Wednesday, December 28, 2005

There is one day between my return to the UK on January 4 and when I return to work and I was thinking that I was going to be spending the whole of that day in a tanning salon. So it is with some relief that I can inform you that that particular occurence will not be happening. The sun came out. Lots. And I am now tanned. I know how concerned you will all have been so you breath a collective sigh of relief.

In other news I learned to scuba dive and yesterday I got my PADI certification. Without explaining why, in any great detail, if you ever get the chance to learn to scuba dive, then do it. It is one of the most awesome things that I have ever experienced.

If I don't post again this year, have a great celebration evening and don't do anything that I wouldn't (naturally that gives you license to do pretty much whatever.)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I've actually been able to blog for almost five days now, but I've felt that to do so would make me feel like I was working on holiday. Yet here I am. I have yet to decide if I'm a geeky loser.

So I'm staying with my friend, Zach, at a resort on Ko Phangan, which is a small island in the Gulf of Thailand. The resort is called The Sanctuary and is seemingly populated entirely by 40-something British hippies. I can't help but feel supremely more culturally relevant when I see them attempting to dance (swaying is a better descriptor) to Slave to the rhythm on the beachfront veranda. However, I do feel slightly uneasy with the fact that I am reading The Insider by Piers Morgan while all around are reading The Road Less Traveled. I'm wondering if I would have been better off holidaying in Magaluf.

I am getting on very well with Zach, which is a relief. Not that I thought I wouldn't, but Zach is one of my best friends and two weeks in the company of a close friend can be testing at the best of times. We are actually having lots of interesting and sparky discussions about celebrity, the human soul, American politics and the fact that Dawn French is NOT a lesbian (like, DUH!?) Thankfully our (my?) more knowledgeable friends are not here to challenge some of our (my?) more outrageous statements.

There is one small problem and that is that the weather has been pretty mixed. While there have been pockets of sunshine and I have managed to begin to obtain the beginnings of a tan, most of the time the sky is completely overcast and I am often finding myself wearing a sweatshirt. When deciding upon Thailand as the destination of my winter vacation back in the summer I had been unaware that December can be severely unpredictable, weatherwise.

Because there is absolutely no-way, no-how that I am returning to the UK in just over a week and a half only slightly paler than I was before my departure, tomorrow Zach and I are going to scour the internet for a "Plan B". Fortunately flights to other Far Eastern destinations from close-by are incredibly cheap, so we have already discussed relocating to Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia or Vietnam. Or just simply returning to Bangkok and spending the days by a hotel pool and the nights in the gay bars in Pat Pong.

Oh yes. I chickened out on doing the fast (which, incidentally, involved the colonic irrigation). I hadn't realised that not all of the occupants of the resort would be fasting and that some would be being normal (i.e. drinking alcohol and eating). So while Zach sits with in a tent, drinking herbal broth with hard-core hippies with names like Moon, Sunbeam and Whale Breath, I can been found eating (organic) cheeseburgers and sipping Pina Colada's in the restaurant.

The other night, while we were both half-asleep, Zach knocked something into my hair which I then collected in my hand and threw across the room. It wasn't until the next morning that we established that the "something" had been a small gecko.

This would not have happened had I had hired a cottage in the Cotswolds.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Au revoir!

Well mon petit blogeurs ... it's now time for me to say bonsoir. It's doubtful that I will have access to sophisticated technology over the next two and a half weeks so I'll wish you all a very merry Christmas and an extremely happy and prosperous New Year right now.

In the meantime, a little gift from me to you: a beautiful, blonde pole dancer!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ok, quieten down already. I have important beachwear purchasing decisions to make:

speedos

... or ...

Product_Boardies_Hawke

Discuss.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

In little over three days I will be jetting off for a tropical island in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand where I will spend two and a half weeks sunbathing, reading, getting drunk, playing volleyball with hot straight men, listening to my iPod and having hosepipes stuck up my ass.

Thank you. As you were.

Friday, December 09, 2005

First things first:

Marv: you look like Ann Widdecombe

Lizzie: you look like Christine Hamilton

*wipes hands*

I was so upset by the David Cameron comparison made by those two afore mentioned "friends" that I almost posted pics of myself not wearing very much, lying on a bed, with a come-hither expression on my face, juxtaposed above a picture of David Cameron: just to show that I DO NOT LOOK LIKE DAVID CAMERON!!! However much I fancy him.

But I decided that it was unfair to showcase such a scintillating picture of moi next to a clothed pic of Davey. And his office won't respond to my request for naked pics, so basically that whole idea went out of the window.

I did, however, still need to reassure myself that I don't look like David Cameron so I decided to pose the question to a bitchy queen who would never intentionally pass up the opportunity to make me feel like crap.

This morning, at the gym, I asked my bitchy queen friend, "Do you think I look like David Cameron?"

"No!" he replied, rolling his eyes. "You look as much like David Cameron as I look like Robert Mugabe." [before you ask, my friend does not look like Robert Mugabe.]

I breathed a sigh of relief.

"Besides," he continued. "David Cameron is sexy."

So now I have affirmation that I don't look like David Cameron. But this knowledge is coupled with the possibility that gayers think that he is more attractive than me.

I hate everyone.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I have a horrible, horrible confession to make.

I find David Cameron strangely attractive. For the Americans among you, this is kinda like fancying Ari Fleishman (I would provide reference points for all other nations too, but I can't be bothered. Canada: Celine Dion?)

Someone please shoot me.

Monday, December 05, 2005

As of today all gay men and women who permanently reside in the UK are legally entitled to marry their partners in civil ceremonies. These partnerships will afford them all of the same legal privileges and rights as their heterosexual counterparts.

I am now surely doomed to a lifetime of jokey (but actually very serious) "Why aren't you married yet?" style questioning from friends, relatives and acquaintances.

This is a disaster.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I have lottery fantasies.

I dream about being able to buy fast cars and designer clothes until they come out of my ears. I want houses in London, New York, East Hampton and Rio. I want to be able to travel first class and work out at The Third Space and get reservations at Annabel's just because of who I am. I want to be able to take hot guys on tours of the National Gallery. When it's closed. Because I'm one of it's biggest benefactors.

Needless to say, twice a week, I am disappointed.

This morning, on the way to work on the tube, I was reading a Times article, written by Annie Lennox, about the millions and millions of people in Africa who are suffering with HIV and AIDS, and dying, and how the governments of the richer nations, such as the one I live in, have pledged support over an eight year period. And how they absolutely must stay comitted to this goal.

One of the kids she spoke to on a recent trip to Africa was dying of AIDS. But before he got sick he lost his mother, father, brothers, sisters and pretty much everyone else he cared about to the same disease. He was totally alone in the world. With no hope. And certainly no dreams of fast cars or a nice comfortable house, anywhere. And that shit isn't even near the important stuff.

There are approximately 6,450,000,000 humans on Earth.

Most of them are not 33 year olds who have careers which afford them access to guest lists to the best clubs and bars the city has to offer. They don't have friends who will stick with them no matter what (and slip them Jil Sander dress shirts every now and then.) They don't have housemates who have Thai cuisine prepared and ready to eat when they arrive home.

They don't have comfortable beds to sleep in at night.

6,450,000,000.

When I think about it I kinda did win the lottery.

About 33 years ago.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The other day I admitted to a gay friend and his boyfriend that I have, of late, been downloading and watching lesbian porn. I also admitted to quite enjoying it. While they thought that the idea of watching pneumatic, blonde pornstars go at each others lady bits was kind of a kinky thing for a gay man to do, they didn't seem to be that bothered by the overall concept.

However, the straw that really broke the camels back was when I admitted that I have also been thinking that I would like to try having sex with a woman, just to see what it was like. I made it very clear that if this was to happen I would want it to be pretty dirty and certainly not lurve making. Regardless, this was apparently too much for them to handle. My friend told me that he didn't know if he could accept me as a straight man or even a gay man who had sex with women from time to time. Or even once.

Gayers: am I alone in the lesbian porn thing? Do none of you find a woman's body even slightly arousing? And do any of you ever consider having sex with a woman, just for hell of it?

Discuss.

Monday, November 28, 2005

My housemate, Vix, after having had the bathroom refitted is on something of a house restoration spree. The current project is having the windows and doors sanded down and repainted.

Paul, the guy who is undertaking the job is a friend of Dave, the guy who did the bathroom. Today was his first day.

I've just got home to find the entire house, literally every single surface, COVERED in paint dust. It is EVERYWHERE. The air is actually hazy with the stuff. It turns out that Paul, the complete moron that he is, used a power sander to sand the doors and windows down but didn't cover a single surface with a dust sheet or even open a window.

The long and short of it is that we are going to have to get a professional cleaner in for at least a day to clean the whole place up, which will cost at least one hundred pounds. However, because my housemate is so nice I can't trust her to deal with Paul effectively: i.e. basically tell him that the cost of the cleaner is going to be offset against his fee, which was only three hundred pounds. So I'm having to stay back at the flat with her in the morning so that we can deal with him together.

My personal opinion is that we should just sack him, as my question is if he made this much of a bodge with the sanding, what's he going to be like with painting. And dried paint on floorboards is a whole different matter than dust on surfaces. But Vix is uncomfortable with the idea of sacking him. She thinks it is mean.

I am bristling with anger.

And I'm asthmatic.

So If I don't ever post again, you'll know the reason why.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The other day, on a train journey back to London from a meeting in the Midlands, I got bored and decided to go through my Palm address book and do some tallying up:

I have 38 close friends *

I have 109 good friends **

I have 472 amiable acquaintances ***

I have 7 enemies ****

* These are the people who I would phone immediately if I were to find out that I had a brain tumour.

** These are the people whose death from a brain tumour would make me ineffably sad.

*** These are the people I would hope could recover from a brain tumour.

**** These are the people I would generally hope could recover from a brain tumour, but if they didn't then I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

So this email goes around today introducing us all to some recent new recruits. I reached the end of the email and was struck by the last joiner - not only was he awesomely hot, but he also had oodles of professional experience and was clearly really, really clever and very, very funny. Where does this guy sit? I thought to myself. I must date him.

And then I realised I was reading about myself:

unknown

Name: Christopher

Current Job Title and Team: Account Director, XXX

Sits: Opposite J, between A and S, on the third floor

Background:
After studying Fashion in Southampton I began my career in PR as an intern at XXX in 1996 (H was my first boss!) I stayed with the company through its merger with XXX in 1998 and at the end of 2002 I transferred with the company to New York, where I spent the best part of two years. I returned to the UK towards the end of 2004 and since then I have freelanced for a number of small and large London-based consumer PR agencies. I have a broad communications experience from having represented a diverse range of brands - including XXX, XXX, XXX, XXX, XXX, XXX, the XXX and XXX.

Likes:
  1. Notes and lists
  2. Logic
  3. Kindness
  4. Brushing his teeth
  5. The European Union
  6. The O.C.
  7. Right-angles
  8. Walks along the beach
  9. Vintage T-shirts
  10. Men who aren't afraid to cry
  11. Hilary Clinton
  12. Winning the Lottery
Dislikes:
  1. Ignorance
  2. Meanness
  3. Tardiness
  4. Scientology
  5. Losing stuff
  6. Fatalists
  7. Bad personal hygiene
  8. Junkie-rockers
  9. Crap show tunes
  10. Tom Cruise
  11. Littlejohn (columnist in The Sun)
  12. Not winning the Lottery
Yeah. You wanna make out with me right now, dontcha?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

This morning I was thinking, God! This work thing is taking up all my creative focus! I can't blog! And then this evening I thought, God! I should blog about how work is taking up all my creative focus!

I am coming to the end of my fourth week at work and things are going swimmingly. For a long, long time I have been forced to work with crack-whores and utter nincompoops, most of them neurotic women as well as the odd (being the operative word) gay man. In all cases they have sapped all my confidence and stunted my creativity.

But no more. All of my board directors, bar one, are straight men (believe me when I say that in PR this makes all the difference) and my immediate boss is just the most coolest, chilled-outest gurl ever, ever. And everyone is absolutely cool with me taking the lead and no one second guesses any of my decisions.

*knocks on wood*

Something else. A couple of weeks ago my line board director told me that there is no point in attempting to pursue a work / life balance, because in our line of work it's just not possible. That might seem absurd / obvious depending on your own line of work or point of view, but this has been a revelation to me. I know it's still early days but I'm just not getting in a state about doing long hours - either coming in early or going home late.

And then there are the perks. You already know that I am having to take my motorbike test soon (January!!!!) and that I get to ride any of the bikes whenever I want. But what you don't know (and what I didn't know until a few days ago) was that I get to drive this whenever I want too:



Isn't it beautiful?

Yes sir. Things are pretty good right now.

Monday, November 21, 2005

It has just dawned on me that the colours that I purchased the pashminas in are exactly the same colours as the title of my blog!

Which, of course, means absolutely nothing.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

McConaughey Tops Sexiest Man Alive List.

What does it say about me that when I first read that title on the IMDb homepage my sub-conscious skipped the last word?

Or perhaps the question should be: what does it say about Matthew McConaughey that he made my sub-conscious do that?

I'm a bit concerned that I'm becoming a little too gay. Last weekend in Paris I bought two pashminas. My purchasing rationale was that viewed objectively pashminas are only large rectangles of fabric and with no inherent characteristics that make them "feminine".

And this would be true, except that the two pashminas I purchased are lilac and turquoise.

That said, there is no reason why a confident man cannot wear those colours. I just made sure I wore the pashminas in the normal man-scarf manner: i.e. wrapped around the neck in a bunch and not draped around the shoulders.

At least that was until Wednesday when I draped the lilac one around my shoulders because I was cold.

But if you think all of that is bad enough, then consider this:

Pashminas are so 2003.

Something sinister is afoot.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

This afternoon, during a random conversation about Star Wars with my board director, I said something which made him laugh so hard that he choked on his sushi:

"Sure Jar Jar Binks was annoying. But think about how irritating R2-D2 must have been to parents watching the original Star Wars movie back in the 1970s. Viewed objectively, R2-D2 is like a dwarf holding a Simon."

While he did finally recover, I couldn't help but wonder: is it bad form to inadvertantly kill your boss with humour?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Merde!

As you know, this last weekend one of my best friends, Helen ...

CIMG1882

... and I ...

CIMG1883

...went to Paris ...

CIMG1922

.

Over supper at Kong, Helen, with practically no warning, announces to me that she hates the Eiffel Tower. "It's ugly," she tells me. "It's like a giant radio transmitter."

The fact that the Eiffel Tower, amongst other things, actually is a giant radio transmitter is by-the-by. I almost choked on my food. It was kind of like the time that another of my best friends, Jemma, told me that not only did she own Margaret Thatcher's autobiography, but had she been of legal age in the 70s, she probably would have voted for Thatch as well.

(Hi Jemma!)

Once I had accepted my repulsion over the fact that I had been friends with someone who hated the Eiffel Tower for quite so long, I tried to explain to Helen why not only was she very wrong but that she was also, very probably, dead inside. Hating the Eiffel Tower, to me at least, is like hating puppies.

"The Eiffel Tower is a testament to the human spirit. It signifies what we can achieve when we focus on solidarity, on working together," I passionately ranted at her. "For that reason not only is it a French symbol, but an international symbol. It gives us hope. It reminds us of what we can do when we focus. It is functional. It is beautiful. Remember, that it was supposed to exist as a temporary feature for the Paris Expo, yet over a hundred years after it was built it still dominates the Parisian skyline, strong and proud. At night, on the hour, every hour, for five minutes, it sparkles like a hyperactive Christmas tree ...

CIMG1824

"... and all of the time a searchlight penetrates the night sky ...

CIMG1839

[Aside - photos taken from the window of our hotel room! Do you have any idea how much I've always wanted a hotel room with a view of the Eiffel Tower?]

"In fact there is only one problem with the Eiffel Tower. The view of Paris, as seen from it, is missing one essential feature: the Eiffel Tower."

Finally I summarised: "The Eiffel Tower, after all is said and done, is a quite outstanding erection."

The next day I made her walk down the Parc du Champ de Mars so that she could take in its full glory.

This was her reaction:

CIMG1928

Does anyone know whether or not I can legally emancipate a best friend?

Friday, November 11, 2005

I'm off to Paris for the weekend today with my friend, Helen. When we get there we're meeting up with someone else I know and her friend and then the quatre of us are going hors sur la ville! (out on the town.)

We're, like, totally gonna have a riot!

Boom-boom!

See what I did there? Paris? Riot = fun / street violence? Boom-boom = punchline / petrol-bomb exploding? Yes, I know but it's funny!

Oh just forget it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

One of the only reasons I would like to be extremely famous is so that I get asked to do those celeb Q&A thingys.

Fortunately I am aready EXTREMELY famous on this here blog of mine, which means that I get to do the Evening Standard magazine's Q&A:

Christopher: My London
The self-congratulated PR lounge-luvvie is a Clapham townie who would get taxis everywhere if only he could afford to.

Where do you live?
Clapham. I love it here - Abbeville Road is just around the corner with all it's restaurants, cosy pubs and high contingent of DILF's, the Common which is great in the summer and two rubbish but good gay bars on the high street.

How long have you lived there?
About a year and a half. Prior to living in Clapham I had always lived north of the river, so this is all pretty new to me. I am surprised that "south of the river" is not as pikey as I have always been it is.

What was the last play you saw in London and did you enjoy it?
Whose Life Is It Anyway. It starred Kim Cattrall as a hospitalised woman paralysed from the neck down as the result of a car accident. The play is a dark comedy telling the tale of how Cattrall's character tries to obtain a Habeas Corpus so that she can go home and commit suicide. Cattrall played the part pitch-perfect, with just the right amount of sadness and good-humour. I thought it was tres bon.

What have been your most memorable London meals?
Long Sunday lunches in cosy pubs with good wine and good friends. I also love eating at Criterion in Piccadilly Circus. Even though it's a Marco Pierre White restaurant it's comparatively inexpensive, so every now and then I can afford to eat there with a friend. It's also very opulent with the most incredible, gold, mosaic covering the whole ceiling.

What do you miss most when you're away from London?
Aside from my urban family, the incredible views: Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath, Primrose Hill and practically any of the views from any of the bridges which stretch across the Thames (especially the Waterloo Bridge.)

What is your life philosophy?
Think big and be brave.

What items are in your winter wardrobe?
Lots and lots of very colourful, very long scarves, a bunch of thick, warm socks and a black, heavy-knit, Nehru-collared, three-quarter length coat from All Saints. It's all about the warmth, especially as this winter is supposed to be one of the coldest on record.

Which aftershave do you wear?
For the last eight years I have worn Sander for Men by Jil Sander. It's the fragrance which most of my friends would associate with me. But I always like to have one or two others on the go as well. At the moment they are Rhubarb Sherbet by Comme des Garcons and John Varvatos by John Varvatos.

What are your current projects?
Being good in my job. Finding a nice man to settle down with. Saving enough money for my holiday in Thailand.

What were the last books you bought?
Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx and Lunar Park by Brett Easton-Ellis. These days I almost always buy my books from Amazon. I feel like I'm missing out on the bookshop experience.

What is in your secret address book?
Some very valuable mobile and home phone numbers, including a national newspaper gossip columnist, an American supermodel and an extremely famous British actor.

What is your earliest London memory?
Visiting the Whispering Gallery up in the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral when I was nine years-old. It's very, very high up and I had to crawl on the floor of the balcony because I was so scared of falling over the edge.

What advice would you give to a tourist?
In a thunderstorm don't do what two Japanese tourists did a couple of years back - stand under a tree . You get electrocuted and die. In fact this is not only dangerous in London, but pretty much anywhere else in the world when there is a thunderstorm.

What do you listen to on your iPod as you travel around London?
In a perfect world it would be a bracing winter morning and I would be walking in the opposite direction to the throng, in the middle of the city, as Carly Simon lets rip on the opening chords of Let The River Run.

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?
I would extend the Congestion Charge to every square millimeter of road within the M25 and then pump all the revenue into the Tube so that it could, you know, work properly from time to time.

Where were the last three places you went on holiday?
Rome with my Mum, then Paris to see a friend and before that South Beach in Miami to see my friend, Zach.

What was the last album you downloaded?
The Back Room by The Editors.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

As you all know, my housemate, Vix, is a total pushover a rare British flower of exquisite kindness, polite manners and overall gentility.

Last night we had a discussion about why I leave my vitamins on the kitchen counter as opposed to putting them away in the cupboard. I explained to Vix that if they are hidden in the cupboard I will inevitably forget to take them. That's why I leave them out. And that's why it annoys the crap out of me if she puts them away (which she does ... all the time!)

Vix then proceeded to explain to me that the reason that she puts them away is because my vitamins are ugly and spoil the overall look and feel of the pretty kitchen (apparently our kitchen is listed and changes have to be approved by the Duchy of Clapham.) In particular she pointed out that they are currently ruining the design aesthetics of the Phillipe Stark lemon squeezer:

CIMG1820

Well, ok ... she has a point. That juxtaposition is slightly jarring.

But hey! Better that than yours-truly at 60-years-old, all creaky-jointed and depressed because in my youth I kept forgetting to take my Cod Liver Oil capsules and Vitamin C tablets with added Zinc.

This morning I sleepily entered the kitchen to discover this somewhat unsubtle message scrawled on the kitchen blackboard:

CIMG1819

The next time her boyfriend, Ben, stays over I'm going to sneak into her room when they're asleep and put her hand into some warm water. Because everyone knows that it totally makes you pee the bed. And then the next morning Ben will wake up, see that she's a bedwetter and that is awesome!

Perhaps it's time for me to live by myself?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Last week I watched the last ever episode of Six Feet Under.

[spoilers ahead]

I have been totally addicted to the show ever since I saw the first episode back in 2001. Everything, everything about it is so rich: from the intimate depictions of the moments before someone's death, to the title sequence, to the intricate and specific characterisations. It's so rare to watch a TV show where you care about each of the characters absolutely the same amount.

The last five minutes of the final episode were among the most moving and lasting five minutes of TV I've ever watched. Those of you who have seen the ending will know that it features clips of Clare driving through the desert, interspersed with vignettes of each of the main characters lives and their ultimate demises - all set to an appropriately epic song called Breath Me sung by Sia.

One of the reasons that this segment was so affecting for me was because it showed the young Clare next to her increasingly elder-self and finally as an old woman with cataracts and white hair, literally about to die. Again, as anyone who has watched Six Feet Under will know, whenever someone dies the screen fades to white and their name and their significant dates appear for just a moment.

Seeing those dates for each of the characters that, over the past four years, I have grown very attached to and fond of was a really moving experience ... for the most part because it served to remind me that the only certain thing about life is death. Now I am not a fatalist. I don't believe that there is some mystical guiding force behind my actions or my life in general. I know that I am absolutely in control of a great deal of my life and that the remainder is subject to a series of random coincidences and events.

But, again, the one absolute certainty is death. There are no sketchy statistics regarding that. 100% of everyone and everything will die some day.

I write this as a 33-year-old man who was born at 4.20am on Wednesday, September 27, 1972. And as I write this there is a point in the future which will mark the moment that I will die.

That moment is 7.32pm on Sunday, March 17, 2058.

Ok, it probably isn't. But when you think about your life in such literal terms, if only for a moment, it has the effect of bringing everything into focus. It doesn't even have to be a depressing thought. It's just black and white. It reminds you of how absolutely irrefutable and definite death is and it makes everything else seem so important. Even the small things.

It makes me want to squeeze as much into my life as possible.

And when did TV get so good?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I HATE YOU, TOM CRUISE!!!

*waves fist*

From IMDb:

Tom Cruise is terrifying film-makers on the set of Mission: Impossible III, by insisting on carrying out his own death-defying stunts. The superstar actor has refused to allow a stunt double to take on the dangerous high falls necessary for his part as secret agent Ethan Hunt in the sequel - and his willingness to push himself to the limit even scares legendary stunt coordinator Vic Armstrong, who is working on the film with him. Armstrong tells Total Film magazine "He did a 70 foot fall for us last week. He's amazing. He did about seven takes. It absolutely terrifies me - I can see the headlines! What a way to finish a career."

Most of you already know this, but I hate Tom Cruise SOOOOOOOOO much. Seriously, his current mid-life crisis thing is really nauseating. It's like he thinks that performing his own stunts will convince me, personally, that he's straight [as an aside, I will admit to finding the whole Katie Holmes pregnancy debacle most vexing. Or at least I did until someone reminded me of that miraculous turkey basting device.]

Anyhoo, if I was the stunt coordinator on Mission: Impossible III I would be all like, "So you wanna jump that 1,000 foot-wide precipice on a BMX? Sure! Knock yourself out." And then , under my breath, "Die! Die!"*

Of course, you know that if I ever had to work with him on a high-falutin' PR project I'd be all like, "Tom! It's so nice to meet you. Can I get you a cup of tea?

And then, under my breath, "Please touch my face!"

*If, at some point in the next few weeks, Tom Cruise dies performing a 1,000 foot jump on a BMX for Mission: Impossible III, I will feel really, really bad. For five minutes and then I'll probably get over it.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Ten things that happened to me this week ...

  1. I have been incredibly inspired by my new board director (after four days of him scaring the crap out of me)
  2. I worked alongside people I last worked alongside eight years ago
  3. I attended a party where George Clooney was present
  4. I learned that an inverted fork provides a better ride (!)
  5. I went to two tres, tres expensive restaurants for lunch
  6. I got to buy expensive desk furniture
  7. I was given a really cool pair of black leather biker boots
  8. I was twice told I am much nicer than my predecessor (although it should be noted that my predecessor was sacked for embezzlement)
  9. I was told by my first ever boss (who, after nine years, is my boss again) that I am like a completely different person
  10. I had sex five times with the same person (and I still really like him!)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

So now that I'm a motorbike petrolhead, does that mean that I get to date guys like these?

Pic1

pic3

Friday, October 28, 2005

Even though I come from a family of motorbike petrolheads (my Mum, Dad and brother each have motorbikes) I have never, ever been even slightly interested in them. Motorbikes all look the same to me. Then there's also the fact that they are very, very dangerous.

At least that was what I thought until this morning, when my new account manager, Bill (who I took out for an introductory breakfast) informed me that the motorbike brand we will be representing will be paying for me to take my motorbike test. And not only that, but the brand lends us actual, real, shiny bikes to take to show the press and we're TOTALLY allowed to look after them in the interim!!!

After breakfast Bill and I stopped by the office and I picked up a sales brochure for the bikes. As I flicked through I still found myself having trouble distinguishing each model from the next - two wheels, handlebars, seat, yadda, yadda, yadda.

So I asked Bill, "If [motorbike] was a car, what would it be?"

"An Aston Martin."

And so in the moment that followed I became a baby motorbike petrolhead.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Last night I dreamt that I was working on a publicity stunt for the new Harry Potter movie, where J.K. Rowling, herself, would drive the Hogwarts Express into King's Cross Station.

In my dream I was standing at the end of the platform, the furthest end away from the front of the station. As the train motored past me with J.K. at the wheel, waving to all the children lining the platform, I thought to myself, She's not paying attention! She's going too fast! She's not going to be able to stop in time!

Sure enough a couple of seconds later there was a huge explosion and lots and lots of steam. Suddenly I was surrounded by hundreds of TV crews and reporters screaming and yelling at me, "J.K. Rowling is dead because of you! Who's going to write the final book now!" And then all the kids who had been in the station started to bawl and cry.

It was a MESS!

In fact it was so realistic that it actually woke me up.

Is my subconscious trying to tell me something about my PR / Event Management / Celebrity Liaison skills in advance of starting my new job next week?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

While I was at home I berated my Dad for not having set aside the first weekend in December for coming to London to see his number one son, in advance of Christmas (when I will be in Thailand) as he had agreed he would do over three months ago.

Dad emailed me yesterday suggesting that perhaps, instead, he could come up from Bath one evening, take me out for dinner and then drive home afterwards. I emailed him back and agreed to the evening and time.

I received this email back from him:

Great! It's a date! x

This is WAY too exuberant for my Dad who usually responds with a singular "OK" or a "Good" and NEVER with a kiss. I mean we only started hugging about two years ago and even that feels forced and uncomfortable.

Of course it's made all the worse by the fact that I have been told that I am going on a "date" with my Dad.

I feel nauseous.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Today I met Jess, an old friend from my last company, for lunch.

Jess had recently been dumped by a long-term ex-boyfriend, shortly before they were supposed to move in together. Apparently he got cold feet. Last week he asked to see her because he thought that he had made the wrong decision.

By this point Jess was pretty sure that she didn't want to get back together with him, but agreed to meet up with him anyway to hear exactly what he had to say.

After a few minutes with him she was reminded what an ass he is and it cemented in her mind exactly why they were not meant to be together.

She told me, "You should have heard me! I was brilliant! I said to him, 'Do you want to know why there is more chance of Hell freezing over before the two of us get back together? Because there is more chance of Hell freezing over before the two of us get back together.' He didn't really have anything to say after that."

She crossed her arms, pretty pleased with both herself and her fait a'complit.

After a pause, I said, "Well I'm not surprised he didn't say anything. What you said doesn't actually make any sense."

"What do you mean? I was saying that there is no way we're getting back together."

"Well, it seems to me that what you actually said was that the seemingly high chance that Hell will freeze over before you get back together means that you do actually think you'll eventually get back together again. That is providing the Hell Ice Age occurs before you both die. Either way, the high-chance of Hell freezing over doesn't in itself validate the high chance of Hell freezing over, before you and Mark get back together. To be honest I don't really know what you said."

She responded with a frosty stare and I reminded myself that a good friend just nods sympathetically. Always.

Monday, October 24, 2005

I went home to Bath this past weekend so that I could help my brother, Stephen, my Dad and my Aunt scatter my Grandma's ashes.

After my Granddad's funeral, which was earlier this year, my Grandma told me and my Grandpa that she wanted her ashes scattered by the brook in Holt which she and her brother would play in when they were both kids.

This might sound a bit silly, but we were all a bit unsure how to actually go about scattering someone's ashes. Like, what do you actually do? In the end we all took it in turns to take the urn and the whole thing turned out just perfect and, weirdly, not at all sad.

Here is my Grandma's view ...

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In other news ...

My Mum has just had an extension put onto the back of her house and on Friday morning she got up extra early to paint one of the walls in the extension white. Before she left for work she gave me one very simple instruction:

"Don't let Henry into the extension, because the wall is still wet!"

In my defense she told me this about 0.5 seconds after she had woken me up. Needless to say, I forgot. While Henry didn't seem to be that bothered by the subsequent incident, Mum certainly was:

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Finally, please give it up and put your hands together for yours truly, as I am pleased to announce that I have bagged myself a hawt new job with a really cool PR agency just off Oxford Street. I am going to be directing the UK PR for a famous motorbike brand and a famous SUV brand. I start next Monday. Even since I left my last permanent job, back in April, I have been freelancing and while it has paid well, it has not provided regular-work "security". I cannot begin to tell you what a weight it is off of my mind that I now have a steady income to look forward to, again.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Today, while attempting to learn what homosexuality is on Wikipedia, I discovered the most amazing and simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking thing ever!

Gay penguins!

(I'm not going to post a direct link to this information, because that would ruin the impression that I am something of a gay penguin expert, which for the purposes of today's post, I am.)

Meet Squawk and Milou, a pair of gay Chinstrap penguins. They are one of several pairs of such penguins kept at the Central Park Zoo in Manhattan.

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(Squawk is looking rather flamboyant in that picture. I bet he's a bottom.)

Like their heterosexual counterparts, gay penguins mate for life. However, while the strong instinct for raising and co-operating in caring for a brood is still very much present, obviously gay penguins cannot have babies. Therefore once they have mated and built their nest together, gay penguins often use a stone as a replacement for an egg.

A stone! Seriously! Is that not the cutest thing?! There's something almost Dickensian about it. Like when I was little boy all my parents would give me for Christmas (because we were poor) was a lump of coal or a log (not entirely the truth) and I was always happy. Just as I am sure Squawk and Milou are with their stone.

A few years ago the gay baby Jesus (albeit in the form of some meddling, but well-intentioned zoologists) shone down on another pair of gay penguins at the same zoo. Silo and Roy's rock was replaced with a fertilised egg which they continued to incubate. Once the chick had hatched they raised and nurtured it as if it were their own.

Or at least that was what happened until Silo left Roy and their adopted chick for a female penguin.

I think the interesting point about all of this is not the proof that homosexuality is valid and accepted in other forms of existence, but that there will always be some utter bastard just itching to break your heart and abandon both you and your children.

That particular instance also just goes to prove that bisexuals are tossers (just kidding!!)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I've just got around to putting Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel onto my iPod. While the short-term analysis of the song could be that it is a criticism of perfection, albeit in the best possible way, it's still pretty much the perfect love song. It says exactly what you would want to hear from your partner: that they don't want you to change your hair and they don't wish you were smarter and they don't want you to go trying "some new fashion". To them you are perfect. They couldn't love you any more than they do.

Billy Joel wrote Just the Way You Are about his then-wife and manager, Elizabeth Weber (who he then went on to divorce, four years later). He's saying that he loves her because she's not perfect and that he could never leave her in times of trouble. The fact that they didn't stay together seems to make the song even more poignant.

When I got back from New York I was nowhere near being over my ex-boyfriend, Will (we had broken up just before I left.) Shortly after I moved in with Vix I asked her to look after all the little notes, love-letters and emails Will had written to me when we were together as I had a tendency to wake up in the middle of the night, read them and make myself really upset.

It took me almost a year to properly get over Will. It was in February of this year. I knew when I received an email from him and for the first time ever my heart didn't flip - I just loved him as a friend. That feeling of emotional release is such an amazing sensation. For so long I thought that I was never going to get over Will, that I would never meet anyone like him and that I would always love him from afar. Then suddenly I realised that I had moved on.

Yesterday I remembered those notes and decided to ask Vix for them back, lest they got lost in the annals of time! Aside from a Valentines Day card and a couple of emails, the notes mainly consist of musings that he would have written before leaving for work and then left on his pillow for me to find (he is a nurse and often starts at around 6am.) Obviously I'm not going to write them all out for you, because they're private, but one of them that I looked at yesterday read, simply:

No morning is a bad morning when I wake up next to you. I love you. W.

In his book Sex, Lies and Cocoapuffs, Chuck Klosterman talks about how songs like Just the Way You Are make him think about all of the perfectly romantic emails and notes he has written over the years for various girlfriends, each of them proclaiming his profound and enduring love.

Like him, in a way I hate the fact that those notes and emails that I penned for Will are still out there somewhere. Not because I didn't mean them when I wrote them, but because I meant them when I wrote them.

The good thing is that they are all a reminder that I have felt love and that I have been loved and that very possibly I'll feel it all again some day.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I can't think of anything particular to blog about today, so how 'bout some gratuitous man action instead ...

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His name is Will Chalker and he's originally a builder from the east of London. He makes me feel all swoony and weak in the knees [insert crude joke here].

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Today I went into town without a coat and for the first time in months I seriously regretted it. It was COLD! As if that wasn't enough, by the time I got home at 6pm it was almost dark. In fact as I type this it is pouring with rain outside. It's beating down so loud that I can actually hear it.

I kinda have the winter blues.

To try to cheer myself up I have been reminding myself that in eight weeks time I will be spending almost three weeks here with four other fabulous gayers, for the whole of the Christmas and New Year holiday.

It would have worked if it weren't for the fact that the occupiers of the apartment below us are playing Unchained Melody on a loop and so loud that it is almost making the room shake.

Monday, October 17, 2005

So I go to Fiction with my friend Matt, where I meet a really hot guy. We call him Dan. While Dan was a little on the short side, he was what I thought to be a dead ringer for Tom Ford, albeit ten years younger. He even had the same hairline. Result.

So we eventually hooked up and we ended up spending the rest of the next day in bed, chilling out, doing a lot of the fun naked stuff and having those great little chats that make you think, "Click!"

Aside from my making a quick pit stop at my place to shower and change, Dan and I carried on like that. We went out clubbing again that evening with some of his friends who were all, also, really great and friendly. After the clubs we went back to his again where we cooked, drank wine, talked and spooned infront of the TV.

Later, before we went to sleep, for the umpteenth time that weekend, we had sex. In the middle of the sex I felt the condom break.

After a quick, "I'm, er, 'ok'. Are you 'ok'?" chat and a moment of awkwardness Dan smiled at me and said, "Well, we could carry on anyway? If you're cool with that?"

I told him that I was not really cool with that. And then I asked him, "Is that something that you do often?"

"Well, not 100% of the time. I guess 80% with, 30% without."

After he said that I kinda lost respect for him. I will admit to the odd careless slip-up when I've been really, really drunk or whatever. None of us are infallible and when it has happened I've certainly not felt great about it. But it's never happened so frequently that I could actually offer up a statistic like that.

And then there is, of course, the important fact that I am not going to spend my everafter attached to a guy who thinks 80% and 30% equals 100%.

Friday, October 14, 2005

On Wednesday I went to see the new Rachel Whiteread exhibit in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern.

For those of you who haven't been to the Tate Modern, the Turbine Hall is the huge space that you walk into as you enter the gallery, which itself used to be a power station. The space is enormous and to completely fill it is an equally massive challenge. The most impressive installation I have seen to completely fill the space was the Anish Kapoor exhibit, over two years ago. The picture, below, only shows a third of it. Apparently it was actually physically impossible to view or photograph the whole piece at once.

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The Rachel Whiteread installation, while much smaller than the Anish Kapoor, is completely amazing in a totally different way.

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The work was inspired by an old, worn cardboard box that Whiteread found in her mother's house shortly after she died. Whiteread remembered the box from her childhood as it used to be kept in her toy cupboard.

For the installation itself Whiteread filled a number of different sizes of similar boxes with plaster. She then peeled away the exteriors, which left her with perfect casts, each recording and preserving all the bumps and indentations on the inside. To retain their quality as containers, they were refabricated in a translucent polythene.

The title of the installation, Embankment, refers to the riverside location (the Tate Modern sits on the Thames) as well as the nature of the installation's construction, with the piles of boxes forming barriers which you can walk around. Looking at it from above I was reminded of piles of sugar lumps, but when you start walking amongst them it's kind of like being in a maze, with lots of branches and dead ends. Then right in the middle is this huge towering structure, which makes you feel really, really small.

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The thing that really affected me was how empty the installation made me feel. I don't know if that was Whiteread's intention, but I kept reminding myself that these boxes weren't actually boxes at all, but impressions of the nothingness inside boxes that themselves really existed. It was really profound.

I love stuff like this. For me, this is what art is all about. Anything that make me feel something: even if that feeling isn't necessarily good, or even comfortable.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

If my housemate, Victoria (we would usually call her Vix, but Victoria serves us better for today's tale), was a literary character she would probably be something of a cross between Cathy from Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights and Fanny Price from Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. Fiery passion trapped within a romantic and sensible young woman. Looks-wise, she's very "English-rose" with long red hair framing an almost heart-breakingly beautiful face. She is a gentile lady in every possible way. However, I have not known her to run around Clapham Common, brandishing a parasol, calling out, "Heathcliffe!" at the top of her lungs.

Well, not yet, anyway.

Now that you know my housemate intimately and understand her deepest motivations, let me share with you the following discussion that I just overheard her having with the scaffolders who are currently noisily constructing outside our bedroom windows.

Victoria [remember now ... gentile English lady]: "Erm, hello! Hello! Oh yes, hello. I was, um, wondering how long you're going to be building out there for."

Scaffolder: [loud, rough, gravelly, Dartford accent. Americans: watch an episode of Eastenders on BBC America and notice how the men speak]: "Wot's that my luv?"

Victoria: "Er, I was just, er, wondering how long you would be building out there for."

Scaffolder: "Well for a start we're not builders now, are we darlin'? No, we're scaffolders. But don't you worry! We'll be finished by four, my luv!"

Victoria: "Oh, lovely. Sorry! Sorry for bothering you."

Scaffolder: "Yeah, we'll definitely be finished by four my darlin'. We 'ave to be 'cause I've gotta get dahn Soho way latah to get the missus a pair of them rubber knickers."

Victoria: "Oh!"

(The other scaffolders laugh)

Victoria: "Well, maybe she might like some nice underwear from somewhere else as well."

Scaffolder: "Yeah, well. She likes them rubber knickers don't she! Yeah, she loves 'em, she does! But not as much as I love 'em when I'm doin' 'er from behind, ya' know, doggy-style, like."

(More laughter from the other scaffolders)

By this point I knew that the conversation had reached an critical impasse and that it was up to me to save whatever was left of Victoria's purity. I dove into her bedroom and gently spirited her away from the window.

She looked at me quizzically. "Did you hear that?"

"Oh my God! Er, yes!?"

"Rubber knickers? Isn't that a bit unhygienic?"

She's ruined. Ruined, I tell you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Morph: 1977 - 2005. RIP.

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Clearly I have been otherwise occupied as I have only just learned of the demise of Morph, who burned to death in a fire during the early hours of Monday morning. A part of my childhood is dead.

Obviously when something terrible like this happens one has many, many spiritual and philosophical questions to ask. For example:

What does happen to Plasticine when you set it on fire?

Because if it just melts then surely that means that Morph can be resurrected. I remember that he would always get into scrapes where he would melt and shit and then he'd just pop back up and be all fine and make that noise that sounded like,"Mnupel!"

I fear I may have to let go.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Last night I went out to dinner with my friend Anthony who I haven't seen in, like, forever. Anthony and I used to live together when we were students at university and at the time his nickname was Sonic, due to his blue Mohawk. But these days he's all suited and booted and strangely attractive, in that "Ew, I would never go there," kind of way.

Anyway, we met at Piccadilly Circus and couldn't decide where to eat. So we wandered around for a while before finally settling on The Stockpot, which is an ultra basic restaurant directly opposite the theatre on Panton Street. It serves a three course meal for about seven quid and a bottle of wine for about eight quid. The food is very school dinners - processed but comforting.

So we sat there and ate and drank for about two hours, catching up and reminiscing over old times. Meanwhile, like any well-trained gay boy, I simultaneously checked out the uber-hot waiter (unfortunately not designated to our table) all the while not missing a word of what Anthony was saying to me.

Now this waiter was seriously hot. I know I mention hot guys on my blog a fair bit, but he was hot in a "I've just celebrated my 18th birthday and I'm pretty sure I'm gay cause I once fooled around with my best friend and I think I liked it so maybe you'll show me the ropes," kinda way (I know what you're probably thinking if you're straight, but this is actually a pretty standard and ageless gay fantasy.) Blonde / mousey spiky hair, tall, gangly and lean. But the best bit?

He was French!!! Speaking English!

Sacre bleu!

So eventually we finished the wine and decided to move on. As we left our table we said goodbye to our waitress and then, in the most non-sexually aggressive but nicest manner possible, I smiled and said "Bye," to Le Hot French Waiter.

To which he responded by folding his arms, before huffily looking in the opposite direction. In the manner of a spurned lover. Which would have been hot, had it actually been the case.

Anthony and I spent the next however long attempting to deduce why I'd pissed the waiter off. In the end I decided that it was either:

a) He was indeed a spurned and forgotten lover who I'd picked up at G.A.Y. several years ago and I hadn't called him since

or

b) Our eye contact had been badly synchronised and he had actually been trying to get my attention for the entire time I had been there.

At which point Anthony said that I was being really self-involved and it was more than likely just because he was French. Which is even more hot! For crying out loud! Le Hot French Waiter, being all French with me! "J'taime Le Hot French Waiter!" etc.

The other explanation, of course, that neither Anthony or I dared to broach, was that Le Hot French Waiter was actually Le Hot French Straight Waiter and Anthony had been too queeny (because while I was admittedly wearing a huge pink knitted scarf over a cowboy shirt, I naturally give off a devastatingly masculine and heterosexual vibe) and had pissed him off.

Le Hot French Straight Homophobic Pissed Off Waiter. In a f**ked up way, that's so hot that it doesn't even register on the scale.

Monday, October 10, 2005

For a number of reasons I'm feeling a bit down in the dumps, so to help lift the funk I decided to moisturise my hands using the very expensive efficacious Anthony Logistics for Men Glycerin Hand & Body Lotion that my friend Richard bought for me for my birthday.

As I picked the lotion up my grip failed and the tube began to fall to the floor. As I went to catch it the sharp corner hit the palm of my other hand and inflicted this:

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It looks like a superficial wound, but it totally bled out and it still hurts like a mofo.

Hand, injured by hand lotion. My life sucks.

Friday, October 07, 2005

My aunt and uncle, my mother's brother, have been married for about 20 years. Rather than starting a family each chose to pursue careers. My Aunt is a barrister and my Uncle owns a surfboarding shop. They live on a farm in the New Forest on which they breed horses.

I have always thought that they were one of the few couples in my family who were genuinely happily married and in love with each other. That was until my Mum told me the following story.

The other day my Uncle visited my Mum in a bit of state. My Aunt, for one reason or another, had become cold towards my Uncle and out of loneliness he turned to a friend, a married woman, for comfort and the relationship eventually grew into a fully fledged affair which lasted for just over two years ago.

About a month ago my Uncle and the other woman decided to leave their respective partners and live together. As he drove home to break the news to my Aunt he received a phone call from another friend to tell him that the woman he had been seeing had just had a heart attack and was critically ill in hospital. She died later that night. She was only 36. (My Uncle would later deduce that the heart attack had occurred before she had the chance to tell her husband that she was leaving him.)

My Uncle immediately made the decision to never tell my Aunt the truth about his adultery, his decision to leave or about the death of the woman he had fallen in love with. He realised that he would never meet anyone like the woman who had died and couldn't bear the idea of a life alone. For him, the prospect of a life spent in a cold marriage was better than the alternative. He also knew that the combined circumstances of his adultery combined with his grieving, would put my Aunt in an impossible situation and would more than likely break her own heart in an entirely different way.

When she finished telling me the story my Mum took a pause before saying, "I don't think that honesty is always the best policy."

I agree and I think that my Uncle is one of the bravest people I know.

[Addendum - my Mum is the only member of my family who knows about my blog. I asked her first if she was ok for me to write about this, which she was. As for my Aunt and Uncle, they probably don't even know what a blog is.]

Thursday, October 06, 2005

At school I was something of an academic underachiever. Actually, that's not entirely true. I was always very gifted at the arty subjects such as English, Literature, Art and Drama, but when it came to the boring stuff, such as Sciences and Mathematics, notsomuch.

Just under a year ago, while I was still seeing him, my psychologist suggested that I take a standard intelligence test as apparently some behavioral characteristics and traits can be associated with certain levels of intelligence. At the time I was a bit loath to do that simply because I had been such a pleb at school, at least where the "logical" subjects had been concerned and I didn't want conclusive proof of such. But in the end I agreed and I took the test.

My final score was so high that it puts me in the top 0.01 percentile. Upon further discussion my psychologist reasoned that one of the reasons that I may not have excelled at those afore mentioned subjects was due to concentration and attention. He suggested that in retrospect it is very possible that I suffered from and to some extent may still suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder. In an instance such as that a predisposition to being very distracted will naturally impact on one's ability to apply logic to and thus solve certain problems. Maths and Sciences bored me so I didn't pay attention and so I got rubbish grades. In other ways I was often times irrational and therefore other things also suffered, as a result.

While on the one hand I was delighted to have achieved so high a score, I also felt somewhat ashamed and actually kind of embarrassed. It had turned out that I could have been as capable, if not more capable, of achieving similar or far better results than some of my peers.

To this date I have only told about five people about that IQ test, but even so over the last year I have started to become more comfortable with what it means to me and has actually made me a lot more confident in myself.

About four weeks ago I went to a business meeting at MENSA, during which my colleagues and myself all took an IQ test (for fun.) Upon completion, each of our tests was scored by an invigilator and my final result was almost the same as it was when I took that test before (it was one point lower, but I attributed it to being distracted by the guy we were meeting with, who was tres handsome!) Out of the four people from my company that I went to the meeting with, I was the person who scored the highest. I know this simply because I was the only one of us to subsequently be offered admission to the society.

Aside from the fact that I was mortally embarrassed by the fact that out of all of my colleagues I was the only one to whom the offer was extended (including the owner of the company, who is generally known to be as smart a mind as there is in PR) my bashful side was all like, well, bashful and I shied away from the idea.

That was until a couple of days later. This might sound a bit strange, but I have always considered myself to be something of an outsider and the more I thought about it the more attractive the whole prospect appeared to be. For lots of silly reasons it's taken me a long time to acknowledge that I have gifts, so I thought that perhaps this was something I should really learn to love and embrace a whole lot more than I have to date. After all, I didn't have to brag about it. I could do it just for myself.

Last night I went to my first MENSA meeting at a pub in Pimlico, fully expecting to be surrounded by the most gifted and brilliant minds around. I was expecting to learn about quantum physics, discuss Nobel Prize winners and discover how mathematics, science and logical reasoning would provide the solutions to all of the world's problems.

What actually happened was that I spent the best part of two hours with three other men and three women, all of whom were over 40, discussing the merits of practically every private school in London, whether or not climate change would make the UK a profitable producer of sherry and whether or not Lulu's new album was any good.

Suffice it to say that I am not going to be attending another meeting. This afternoon I will be embracing my inner pleb, by going to see The 40 Year Old Virgin.

(If you must know what my final score was, do a Google search for Sharon Stone's IQ. Ours are the same - a small fact which, as you can probably imagine, has delighted me to no end!)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I have only ever ordered one thing from Amazon that could be considered "gay" and it was this, last Thursday.

Apparently Amazon saw my order and thought "Fag!" because now my "recommendations" consist solely of gay cinema.

As I huffily browsed through the titles that I had been stereotyped against, I realised, with a pang of disappointment, that us gays still have so much work to do in terms of changing peoples mindsets about what we do and what we like.

And then I saw this and was taken aback by how breathtakingly cute the lead is.

I am hoping that it will arrive before the weekend.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Closing ceremony

The week of birthday celebrations is officially over. While I had a lovely weekend with equally lovely friends at tapas restaurants and rubbish gay clubs I was extremely disappointed with the lack of fireworks in the sky over Clapham South last night.

Seriously. Just look at the disappointment on my face:

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Monday, October 03, 2005

I just discovered that a guy I dated a couple of years back is working as a hooker.

I'm trying to tell myself that in this day and age I should view this information with an open mind. After all, one could say that using one's sexuality as a commodity is the ultimate form of liberation.

So I shouldn't feel sad for him.

But I do.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Last night I flew a stealth bomber, with pictures of my family stuck onto the controls of the cockpit, to see my great uncle. My great uncle, after having been diagnosed with brain death, had been admitted into a sanatorium. As I was landing the stealth bomber there was a bit of a scary moment when I thought that I might crash it, but in the end, even though I should really have had a co-pilot with me, I bought it down ok.

In the grounds of his new home I played fetch with my great uncle. It was very annoying because all he would do was run after the sticks I was throwing and then stand over them, refusing to bring them back. It must have been because he was brain dead.

While I was playing with my brain dead great uncle a nurse from the sanatorium bought over another person who was visiting. This person turned out to be none other than Freddie Prinze Jr. He claimed to be the son of my great uncle which, of course, would have meant that he was my cousin.

It was at this point that I knew that I was dreaming. There is no possible way that after starring in that awful movie (you know, the one with the supermodels) that Freddie Prinze Jr. would have the gall to claim that he was related to me.

The jackass.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

First, thank you for all your kind birthday wishes yesterday! Forthwith, I will now be 23 33, every day, for the next 365 days. Probably even longer.

I had a great birthday pardee last night at The Langley in Covent Garden, attended by a whole bunch of friends - old and new.

However, there's a small problem with parties that are for me - they make me incredibly, unbelievably anxious. Prior to the party starting I had managed to work myself up into such a state that not only was I craving beta blockers but I was actually physically sick. And then, about an hour after it had started, I had to step outside for a quiet moment and a cigarette. Not great especially as, if you recall, I gave up smoking some months back.

But I'm glad to report that I did chill out in the end and had a great time. I even stopped drinking alcohol after a while and stuck to soft drinks. No hangover for Chrissy this morning!

I did take photos, but I'm saving them for a birthday montage. I'm going to Birmingham at the weekend for a birthday dinner and no doubt there will be some more outrageous antics to document (and hopefully none that involve smoking or vomiting. Well, maybe vomiting.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

33 today ...

... and this much I know:
  1. If you live in London you should own a small umbrella and carry it with you at all times.
  2. Mona in Tales of the City was right: I too would rather have six really great friends and no partner, than have a partner but no real friends.
  3. You only need two pairs of shoes: one brown pair, one black pair. And you only need two pairs of sneakers: one white pair and one pair for the gym.
  4. People who notice shoes should stop looking at the floor as much.
  5. When I was a child, nine times out of ten my parents were right.
  6. My parents have yet to learn that as an adult, nine times out of ten, I am right.
  7. There is no shame in not knowing something and asking for an explanation. It's much more shameful to pretend that you do know and then get caught out.
  8. Lying to a PR is a waste of time: don't bullshit a bullshitter.
  9. It's PR, not ER.
  10. The expression "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" is a highly subjective metaphor.
  11. The expression "a rolling stone gathers no moss" is a great metaphor.
  12. It is absolutely not possible to party non-stop for 24 hours and not feel like ten shades of crap the next day.
  13. Putting the hand of someone who is sleeping into warm water does not make him or her pee the bed.
  14. Good taste is highly overrated.
  15. Other people don't annoy me. I allow myself to be annoyed by other people.
  16. I always know what is best for me. I'm just not very good at doing it.
  17. Morecombe and Wise were comic geniuses.
  18. Russ Abbot was not a comic genius.
  19. Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder: some people just dig unattractive people.
  20. Isabella Blow may be as mad as the hats that she wears, but she is massively responsible for helping to put British fashion on the map.
  21. For some obscure reason my friends see something in me.
  22. Posing with big cats in official portraiture only works for Jackie Collins and Siegfried and Roy. And as Roy will attest to, not all of the time.
  23. Rent is the worst musical I have ever seen.
  24. You can't do anything you set your mind to. I will never be a dancer for Madonna on one of her world tours.
  25. I have a finely tuned instinct for things that do not directly relate to me.
  26. Inappropriate or politically incorrect jokes are usually the funniest.
  27. Nothing is ever as bad as it seems.
  28. My sex drive does not decrease as I get older.
  29. You can succeed without talent.
  30. You should be proud of your porn stash.
  31. When a musician is described by critics as being a "poet" it generally means that they are talented at communicating in unintelligible rhetoric which they would be hard pressed to explain. Applying this logic, Pete Doherty is a poet. Eminem is not.
  32. It is necessary to back up your hard-drive.
  33. I've learned the hard way that life isn't like a movie or a book, but more like a photograph. Stories don't always have a beginning, middle and an end. It's about taking hold of the moment and enjoying it, if you can, without thinking too much about what happens next.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Although I was born on the 27th of September, I am not actually 33 until 4.20am, tomorrow morning. That means that you each have 16 hours birthday present shopping time betwixt now and then.

Lost for inspiration? Lets see if I can help:

Table 39 at Nobu
table 39

Right in the middle of the famous Mayfair restaurant, this is the table that Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts dined at in Notting Hill. The waiting list for table 39 is between three to six months, but fortunately I reserved it over eight months ago, you know, just in case.

A Magnum of '98 Dom Perignon
dom perignon

Most London dining and drinking establishments have been waiting for over eight months to receive their orders but you only have to pop down to Harrods or Selfridges to grab a bottle. But bear in mind that a case is only 1,350 squid, so it might make better sense to buy it in bulk.

A cleansing and decongesting facial at Eve Lom
eve lom

If it's good enough for Cate Blanchett, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rupert Everett and Elton John, then it's good enough for me.

A life soundtrack consultation with Allessandra Nerdrum
During an hour-long session, Allesandra will quiz you on everything to do with how you feel when you're driving to what fragrance you use. With the answers as her inspiration she will go away and create a playlist of two hours worth of songs and music to download straight onto your iPod.

An Aston Martin DB9
DB9

Please don't have it delivered with a giant red bow wrapped around it. That's just tacky.

A labradoodle
labradoodle

I'm not as allergic to dogs as I am to cats, but they can still make me a bit sniffly. Therefore the labradoodle, a cross between a labrador and a standard poodle is the perfect choice pour moi. Apparently Brad and Jen bought one shortly before they split up which in my mind just increases it's stock.

That should do for now. I haven't put prices here, because I feel that just really spoils the point of giving. And it really is just about giving. I'm actually thinking of y'all and not myself.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

A few weeks ago I ordered this T-shirt online. I thought it would be kind of quippy and ironic. I imagined myself wearing it and people looking on, whispering, "Look at him! All quippy and ironic!"

With hindsight, this was clearly not one of my finer purchases.

Friday, September 23, 2005

I don't know whether or not Kate Moss is a drug addict, but what I do know is that she has not deserved to be on the receiving end of one of the most vitriolic and rabid character assassinations I have witnessed in the media for a really long time. These stories have been written by a group of "journalists" who apparently regard themselves as bastions of healthy sobriety and good, clean morals. They think that drug taking is bad.

Are you kidding? I have worked with journalists for over nine years now and I would be highly surprised if not all of them have at least tried coke and that not only some of them use it as much as they are claiming Kate Moss does. This whole gnarly debacle just reeks of bitter, sanctimonious, shameless hypocrisy - from the hacks writing the stories, to the companies culling her contracts. And now Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair (the head of Scotland Yard), has apparently made it his mission to make an example out of Kate. Clearly he would be much better advised to attend to more pressing (but less glamorous) matters, such as ensuring that his police force are able to tell the difference between innocent members of the public and suspected terrorists.

Taking drugs is illegal and I accept that. I'm sure Kate Moss does too. I, personally, would like to see drugs legalised and properly regulated. The problem has never really been in the consumption of drugs. After all, most people who take drugs are not addicts, just as most people who drink alcohol are not alcoholics. The problems, for the most part, lie in the production and the deployment of drugs. But for significant changes in the law to occur people would be required to open their eyes to the real issues and to listen to the real facts. But because drugs still is such an emotive issue for most people, it is unlikely that this will happen any time soon.

Here's why I think I feel sorry for Kate Moss. She is one of the few celebrities who actually goes out of her way not to court media attention. To my knowledge she has only been officially interviewed on four occasions in a career that has spanned well over sixteen years. That's not to say that she hasn't made some really questionable decisions in her personal life, which have been picked up extensively by the media (anyone mention Pete Doherty?) I'm pretty certain that she didn't want people, across the land, to see her snorting cocaine in a private recording studio, late one night, alongside her boyfriend and a few of his mates.

Oh and as far as the issue of her suitability as a parent goes, all I know is that I have friends who use drugs recreationally and are still really great parents. There is of course the fact that Kate Moss doesn't look after her child for most of the time. The baby's father, Jefferson Hack, does and apparently always has. It has not been in the interests of the media to report this, as it doesn't help to facilitate the "bad mother" angle.

Overall, the story "fashion model takes drugs" is not one worthy of this kind of media attention. And if she really does have a problem, again, Kate Moss certainly does not deserve this kind of media attention. I will concede that some of it may prove to be her savior, but it still doesn't excuse the overall behaviour.

I admit to occasionally using drugs for recreational purposes. I don't think I could write all of this and not fess up to that. But then I am no different to hundreds of thousands of other middle class Londoners. I personally think that taking drugs is neither cool, nor uncool. But like Kate Moss I've made some pretty awful decisions in the past that I am in no way proud of. For those reasons it would be really inappropriate for me or, for that matter, anyone else who has ever taken drugs or fucked anything up, to judge Kate Moss.

What I really hope is that she receives all the best help that she needs, in whatever form that is, from people who genuinely love her and really have her best interests at heart.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

First, is it wrong to want a baby just so I can put it in this?

Secondly, here is an order of words that I never thought that I would write:

Ozzy Osbourne used to be cute.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Into my closet

This post was inspired by my friend Marv's post of well over a-year-and-a-half ago, in combination with this weekend's culling of any clothes which I haven't worn for over 12 months (this is the third major task I referred to in yesterday's post.)

I'm largely assuming that you're all interested in what I wear / have decided not to wear, as well as some of the bittersweet memories or tales behind some of my favourite garments.

So, without further ado:

CIMG1723

These are a pair of ridiculously tight, 70s style, Hawaiian surf shorts. I like the idea that one day I might actually wear them on a beach, let alone on a surfboard. I'm holidaying in Thailand for Christmas and New Year, so we shall see. They were given to me by an ex-boyfriend who actually surfed at home in LA.

CIMG1724

I recently showed this vest to a friend and his response was, "Please, dear God, no." Regardless, this was my favourite top to wear to homosexual dancing establishments when I lived in NYC. It was bought for me by my friend Adam who I think was trying to convert me into being some big gay wrestling stud. Silly boy. I stopped wearing it because I started to become afraid that I would be asked to "double clutch" and I wouldn't know what to do.

CIMG1727

This is a limited-edition, deep-V, Karl Lagerfeld sweater for H&M. The stripes are actually supposed to be white, but last Christmas my 4 year-old cousin knocked a glass of wine on it and it stained. So I tie-died it purple to, you know, match the stain. The effect is kind of Joan Baez circa 1971 and I highly doubt that I will ever leave the apartment with it on. Shame, because it makes my pecs look really good.

CIMG1728

You either really love this shirt or really hate it. It's black cotton with a sewn on white satin sash, designed by Helmut Lang. I really love it because it was the shirt I was wearing when I first met Will. He later said that he knew we would end up dating because anyone who would intentionally make themselves look like a horse jockey had to be game for a laugh.

CIMG1729

Until yesterday I had forgotten all about this shirt. As you all know, my Grandma died a month ago. This was her present to me, last Christmas. At the time I didn't really like it, but now I think it would work well underneath a cool T-shirt with some big gaudy print on it. The Seth Cohen look. Bubby would be proud.

CIMG1730

Here is a selection of my accessories. From left to right (skipping out some): the scarf on the left is a really cool silk neck scarf by Ermenegildo Zegna and looks great worn with a T-shirt or underneath a dress shirt. The blue silk scarf is by Matthew Williamson and is grey on the reverse. Again, it looks great with a T-shirt, dressed with a suit jacket or even a mandarin collared biker jacket. The pink belt is a pink belt. The red silk-backed, navy, pinstriped tie was a freebie from a Tommy Hilfiger catwalk show I attended in Bryant Park in NYC. The gold sequined scarf was a present from Lindsay for my birthday last year and I only wore it once. Big surprise. And the scarf on the far right is the one that Trinny and Susannah complemented me on, hence it's appearance in this picture.

CIMG1731

This sweater is perhaps one of my favourite items of clothing and was a gift from Lincoln. It's by Armand Basi and features a huge leather flash on both of the sleeves. I rarely wear it because it provokes such grown up remarks as, "Flash! I love you! But we only have 14 hours to save the Earth!"

Idiots.

CIMG1732

I LOVE this sweatshirt. It's a basic marl-grey, raglan-sleeved sweatshirt, but it's really special because it was made especially for me by my ex-boyfriend, Nick. It's not brilliantly constructed and there isn't actually a right-way-round to wear it, but it's really comfortable. He also wore it to bed for a week before giving it to me and I've never washed it. Just like my bed-linen.

CIMG1735

Everyone should have a winter fleece and this is mine. It's a really tight fitting, electric blue / black DKNY fleece sweater. It's almost nine years old, so I guess you could officially call it designer vintage and was actually my first designer purchase. It was 1996 and I was on holiday in Italy with my friends Tim and Jemma. It only cost something like ninety pounds (probably about six million lire!) but Tim and Jemma were absolutely scandalised that I could be so "frivolous" with money. They learned pretty quick.

CIMG1736

This is a sleeveless denim shirt that I have never worn because it's a size large. For me, to wear something fitted, shirts need to be a size small. I bought this a few months ago because I thought that with my current excessive gym-going I would fill into it. But that would require me to grow exponentially and short of taking steroids, that currently looks unlikely to happen.

CIMG1738

This is a really great top by BDg and I bought it in an attempt to channel some kind of stylish (yet masculine) vibe from the ghost of Jean Seberg. In reality all that I channeled was a lot of anger and a less than flattering overall visage, courtesy of horizontal stripes.

CIMG1741

This is a Gucci scarf and was a present from Vidal Sassoon and his wife, Ronnie Sassoon. I'm including it here, you know, just to demonstrate that I have been bought clothes as presents by famous people.

CIMG1740

In the absence of a real boyfriend, every night (except when he's in the washing machine) I go to bed with Adam Brody.

What?