a tree that had caught the eye of the Fabulous Caroline, girlfriend of Impossibly Beautiful Mark. It was a bright pink Barbie one, fibre optic, that glowed heavenly in Woolies widow. She wasn't surprised that I too had spied this garish monstrosity and secretly coveted it.

The look of horror in Mark's eyes said it all. I believe that finally, after all this time, we may almost be oppressing him, the poor boy. So if we do indeed get the pink tree, I think it's only fair that we get him a black one, with go-faster stripes, low suspension and a kicking sound system.

And maybe some pink fluffy dice, he added coyly.

Thursday, December 11, 2003


You know, one day, I really must tell you all about whatever happened to my stalker.

Family Matters

My dear sister is staying with me for a two-day sojourn. Bless her, she's not the brightest bulb in the box, nor is she the most reliable. I was meant to be in town last night, supping a glorious pint of crème de filthe with the lovely Jayson, and mon soeur was supposed to be joining us. A conversation between she and I:

"Meet me in town. You won't have your car, will you?"
"Nonono, I'll come on the train. Don't worry!"

Hours pass.

"Lee! It's Nick. I'm at Earls Court!"
"Whatever for?"
"I'm trying to find the road to Peckham!"
(slow, dawning horror)
"You're in the car, aren't you?"
"Yeah! I'll be at your house in about thirty minutes!"
"But! But! I'm at Oxford Circus and I'll have to get home and... oh, there's no point, is there? You're not even listening. Sigh. I'll be there in around forty five minutes."
"Half an hour? See you then!"
"No, forty- you've hung up, haven't you? You silly bitch."

So you can imagine my horror when she slammed down her wine glass last night and proclaimed she was 'dead interested!' in learning about space. She sat there coming up with all the usual questions like "wow.. so space goes on forever? Yeah, but what's after that?" like she was going to be Stephen Hawkin's next lab assistant.

Talking science with my sister is akin to force-feeding a sheep caviar. But Lovely Housemate Iain hunkered down, prepared a speech about superstrings and 12-dimentional physics and launched into her little world that normally just contains information on the best hair conditioner and scrunchies to use. I left them to it and went to do some work.

I'm not sure exactly what happened between the two, but I did pass Iain on the way to the bathroom later. I've never seen someone so ashen faced and glassy eyed.


Damn you, 50 Cents, I didn't sleep at all last night.

Normally the more... 'urban' nonsense that populates the music channels goes straight over my head as I dodge between that and the umpteenth Christina video. But some twee babble by the aforementioned cretin was lodged in my brain for all the lovely hours when I should be dreaming about members of Phixx. I can't tell you which one it was because it has been called to my attention that he talks through every single track, they all sound the same, and there's not a tune in there at all. All I could say is it's fairly recent and it has steel drums in it. Pfft.

Talking on records should be confined to poor charity records where the c-list celeb denizens of light entertainment hide their lack of talent by talking and/or vocoding their way to the chorus. Or, equally, should appear in the middle eight or sexy coda to the song a la Girls Aloud. Bonus points are indeed available for mentioning the dirty sheep you do not need.

But for someone to chunter through an entire record in little more than a speaking voice - and still to remain incomprehensible - is an unforgivable crime that's filed right next to Brian Adams. Mr Cents - if that's even your real name - how did you even get a record contract? So you've been shot in the face. Boo-frickety-hoo. One more sleepless night interfered with by your rumbling bleeting and I'm coming to finish the job myself.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Knit One, Flirt One

Delight upon delight, our dotage is continuing! By the light of the needless Living TV, Gertie and I once more spent the evening in with two types of knitting needle and some very gay-looking wool, discussing the ills of the world, how it would never happen in my day, and how you could pop into town for twelve pence, leave your front door unlocked, and still get change for the bus.

Impossibly Beautiful Housemate Mark has proven surprisingly tolerant of my - and my friend's - unusual antics, yet still almost dropped his new bike when he came in to see us two on the sofa with needles poised, Gertie's on some sort of small pink flag, and mine twiddling away on a nice Season 18 scarf. He shook his head and proclaimed us gay clichés of the highest degree. Well, dear things, we simply had to object! Fight our corner, as it where. Going out and getting high on Devil's finest disco powder to chat up stupid yet pretty men: that's a cliché. Having your own stylist at a hairdressers: that's a cliché. Staying in and beating wool into submission - well! I thus proclaim knitting to be the new rock and roll. You can even do a line in public without anyone batting an eyelid.

Although you can also do the same with cocaine on any Peckham bus route in my experience.

Jigsaws, whereas, are another matter. We were trying to find more of them to sit and complete, but it appears kids do no longer like jigsaws. I strolled everywhere looking for the joyous wooden puzzles, frequenting everywhere bar Hamleys (renamed 'The Christmas Hellmouth' at this time of year). Even John Lewis, last bastion of middle-class "now play with something quiet while Father snoozes after the Queen's speech" has nothing. WHSmith? Equally nothing. Unless you have an urgent desire to recreate the Haywain, naturally.

Still, as neither of us know canasta, we were happy with the knitting. I retired sated to bed with a good couple of inches to my name, and shall be fiddling with it in front of the TV whenever time allows. And as Gertie bedded down for the night on the sofa, he even talked about letting Mark have a go with his to see whether he could make it grow even further.

Yes, the oddest thing about Housemate Mark. I've noticed that he sleeps with his light on whenever Gertie stays over. And I'm sure I heard the sound of a chair being scraped up to the door handle.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Old Age Boy With New Age Boyfriend

So, it's not all glamour and showbiz in my life, you'll be pleased to know. What did you do with your Saturday night? Well, while my beautiful Wife went off to explore the more occult aspects of this world (true), Gertie and I were in his flat doing thirty year old Doctor Who jigsaws and knitting. The conversation:

"How much of the same blue can you get in one bloody jigsaw?"
"I really cant cast on using these, you know."
"It's just all TARDIS. Oh! I think I've found some celery."
"Next time, I'm going to bring some knitting needles. There's no way I can do a scarf using chopsticks."
"Of course, it could just be the lines around Davison's eyes."

We decided that we were having our old age early, and in our dotage, we will be sniffing coke off rentboy's arses in Malaga.

Save It For Later

I went to a showbiz party last night. My group of friends were told off by former Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy for firing balloons in his general direction.

But still! Showbiz!

I was suave. I was debonair.

I had something in my teeth for most of the evening. D'Oh!

Sunk Without a Trace

I adore my lovely Wife for many reasons. He has hair like Goldie (that’s either the Blue Peter dog or Mz Hawn, not the rapper). He can breathe through his ears. And he has a fantastic ability to torpedo anything that I find even slightly impressive.

Like China White. When I finally got to see him this week, I launched into an overly excited, expansive review of the glorious place, the seating and the clientele, the waitresses and the toilets, while he lay patiently back and waited for me to finish*. I did, and he mulled it over for a second as he put something worthy and with lyrics on the stereo. Then he cocked an eyebrow and stated that it “Sounds like something from an Atomic Kitten video.”

And, damn him, he’s right. Gah.

He’s done this many times beforehand; one Gertie will never forgive him for was an occasion where he and I were cooing over Mark, our Impossibly Beautiful Housemate. The Wife looked up from the paper and announced that he’d seen Mark running to the bathroom in his pants the other day. Gertie and I exchanged glances; we had him now. We could draw him into our fan club with ease now he’d seen the unearthly beauty that is Mark In His Pants. “A sight to behold, is it not?”

“He looked like a skinned chicken,” he stated and went back to the paper.

Love him.

* Do stop making up your own jokes at the back.

Friday, December 05, 2003

The Toilets of Old London Town

By Lee, aged 28 and a half

Here’s part one of a brief tour around some of the more notable bogs in the country.

China White, Piccadilly
You may ask what I’m doing in such a high-class establishment. Oh my dear things, this week has been a non-stop cavalcade of z-list parties and cabaret acts this week, leaving me as a shambling mess at my desk. No Girls Aloud can perk me, no coffee too potent. But it was with great aplomb that I attended a Christmas do at China White last night, a place whose entrance is synonymous with pictures of drunken faux celebs clutching to the door jam like sailors in the middle of a storm, landing straight into the pages of Heat.

The toilets are another matter. The urinals are slabs of Charlie Dimmock-esque stone, leaning against the wall at a rakish angle. You’re not sure whether you’re taking a slash in a bathroom or a garden centre; indeed you’re not sure whether you should be pissing in it at all. It reminds of a tale of one associate who queued up to relieve himself in the loos of a packed yet tiny bar, and got in there to find people were also using the sink as the urinal. Swallowing his pride, he followed suit. Later, after queuing again, he once more took this option, only to find that the whole mood of the place had changed and sink-wee was not de rigour before being sneered out of the room.

Sidenote: I did dash into the ladies when everyone was too pissed to care. I was determined to find a seat that Jordan, darling of the tabloids, had used not 24 hours earlier. She does have a very distinctive bum print, does Jordan.

Mash, Oxford Circus
My first induction into the whizzy world of the media was in this bar restaurant, whence upon going into a toilet cubicle, I ran my finger over the cistern to find it covered in dust. Believing the cleaners to be rubbish, I finally noticed that the dust was white and very expensive. Ah, my naive days.

Still, the urinals in there are unique in their construction, being a mix of concave and convex shiny stainless steel, thus giving them the properties of a funhouse mirror. It’s worth hanging around there to watch the gentlemen unfurl, then catch a glimpse of their reflection with a gasp. Every one of them are thinking “I don’t remember bringing that!

The Site Bar, Charing Cross
When I used the cubicle in there the other day, I heartily reminisced that the previous time was during the ownership of the previous tenants, where the dive was under the moniker ‘Brief Encounter’. At that time, I happened to be in there with a Russian ballet dancer, and we both took great pleasure in the numerous signs ‘If you do ejaculate on the stainless steel, please wipe it off. It leaves marks’. Most charming.

Public Toilets, Carnaby Street
Oh, another one full of shuffling elderly maries. One of my more gentle-natured friends (I do have some, I promise) accidentally ended up in there, and caused much excitement due to him being a bit of a looker. They can smell fresh meat, you know. Anyway, he’s a sweet thing and didn’t rise to their advances, not even when one gentleman reached around to grasp his manhood. Completely out of character, he hissed “If you don’t move your hand, I’ll piss on it!” causing the gentleman in question to back away with fear in his eyes. Genius.

The Pineapple, Leicester
The clientele of this salubrious wendy bar come in two types: sixteen-year-old boys of easy virtue and a need for cash, and elderly gents whom have got their pension in their wallets and viagra at the ready. In there, many years ago, a certain mary of our community was heading down the passageway to their gents, when his boyfriend barged up to him and accused him of sleeping around. And set about his face with a knife.

Horrifying, I know. Of course, evil best friend Declan laughed himself off his stool at this, and never misses an opportunity to head to the toilet door with a yell of “I’m just off for a slash!”

Thursday, December 04, 2003

The Diamante Celebration


It was with a shock akin to the Canal Incident™ did I recall I have been officially out of the closet ten years this very day! Having not so much come out as shoot out, one must sit back and reflect – well, this sparkly sequin dress is a simple charm! – upon the decade upon which I unleashed myself on the world. Ten whole years! And what have I accomplished?

Divinely, absolutely nothing! How wonderful is that?

I do hope I’ve been a good wendy. Oh, I’ve had my fair share of relationships as well as one night stands. Unfortunately, the two often overlapped, by so much as a year with the last bleak association. But still, in those ten longs years I’ve slept with so many men I lost count after the second centenary, but if you laid most of them end to end, no one would be the slightest bit surprised.

I’ve just recounted to my colleagues exactly how it came to pass, and I’m utterly surprised at what a greenhorn I was back then. In the suburban and surreal of settings of the sorrowfully charming Peterborough, where I was attending a lifeless engineering course, I stumbled through the dark to find a phone box as far away from the house where I was in residence. I’d managed to steal a sheet of the local paper and secreted it in my room, hiding it from the God-fearing Irish couple I’d been placed with by the college. It had the number of an helpline for any gay man in the area, and so around seven, in the pitch black, I headed out, determined to find a public call box sufficiently far from their home that they wouldn’t even suspect.

I spent two hours walking around in the dark not finding one that wasn’t vandalised or removed, and instead walked around in a big circle and ended in the box right outside their house. Desperate, I called from there.

I spoke to a rather charming man who said that he’d meet me in town, would be with a gentleman with a rose in lapel (that I later discovered was a) pink and b) plastic), and that they would take me for a drink. They were perfectly amiable, and invited me to a big gay party that was occurring at that very moment. I had to be reassured several times that it wasn’t one of those swingers parties and I wouldn’t have to be touched or anything.

How times change.

And here I am today, sitting in a web of fabulous friends and glittering artefacts. I’ve passed my first, fifth and ninth anniversary (Baccara, Cottage and Margot Ledbetter respectively) with style and panache. One can only aim for the next ten years to be as equally, if not moreso, fabulous. But at the moment, I’m celebrating my Diamante anniversary with a bottle of Babycham and a pink rose. Join me, why don’t you!

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Happy Birthday...

...Daryl Hannah!

You’re 42, but I’m not sure how old your prosthetic index finger is.

There May Be Trouble Ahead

Today I’m orbiting on the Satellite of Love, as being Wednesday, I take a day off from ruling you all with an iron fist. I’ll make sure I’ll point and wave when I go over your house. In my place you’ve got z-list chanteuse Sonya whom, I believe, we managed to rescue from her incarceration in the Bolton production of Grease. She was so pleased that she shattered all the windows in the limo with a top-c, for which I’m making her pay for. So I officially own her for the next seven years, it seems. Do drop me some suggestions of what I should do with her.

Meanwhile, with my other job that takes up most of the day, there is turmoil. Not only have I actually been busy for the first time in around two years, leaving my blog and manicure to suffer, but my boss has decided that she’s finally had enough of our whole dysfunctional department and is heading south to Australia. Little realising that I’ll be following her a month later. Vote now if you want me to go with a hunting spear.

When Jo (for it is she) first started, we were more than a little at odds. I found her too meddlesome, she found me aloof and difficult. Well, I am. It came to a head when the management were planning to send us onto ITV’s flagship show Gladiators to battle it out with oversized cotton buds, but it turned out to our great surprise that we both had an allergy to Ulrika. This common ground was the first inkling of a friendship to come, one that will culminate on her last day on Christmas Eve when it’s just us two in the office, happily making snowballs.

Oh, not with snow. No, with Avocaat, dear.

In the interim, we’ve been interviewing possible replacements for her position. We had this dullard arrive who was thrust into the meeting room with the four-strong department. Recall the moment when the blank-eyed cow was lowered into the raptor pen in Jurassic Park, withdrawn moments later as a ragged mess. I do not lie when I say that the gentleman in question withdrew his application a day later.

Yesterday, we delighted in a second dupe arriving into our world to try out the job. How's best to describe her?

My, she wears a lot of black.
She's got a big personality.
Oh, she looks like she's the life and soul of the party.

In short, there’s not a cake trolley in the world she doesn’t look like she’d pass. I theorise that she doesn’t wear a lot of black at all, and actually turned up to our interview in a lovely floral-print dress. It is simply the case that her mass is so large that not even light can escape her gravitational pull, resulting in her looking like she’s wearing stretched lycra. Shudder.

She did give a good interview, and will be very accomplished at the job. Almost too good, I feel. I am also worried that she didn’t flinch under my scowl at all.

All of a sudden I’m feeling very, very aloof and difficult.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Come In Number 69, Your Time Is Up!

It was on our lackadaisical search for that aforementioned gentleman that we discovered one of Declan and my old haunts has been lost in the ongoing Pub Wars of Greater London. West Central used to be a must for us on a Wednesday night as it was Singles Night, and always good for a quick fumble in the loos with a numbered badge with a man attached. We used to adore baiting a man whom Declan thought had the aspect of Young Mr Grace, whereas I likened him to Arthur C Clarke (full name: ‘Arthur C Clarkecreatorofthespacesatellite-authorof2001-currentlyresidinginSriLanka’ in every newspaper article you read). But West Central has gone, reverting back into the non-fabulous version. Like Risk, you may have to give up territory to gain it; the last bastion of heterosexuality on Old Commotion Street was called the Rat and Parrot, next to the Ann Summers shop. Over a matter of months we all took turns in popping in and dancing around our handbags until all the usual beer-swilling clientele just gave up the ghost. I did witness the last pungent trucker slam his pint down and leave in frustration when Kylie came on the jukebox, leaving it free to be converted for Men Who Are Good Listeners as soon as we’d disposed of his fetid barstool.

According to the decorators of the establishment, there’s only one way to get the smell of straight out of a place: cover it in leopard skin. It works, though - no self respecting heterosexual would go near it, and even tourists who often wander into our quiche-serving public houses get the message straight away. I even know the Italian for ‘Fuck me! It looks like Jackie Collins’ tool shed in here!’ but can’t really do it without a squeak of an expensive shoe doing a 180-degree turn. Yet with this becoming one of ours, we had to relinquish one to them. So, fair well West Central, and bless them, they’ve gone as far as fumigating it in their own way to make sure no gay man would ever cross the threshold.

West Central has become a sports bar.



Milk curdled after being on the counter for only two minutes? Cat sitting in the corner of the room, hissing and slashing at anyone who goes near it? That’s right, my evil best friend Declan had popped down to visit for the weekend. There now follows a full casualty count. If your husband or relative is on this list, you may apply for governmental aid or a state burial.

It was on the Thursday evening that he arrived for his birthday, full of pep, verve and some very cheap vodka, his mood oddly ebullient. Earlier in the week his horoscope stated he’d pull a man with the use of new chat-up lines, plus other events he claimed had already come true in the week. Probably a calf would drop dead in his village. That’s always happening near him. But he decided that we were going out with gusto in order to find this gentleman caller so he could use this new line and ‘tip his filthy concrete’ (his words). Personally I feel that there was no way he could have improved on the old chat-up line, which was the height of good taste: “How about slipping me a length? I’m dripping like a fucked fridge here.”

Two days of drinking and still no sign of the final divination coming true. We drank a drink in it’s honour on our pub tour, encompassing all other bars from the playgroup that is Ku Bar to the elephant’s graveyard of 79CXR. If you travel from the former to the latter via the Yard and Rupert Street, you can witness the lifecycle of the gay man in full, it’s really rather creepy. But with all this Professor Trelawney nonsense going on, I was spurred on to give the psychic thing a go myself the following day, while Declan went to church. I’m not sure why he does this; maybe if he doesn’t burst into flames crossing the threshold means there’s still some good in him after all. Needless to say that he met me post-reading looking like Judith Charmers.

For myself, I think the carbon test for any divination should be whether they say you’re going to get married and have kids. Declan had been to a psychic a few weeks beforehand and been completely unimpressed. “You’re going to get married to a woman you already know,” lisped the psychic. “And you’re going to have two kids called - “ Declan couldn’t remember what they were called. It was something common and he’d lost interest as soon as he said that he was going to be hitched. Honestly, it’s his own fault though; would you go and see a psychic called ‘Barry Potter’?

Anyway, mine turned out to be a little more competent. She lay down the cards and asked me straight out whether I was a mary. “There are no women in your cards at all,” she said, staring over my left shoulder. I’d been warned about this - this was where she saw her visions which included my job (spot on, describing the equipment I use) and a silver sports car that I should watch out for. But in a good way. She even described my trip to LA for the convention and then going on to Oz. It was all rather unnerving. I was also to watch out for a guy called Barry, who had nice arms and shaved head. Oh, dear Mandy the psychic, that really was an easy point, wasn’t it? I’m always on the lookout for someone like that! And some other guy, about five-foot-seven who worked in a club who would be a threat to my relationship but would then become a very good friend.

I must admit that I was feeling rather uneasy about all this until I managed to tie it all down in my head. Besides, Declan’s prophecy hadn’t paid off: come Sunday evening, and he still hadn’t, so I decided to call it a day drinking and head home with Declan promising to follow me behind and just have one more drink (I dislike leaving him unsupervised). Three hours later when I passed out, I get a phone call. He’d pulled.

I get to idly question him when he finally crawled back to my house a few hours back to relieve us of his arcane spell books and samsonite luggage. The guy was called Pete. And I asked him about a new chat-up line. Indeed he did use one:

“Let’s go back to yours. By the time you’re finished, I want to look like a plasterer’s radio.”

Barry, if you’re out there, drop me a line. We can get it all out of the way and you’ll get a Christmas card to boot.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Water, Water Everywhere, And Only Two Schoolgirls to Dispose Of

I’m rapt by the Huntley and Carr murders at the moment, mostly by the sheer open-mouthed audacity of Mr Huntley’s defence. Firstly he didn’t kill them, he hadn’t seen them, now it’s turned into a French farce where someone slipped over in the bath in an inch of water and drowned. Next week, the details to be released will involve a vicar entering the bathroom with no trousers and a French maid trying to hide behind the boiler, while a brass band waits to play ‘Capstan’ outside at the first sign of someone’s knickers.

Frankly, babies may drown in an inch of water because they can’t turn over. Teenage girls - no.

I questioned Gertie on why exactly it’s taken so long for this man to come to trial as he’s so worryingly and obviously guilty, and he correctly states that reports need to be run, and the full evidence collated. Although it felt like an age before he was brought to the bench, it was in fact only three months. During which time he attempted suicide twice.

Presumably, one guard thought the worse when they saw him drawing a bath with an inch of water in it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Red! Angry! Red!

My other celebrity friend this week is Lulu.

And she’s full of surprises, I can tell you. For one, she’s only three foot tall, actually smaller than most hobbits, but can down three bottles of Southern Comfort in under ten minutes. The story of how we met is an odd one: I bumped into her hanging outside The Ivy. It happens to be on my way home, and I accidentally brushed past her lovingly while she’d popped out the back door for a fag, hollering at the paparazzi. But they just weren’t interested in taking a picture of her. For one, Shane Richie was coming out the front door. She looked so downtrodden that I simply had to help her out by screaming, “Lulu and I are having an affair!” The cameras whirred and she got to page 48 in the Croydon Herald, so that made her happy.

A thank-you dinner followed, followed by a thank-you foot spa and a thank-you cow’s heart (when asked why, she has a tendency to go all misty-eyed and whisper, “Oh, it was the happiest Christmas ever...” but refuses to be drawn further). The hard times of late have lead to the unusual occurrence of her actually living within celeb restaurant The Ivy thanks to a deal struck with the flamboyant matre d’. They have donated her a booth at the rear of the restaurant where she spends her time, drinking cheap champagne until she falls into the breadbasket around midnight. I was most surprised to see the waiters simply draw the curtains, hoover around her, and leave her until the morning.

Up close, I can reveal that Lulu actually looks younger than I. When pushed on the issue, it transpires that she is in fact an eternal, gaining her power from a black hole she imprisoned under Harrods. Due to harnessing the unique properties of the event horizon, with each Harrods hamper delivered, Lulu not only looks like she’s getting younger each day, but actually is. At the last count, she’s 22 years old, but still makes sure that she gets to bathe in the milk of an elk in the kitchens. Elk’s milk does curdle extraordinarily easily, and she has to take her bath between 8.48am and 8.54am each morning lest she smells like an eclair that’s been out in the sun all day. On one of these days, you are often to find her with a bluetit perched on her head, trying to pick through her hair to what it thinks is the delicious milk inside.

I don’t know why we get on, but we do. We are from separate walks of life completely: I’m a slatternly, pedantic midlander, and she’s a plastic effigy of Yoda in a red wig. Yet the hours dance by when we’re together, and she can spin out a yarn ‘til morning, no matter how drunk she is. For her, the amazement is in how fast I can knit while I talk, creating whole Tom Baker scarves in the duration of one tale about my local town’s Kwik-Fit and the men who serviced me within. Her one slight habit that causes exasperation is she is slightly egomaniacal; everything associated to her must be prefixed with ‘Lulu’. Hence where she lives is the Lulu-Booth. She smokes Lulu-Fags, and clears everyone out of the rear of the restaurant so she can drop her Lulu-drawers and take a Lulu-whizz in the Lulu-bogs.

One thing I can’t thank her enough for is introducing me to her wide and fabulous group of friends. These loyal allies have been visiting her since her relocation to The Ivy, smuggling in food so she only has to order bread from the menu to pay her rent. There was a little accident last time it occurred, leaving me surreptitiously mopping up a beefy source while the waiters had turned their backs: Lulu had an accident with her Pot Noodle before the water went in. As she is only three foot tall, getting the foil lid off is quite difficult to do, and in her haste to get to the beefy flavour within caused it to explode, scattering freeze-dried powder and pasta-y goodness all over her booth. Unfortunately, she was also seated with Patricia Routledge (a consummate bed-wetter) who literally pissed her self laughing and caused the whole thing to ‘stand for three minutes’ lets say, and now her entire alcove smelt of KP Food’s finest for a good six hours. Still, my mopping got most of it up, and I hushed her in her thanks. What else would a friend do?

Needless to say I got a cow’s heart delivered two days later.

But I can’t say that the friendship isn’t hard at times. Her habits have become very set after four hundred years of walking the Earth. New fangled things trouble her: not three days ago, I spent most of the morning trying to persuade Lulu to come down off the light-fittings (someone swapped her Moet for a bottle of Toilet Duck and she decided that she was a fly-on-the-wall documentary like Big Brother or something. Oh, she just needs to feel popular once more...) She is still up there, you know. Another half an hour and we will have to start hitting the chandelier with the Lulu-Brooms.

I can no longer imagine my life without Lulu, and in fact carry a little red-haired gonk with me wherever I go. This life-sized doll reminds me of my special friend, as does starting my ancient Vauxhall Cavalier of a morning: a cold sunrise is often broken by the sound of “We-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-llllll!” over the trees.

Fame. At What Cost?

The oddest thing. I’ve just had an email from the squeaky hamster in charge of everything Doctor Who in America. “Hi Lee!” he writes. “I'd love to have you join us for our next convention!”

It turns out that these are regular events, with this one on the 13th to 16th of February next year. Spring in LA – what bliss!

He continues with: “If there's something you'd like to participate on, that'd be great. And if you were interested, I'd love to do an 'Art of Lee Binding' panel, where you show slides of your work and talk about how things are created, and so forth.”

Well. I mean. It’s all very flattering, isn’t it? Despite the fact that most of the 'art of Lee Binding' is well-meaning nonsense, and I really don’t think I could string a whole panel out of it. But, apparently hoards of the great unwashed – the biggest Doctor Who fans in the literal sense – will be descending upon the hotel in February.

A thought hits me: this Who convention is on the Valentine's weekend.

Well, it's not like they have anything else to do on that date, is it?

Friday, November 21, 2003

They DID Go Upstairs! Once!

There is a gentle tingle running up and down my spine at the moment, thanks to the BBC suddenly exploding with all the Doctor Who nonsense going on. There’s links on the news page, there’s Gertie’s lovely little cartoon on, and there’s a veritable marathon occurring on Sunday on UKGold.

I mean, Doctor Who is currently on Blue Peter, wheeling out the clips. For me, it’s an exciting moment: not just so we can see all the old BBC Daleks wheeled out, but to find out on Monday how many of the master tapes they’ve managed to lose. We’re actually all very surprised that they’re allowing the Daleks on the show at all - the estate of their creator Terry Nation is currently embargoing them so they can get more money. And what is Doctor Who without the Daleks, hmm? Even sillier than normal, really.

Admittedly, the Daleks were not a favourite of mine. They were always so monotonous and appeared to be wearing a skirt in some photographs. Frankly, I have too many ex’s like that, anyway. And the way they moved – apparently the way they glided was based on Georgan state dancers. Yes, yes, you can fill in the obvious ‘stairs’ joke now, but real fans of the show have more original ways of ridicule: one of my dear friends was caught short after a trip to a pub once, and ducked into a poor unfortunate’s garden to relieve himself against the wall. It was only afterwards did he realise that it was the wall of William ‘the first, crotchety one’ Hartnell’s house. And that he was only five minutes away from the quarry they used to film a great deal of the stories. So, he went and had a piss there too. It then became a consuming passion to have a slash on as many places Doctor Who was filmed over its twenty-odd years. He considered breaking into Elstree just so he could squeeze the weasel in the corner of where the Planet of Evil was. There was even a trip to Paris so he could empty his bladder over the side of the Eiffel Tower, where part of City of Death was recorded, although I’m not sure whether that had anything to do with his quest, and more his hatred of the French. Either way, he relished the gift of a flask of tea with a list of the story names on it. He could tick them off as he shook.

This is not an untypical reaction for a Who fan, though. For a show we all love, we’re remarkably deprecating off it. Myself, this Sunday’s anniversary will be spent with the comedy housemate Ian pushing back the sofas so we can get Gertie in and other members of the BBC posse and watch as many episodes as possible through a vodka visor. Just to take the mickey out of the wobbly sets and shoddy ray guns.

And no Daleks. In protest, of course.

I say we go and dance on Terry Nation’s grave.

In the style of Georgian State Dancers, of course.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Peasant Touches Queen. Not.

There’s not much that gets me enraged, but consider my dander up at the moment.

This ‘news’ story about the journalist getting into the palace for two months has riled me. Now, my memory’s not what it could be, so correct me if not. But there was a statement by the press not six years ago just after Diana’s death saying that the press would not interfere with the royal family, and stop the non-stories and scandals totally. I do believe that this breaches that.

I’m not a huge fan of the Royals: as far as I see it, she’s just a rival queen with better jewellery. When it comes to authority, they were castrated by government years ago, leaving them reduced to opening supermarkets like ex Eastenders cast members. Yet I can see their value to tourism, and it’s fun to suppose what they get up to behind closed doors. But when someone gets there, looks around someone’s room and takes a photo of where the Queen has breakfast - well, where’s the news in that? It’s just shoddy.

Thus I refuse to read this nonsense, so I don’t know the ins and outs of it all. All I know was looking over someone’s shoulder last night, seeing caption after caption of ‘Royal Bedchamber: I could have easily have messed up the pillows before the queen arrived’. Therefore I gather that the cover of today’s Mirror, with this journalist crouched next to some dogs implies that he could quite clearly have taped a bomb to the underside of the queen’s corgi.

It’s a complete non-story, full of supposition. Oh, what’s the other major thing we’ve discovered in this breach? The queen has Tupperware. I’ve been discussing it with my favourite ex Richard. “Do you think she has Tupperware parties?” he pondered. You know, I’d like to think so.

And that Margaret would have definitely organised an Ann Summers.

Get Away From Her, You Fat Bitch!

The oddest day.

It all started when I couldn’t find my pen - you know, the one that contains Jenny Powel's blood. The thing was we’ve got three burly men in trying to turn the air conditioning from Arctic to Prussian, so there are currently panels hanging off the ceiling and there are pipes and tubes everywhere, so the whole room is looking like the base in Aliens. I have a feeling the pen has slipped into one of the air vents, so I cajoled a young girl off the street to come in and run around yelling 'Riiipley!' and have a jolly old look for it.

Oh, and more news when I find the other colonists too.

Were you aware that there’s a deep fat fryer in Aliens? This bit is utterly true: during the part where they first find something on the motion detector, Ripley knocks something off the desk, making everyone jump. Look to the left of the pipe she hits, and there it is. Russell Hobb’s finest. When the colonists are repairing to their last stand, someone’s screaming ‘The deep fat fryer! Get the fryer! I can’t live without donuts!’ while a cry comes from the back, ‘I’ve got the SodaStream!’

After several brave days, were the colonists of LV-Four-Twenty-Six over-run by the aliens, or did they simply allow themselves to be captured when their Breville sandwich toaster stopped working? Enquiring minds need to know...

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

My dreams! My prayers are answered!

Look! Star Trek: Voyager's on DVD!

And is it me, or does the packaging look really gay? I mean, like, really gay?

Total Cult

It seems that all your interest has been piqued by my possibly inebriated musings on the world of sci-fi. While I can’t claim to be an authority, I do have to deal with cult geeks as part of my everyday job which, let me tell you, pretty much loses its novelty after the nth Avengers fan calls in first thing to list what Cathy Gale episodes are on DVD.

Well, darling Zbornak dialled in to ask what I thought of Babylon 5. Babylon 5 I did used to love with a passion until unequivocally scarred by a) the fifth season, and b) my evil best friend Declan and I having sex between watching The Parliament of Dreams and Mind War on video. Yes, this thought sickens us as much as it does every one of you.

I was so in love with the character of Ivanova that I used to book tables under her name. Of course unknowing that the Russians suffix of ‘a’ to the surname meant I was calling myself a lady, thus raising quite a few eyebrows from fey waiters. But she was just marvellous; while Delenn would be swanning around Bluewater trying to find a BodyShop, Ivanova would be in the Tesco Metro, slamming ready-meals down next to her economy tampons in the ‘12 Items Or Less’ queue.

I met Mira Furlan, the woman who played Delenn, once. She wouldn’t shut up about her blessed garden.

Dirty Dancing

The following conversation took place on Monday morning after the Friday night of dancing. The players are Sasha, beautiful buxom blonde work colleague, and Sarah, a friend of hers from Cambridge who’s eye I had apparently caught.

Sarah: Who was that young man with the goatee?
Sasha: Who, Lee?
Sarah: The one who was dancing really well to Kylie. Knew all the moves.
Sasha: Oh yes. That’s Lee.
Sarah: He was kinda nice.


Sasha: Er. I don’t know how to tell you this, but I think the key point here is ‘he knew all the moves to Kylie’.


There. Can you all see me up the back? Welcome to Glitter for Brains V1.3. Hopefully you can all now see the sidebar (which was more random in appearance than Martine McCutcheon in My Fair Lady), and it gave me the chance to fix with a couple of things that were really bugging me.

If you are having difficulty reading any of this, or anything has slid off your browser, do be a love and drop me a line. Hell, drop me a line anyway - I’m fickle and demand attention.

Monday, November 17, 2003

A Cult For Everyone

Dear old Gertie has had a rough old weekend. The 24-year-old disco-moppet upon whom he'd happily dedicate all the Doctor Who cartoons he makes has unceremoniously dumped him in a way that even makes me wince. Thus, I'm currently making little voodoo dolls out of the 'generic gay' figure in the Sindy range (you know the one) and daubing it with the moppet's name.

Later, it's going in the microwave with pins in its eyes.

You see, I'm not very good at emotion, but I'm great at revenge. I was a little lost when Gertie came over on Saturday night post-dump, but I dusted off my 'concerned friend' routine that's been pieced together from Clueless and all the ice-cream bits from Alias. But Gertie seemed quite happy with my fussings and offers of cake, and we did sit down and discuss oddness of cult television fans whom plague our lives. For this: most Doctor Who fans are gay, all Blake's 7 fans are lesbians, and all Star Trek fans are socially inept with hygiene issues. And there's no real reason as to why.

I suppose with the majority of Doctor Who fans being Good Listeners, there should be no smoke without a flamer. A possibility as to why there is such a huge mary following is this hero completely lacks any sexuality, getting himself into glittery adventures with a female companion whom he runs around with holding hands and most certainly doesn't kiss. Bluntly, is that not most of our nights out in Soho with our fag hags? This really is only one hero you could identify with as a child: a loner who travels around in a big closet and has the most popular enemy menaces people with egg whisks and sink plungers. He'll certainly do until you discover Joan Crawford, anyway.

And the Blake's 7 fanbase is formed primarily of lesbians. The show itself is terribly dull and has no sense of humour.



Thirdly, Star Trek fans are usually fragrant, socially awkward creatures living with their parents that idealise a tomorrow where all the women wear skin-tight outfits and can program computers. Everything is controlled by a mainframe; if you replace the word 'Computer' with 'mother' in a script, you get a very disturbing utopian vision. And even the showers of the future don't have water in them.

(I've always wondered about those sonic showers. If you turn them up high enough, can you just about hear Celine Dion scaring the dirt off?)

Needless to say, this is gross generalisation (the emphasis on 'gross' when it comes to the Trekkies) but we can use it in our sci-fi community as shorthand. If you ever come across a gentleman who's a little 'Doctor Who-curious', you'll know what to do.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Best described as:'Choking "Up the Arse" Hazard'

Oh my. I've just run this site through a pornizer.

The odd thing is, it's only moderately more filthy.

Here Comes That Man Again

The fit office totty is back from his travels. I know this because I bumped into his lithe, tanned form just as I came out of the toilet while messily blowing my nose into a hanky. Admittedly, if this were a Richard Curtis rom-com and I had red hair, he would have clasped my hands and found this terribly endearing, but this is real life and he just looked through me, whilst I managed to smear snot by my upper right cheek.

No, my powers of meeting people are only used as a force of personal good when I bump into an ex – a common occurrence, as I’m sure you’re aware. The last couple of times have been a delight for me, as, thanks to my special powers, I happened to be looking simply delicious while they looked like hell in a handbag. Like last night: I’d set up my stall in The Yard when in flounced (all bar one of my ex’s flounce, I’ve discovered in retrospect) Jez. He’d aged. And he flopped to the bar like the trophy holder of Little Miss Gay 1998, 1999, and after the Atkins diet, 2002. This was the man whom the first present I gave him was a little... infectious, lets say. But the joy was he thought he’d given it to me and spent the rest of the time we were together buying me guilt gifts.

Frankly, any one that silly needed to be taught a lesson.

You’ll be pleased to know that the Wife wouldn’t take anything of that nonsense, and is remarkably clued up for a blonde Australian. And while I can hear him audibly frowning at my fawning over the office totty, I put it forward that this is merely window-shopping. As for a nice, new jumper or smock. Admittedly, that means you can look, rub up against it, check the size, and most definitely try it on in the cubicle, but not take it home.

That’s certainly the plan for most of the ladies in the office. The jubilant cheer that went around when they found out he was straight was on the Richter scale. You couldn’t move in here the following day for breasts, forced horizontal by the balconette bras. To get to the photocopier was like running the gauntlet through a space hopper factory.

The whole company’s all out tonight at a birthday do, and he’ll get tired of the constant female attention, I’m sure. And while we have discovered he has a girlfriend, what really is the difference between straight and gay?

About two bottles of red wine, in my experience.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Atomic Slatterns

It was my dear housemate Ian who pointed out to me that every single Atomic Kitten release has the same beat to it, enabling the Macbeth Witches of Song to dance in that identical three-step in each video. We imagine them in the recording studio, one ear cocked at the new remix: “This doesn’t sound right...” they puzzle as they are glued to their seats, only realising that when the engineer lowers the tempo that they can actually move to it.

All for the good. When you’re dancing around your New Look handbag, you don’t want to be going so fast you trip over the straps. I’d imagine.

I used to like Atomic Kitten before they were adopted by the North. Previously, they were slightly podgy good-time girls who just wanted to dance, producing tracks such as ‘I Want Your Love’ - a particularly pleasing pop song that I’d definitely rate in my music top twenty. Then they replaced Brian from Westlife’s cock-wash with new girl Jenny, slapped on the fake tan and Elizabeth Arden and got to number one, and are now churning out a dearth of songs you only hear at a fat girl’s birthday party.

During this meteoric rise to fame, we’ve been watching this Jenny with interest. Are you aware she can’t keep her hands off her hair? It’s something that’s slowly been spreading to the other girlies over the last couple of promos. The latest oeuvre, ‘If You Come To Me’, is positively a hair-fetishists wet dream as Jenny can’t keep her council mits of her coiffeur. I ask you this: the next time you see the video, just shout ‘Hair!’ every time she raises her hands to her head. You’ll witness one hand running through, two hands, even a cunning two-hander, then a cut to another two-hander on a different set! It’s like the poor girl has nits.

Exhibit A.

All this touching, during the hour after hour of video shoot, must cause a serious state of static cling. I hear that several times, the crew have had to pry her off someone’s woollen jumper. And there was one incident when she floated to the ceiling like a Christmas balloon and had to be beaten down by gleeful stagehands with long-handled brooms.

Next time, boys, hit her harder.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

28 Gays Later

I’m sorry to get on my high horse, mainly because I’m wearing a short skirt and you can see yesterday’s pants, but the report of how people attempted to cure wendys makes for interesting reading, and more fascinatingly, a portion of the church’s commending this experiment. It tells of electroshock therapy and aversion rehabilitation in this country, which never worked as to really make a mary unhappy, you have to stick him in a shopless village and make him listen to Radiohead. With flat hair. And a roll neck.

The way the church is handling it treats it like a disease. And if it is a disease, then they’ve got it into their big-hatted heads that it must be communicable. Oh, semi-blessed creatures, if only it were that simple! One light touch on the arm means that men swiftly swap busses and become Good Listeners. Oh, a quick run-past in the gym changing rooms with your arms outstretched means the whole place will be bare-chested and appreciatively singing ‘Hello, Dolly!’ at the top of their lungs. What bliss!

Say it is communicative, then that would make some people are more infectious than others. I’d probably rate quite contagious, and I know I shouldn’t, but I delight in the idea that I’ve been passing this on to all and sundry for almost ten years now. This would certainly tally with several experiences I’ve had, including one where I got a job at British Gas and three people shot out of the closet a week later. Of course they claimed they were only within to read the meter, but I could clearly see they’d been experimenting with colours in there.

If we marys as a society (rather than a species) are an evolutionary ‘blind alley’, and always have been, how did all this start? There had to be someone at the beginning, infecting us all along the line: 250 million years ago, Thung the Homo Sapien was dragging himself out of the primeval soup, while his friend Fab the Homo Sexual decided to stay in for a little while longer as it’s the closest thing he’s going to get to a face-pack this side of the Ice Age. Was this Queen among Men the Patient Zero? Or more correctly, the Patient Disco? And if this has being going on since forever, it appears that the numbers of Men With Nice Nails on the increase - odd, as we can’t reproduce without a willing lesbian, a plastic cup and an Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue. Maybe being a wendy is not a disease, but a trip-switch for natural population control as, let’s face it, being ugly no longer stops people - I’ve been to Croydon. No, I see it as Mother Nature being a joyous landlady, and making sure she gets some people moving in who are going to put up some curtains and throw around some Shake’n’Vac every once in a while.

So it’s daft to think of sexuality as contagious. And there’s certainly not much point trying to treat it, whatever side of the nature/nurture debate you come down upon.

But to make sure, I’m still going to give my Impossibly Beautiful Housemate Mark a big hug when I get in, and I’m now off to the gym to do a wide-armed run-through.

You never know.

I Can See Wood!

I'm having a riot! I've actually managed to clear my desk!

I used a flamethrower, but I don't think it's cheating.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Why Friends Reunited Is A Bad Thing

For example:

‘hi lee

well what have i done since we last saw eachother about 9 years ago, mmmmmm let me think, r u ready !! well about 7 years ago i thought i would try st8 sex with a woman and errrr now we r married with 2 children both girls the oldest is 6 and the youngest is 15 months. there names r shanice and jodie and i must say i love them all very much.

i have to say i am very sorry about the way i left, it wasn’t the best thing i have ever done and i do hope u can forgive me. i will need to take a pic to show how i have matured, i have put on a little bit more weight than i used to be and now have glasses to see with.

i do have to admit now that i am needing a man to satisfy my sexual needs but being married with kids it is hard to, oh by the way my wife dosn’t know about my gay sexualaty at all.

anyway hope to see u soon and i think i miss u !!!! not a lie’

He knows how to sell himself, doesn’t he.

Addendum to Yesterday

Charles Hawtree would play Agent Smith.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Stop The Matrix, I Want To Get Off


I’m back. And you can stop trying to set fire to Christine Hamilton.

That’s my job.

Despite my weakened state, I can still feebly raise my hand to type... and to firmly stick two fingers up at the dreadful hacks called The Wachowski Brothers. If the third film were graced with the title Matrix Resolutions, I would have sued. There is no cohesive finale: while it does end, it doesn’t explain, resolve or any other things that it should. Surely if every one of the Smith clones died, the machines are without power? Is Neo dead?

And above all, do we care?

The worst muck I can fling at it is it feels wholly like a Season Eight episode of The X-Files: refusing to explain anything, nor give up the ghost. As far as I’m concerned, there is an almost-perfect slice of cinema history out called The Matrix, and then Vere Lorrimer came over to work on the next two spin-offs. The film was so ghastly that the Wife and I started playing our favourite game of recasting the film to make it fun: bring on ‘Carry On Matrix!’

Jim Dale as Neo
Barbara Winsor as Trinity
Bernard Bresslaw (blacked up) as Morpheus
Joan Simms as The Oracle
Kenneth Williams as The Architect
Frankie Howerd as The Merovingian
Amanda Barrie as Persephone

There. Just doing that has made it ten times better. Everyone else: save your money or go and see Finding Nemo instead.


Despite my weakened state, I can still feebly raise my hand to type... and to slip in an Alias DVD into my player. I am thrilled by Alias at the moment, a show based on all the wigs left over from Gerry Anderson’s UFO. It’s brilliant repetitive formula is keeping me coming back for Sidney Bristow’s daft and flamboyant adventures: if you care to write your own script, here’s what you have to abide by.

One: resolve terrible, earth shattering cliffhanger from previous episode. All pre-titles of course.
Two: Give Sydney a heartfelt moment showing that she’s still all woman.
Three: Briefing at SD-6. Collect comedy gadget.
Four: Flirt with Vaughn in plain sight of everyone.
Five: Go on a mission. Which will go wrong.
Six: Cliffhanger!

While all of you out there are probably foaming at the gash over Agent Vaughn, I’m girding my ardour towards dear Will Tippin. Oh, Will, you scruffy blue-eyed wonder. I haven’t felt this gooey over a man on TV since I almost literally came across J from 5ive on MTV one spring afternoon.

My evil best friend Declan naturally loves Alias. He wants to work for Credit Dauphine – unusually not to bring down the world, but so he can tell all his ex’s and stalkers whom he works for, instantly getting them killed.

How very neat.


Despite my weakened state, I can still feebly raise my hand to type... and to hoist a glass of whiskey to my lips. The party I was invited to on Friday night were most forthcoming about my illness and procured me a chaise-longue to rest my weary bones upon for the duration of the eve, tended to by the ever-beautiful Yaz (where she’d hidden the Plastic Population was not a subject to broach). Alas, they couldn’t find me a pouffe to put my legs upon, and no matter the amount of force-feeding whiskey to the delicious Graham, he still remained resolutely married to Astrid.

It was a thrilling experience being surrounded by former work colleagues, including birthday boy Tim with whom I worked with for a fortnight - until I realised that I was kidding everyone and couldn’t do the work at all. And I got to spend time with my former IT manager Jerry too. Ah, dear old Jerry. We’re all convinced he is Vulcan. He also has this bizarre ability to make machinery work whenever he’s near it, despite being dead in your hands ten minutes prior. Technology loves him. It must be his pheromones – if ever you go into a Comet with him (Heaven forfend; that’s where Linda Barker’s hiding her leatherette face at the moment) you will see all this technology rattling, then launching off the shelves at him a la Superman III. And you can always strike up a conversation by asking to see his iPod in action round the back of the loos. He’s very forthcoming, you know.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Ill Wind

Your ruler is sick again.

I bet I caught it off that snotty slag-bucket Britney Spears: she spent the whole time we were at that car boot sale wiping her nose on her sleeve, yet insisted on giving me an excited little hug every time she saw a pierrot doll. And I came away with my arms stuffed with the freaky little toys, so you can imagine the level of unhygienic, unwanted proximity from pop’s second-most desperate performer.


Anyway, this means that the morning has whizzed by thanks to my wheels being greased by Beechams once more, and I take Wednesdays off from ruling you all anyway. Unfortunately, you’ve got Christina Hamilton today, who’s been dying to get her mules under the throne-room table ever since I invited her over for one swift sherry one afternoon, and didn’t leave til the following morning. She’s brooked no hint, no. Not even when I’d thrown her coat at her and started hoovering around her chair at 3am. Honestly, some people do not know when they’re not wanted.

With any luck, she’ll accidentally wander into the Special Projects room, where we’ve been working on the ultimate predator – for my protection, of course. It’s a well-known fact we’ve been using herbivores to guard against any rebellious plant-life in the universe. And we omnivores can more or less slay and eat all the rest, yet for a personal guard we want something a little more deadly. So we’ve created the Aznavore. They’re small. They’re deadly. They’re French. Need I say more.

I’m going for a lie down.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Stuck on You

Another good thing about getting out of the city this weekend is that I missed the main Doctor Who celebration, an apparently shambolic nightmare run by a ninety-year-old bleach-blonde queen who's the bane of Gertie's existence. I didn't do anything even slightly Who-y.

Bar accidentally supergluing myself to a model of K9 last night for fifteen minutes.

Webb of Fear

My ongoing disenchantment with London drove myself and the Wife seawards this weekend, to Bournemouth, where the fashion is tartan headscarves and thermos flasks. It has all the trimmings of a gone-to-seed resort, including a raddled pier, a candy-floss stand with product so old it appears to be subsidised by the local sheep shearing industry, and only went decimal three weeks ago. Elderly denizens also favour it, earning it the moniker ‘God’s other waiting room’.


Marti Webb is a third-rate chanteuse that is brought out of storage if, heaven forefend, Elaine Page is too busy. She is not to be confused with Marti Cane, former singer-presenter of Opportunity Knocks who died of cancer a few years back. If you are going to mix up the two, do not point and back away from sea-front pantomime posters crying 'Zombie witch! Zombie witch back from the dead!’ as you will probably fall over, all while your Wife tuts and carried on eating his ice-cream.

So, Marti Webb (alive as she ever was) is currently sovereign of Bournemouth, playing the wicked queen in the production of Snow White on Bournemouth historic and wonky pier. What troubles us is the Dame Webb we know and love would never walk down the wooden walkway with the proletarians for each show. Fortunately, we were delighted to see that it was indeed beneath her, as just before a performance was to begin, we saw the diva bobbing along the surf in a speedboat to come in at the ‘stage door’ at the back of the pier. The following night we were even more astonished to see that the boat was being battered by ten-foot waves and she had to head back out to sea.

We thankfully learned she was all right, as a man with a delightful moustache that seemed to be made purely of extended nasal hair later amended the poster to read ‘Starring Marti Webb (live from Calais!) as the Wicked Queen’. Bless.

It seems that Marti has taken to the water like the proverbial duck, and can be seen on the horizon between shows on her new tuna trawler, belting out ‘Take That Look off Your Face’ from the top deck to all the errant surfers.


It transpires that Bournemouth is not really the quiet get-away we savoured. The seaside setting attracts a lot of gentlemen in ‘the entertainment and hostess industry’ – indeed, the whole staff at our luxury hotel were firmly on our bus; if you placed your hands to any wall within the building, it hummed with that special frequency that makes you think, “You know, I could just bake a cake...” You couldn’t swing a handbag in town without hitting a couple of them.

The Wife tried. He got slapped.

Anyway, I’d managed to book us a table in Bournemouth’s premiere mary nightspot, Rubyz. And it was fantastic. It serves a three-course meal with a juicy side of drag queen. It’s genius! The wine flowed, the singing started, and before long, the whole place was just swaying and doing the ‘why-why-whyyyyyyyyyy Delilah!’s so loudly that we raised the satin Bedouin tent of a roof.

We got chatting to the girls on the next table, who were all here on their first night out after dropping a child each (although not in a Louise Woodward manner). They’d all met in the birthing pool, it seems, a unique and personable way to be introduced to people with your legs in the air (Gertie, take note). Over that way was a hen party in full swing, a riotous time had by all on alco-pops and trying to get way too friendly with the waiters. The Wife popped to the toilet at one point, he came back to find these ill-mannered reprobates draped around me going “We’re your Bond Girls! Na-hahahahaha!” and taking picture after picture for some Argos family album.

It transpired that the woman getting married had a brother. Who was also a drag queen. He arrived during the last part of the set in a fabulous wedding dress, dragged her up on stage and sung It Should Have Been Me. I cried with laughter.

After this, the tables were pushed back and the dancing started. It emerged that most of the ladies in the room hadn’t clocked that the Wife and I were of the mary flavour (despite knowing all the words to the Cher songs the drag was belting out). It also transpired that they’d all seen too much Will and Grace and all wanted a gay best friend of their very own, and he and I were swept along the dancefloor all evening, passed from girl to girl who wanted to know the moves to Tragedy, whether we’d feel her breasts as she’d just had a boob job and wanted to know whether they were good, how to please her man in bed (‘Give him to me,’ is the most honest answer) and all other things that we were at liberty to impart.

Then came the usual ‘So, we couldn’t turn you?’ debate after the third bottle of wine. The correct answer is ‘No, but I love what you’ve done with your hair,’ leaving them distracted yet sated. Honestly, that show will be our downfall.


Rubyz also owns a club. Do not, under any circumstances, go. It was so full it took a full five minutes to push past people to get to the coat queue, chock-full of heaving masses of hair gel, swaying bodies pressed against each other. We stayed long enough to put one foot on the dance floor (the other, accidentally on the Wife’s) for a verse of Kylie’s Slow, and then shrugged and got our coats again.