Thursday, 10 December 2009

The Divine Miss M. gives mouth to a male part (or two?)

'Twas good to be watching TV a couple of evenings ago at around 7.10 when Bette M., appearing on our main BBC channel, uttered the expletive "Oh, bollocks!" at one of the presenters. Nothing gets viewers in such a tizzy as 'bad' language used before the 'watershed' of 9 p.m. When it was pointed out to her what she had said she was unrepentant - and good on her! All this idea of 'corrupting the young' really takes the biscuit. One now hears 8 and 9 year-olds using words I didn't even know existed when I was their age - and it would be another decade or more before I started using them myself - but only in moderation and only when absolutely necessary, you understand! ;-)

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

The latest film to 'spook' me out.

I've now seen over 4,000 films (counting only those seen in a cinema) and every once in a while one comes along that lingers in the mind for having been especially disturbing. It's now a fortnight since I saw 'Paranormal Activities' and it's been, well, 'haunting' me every time I retire to bed. Everyone has their own particular trigger point of fear and though I declare myself as agnostic-going-on-atheist and therefore really doubt an after-life, I still feel there's something going on here which we can't yet explain. Of course I know this film is complete fiction but it does bring to the surface an issue defying rationality. While not for a moment suggesting that seances are conclusive proof of an after-life - surely most of them are trickery of some sort - I do feel there's at least something niggling enough about some cases of seeing 'ghosts', experiencing poltergeists etc. to give pause for thought, though I've never had such an ancounter myself. I wish I could dismiss all these reports as fantasy but I think there's something more to it than that.
The points of this film which really got me (I'll not spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it) were not so much the more conspicuous haunting events, but when the couple were asleep in bed and suddenly the hall light is switched on. That really made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. And it's that in particular which I think about when I'm alone in my bed, head under duvet, trying to get off to sleep.
Another film which had a similar effect when I first saw it was 'Blair Witch' - and especially when the trio thought that they'd been walking for several miles only to discover that they'd arrived back at the very point they were at ages before. It felt like my blood was chilling at that point. Whoooo! Spooky!

Friday, 4 December 2009

SuBo from below

My neighbour-from-hell under me continues to playhis 'music' loudly for several nights a week until the wee small hours of the following day. I've had to try to live with it as there's no viable alternative - my landlord being unsympathetic (probably, after my informing him of the problem, regarding me as a trouble-maker) and the neighbours in the attached house being unaccountably silent. Anyway, it was with some surprise the other day when I heard the sounds of Susan Boyle's unmistakeable voice drifting up - quite a change from his usual taste of heavy rock and Rolling Stones. It was her recently released album, which he has now played to death. Actually I shared the general amazement a few months ago on first hearing Ms Boyle's voice and even now I still find it quite extraordinary - steady, strong and, usually, accurate. (I read on a certain celebrity gossip website that she's once again started behaving bizarrely. She's clearly very vulnerable and overwhelmed by her world-celebrity status at lightening speed and is in need of good professional care and advice.) Anyway, at 4.30 this morning I heard my neighbour going to bed after I, and presumably, all others living around here, had been hearing Ms Boyle exhorting us to 'cry (me) a river' over and over again. She almost had her wish!
Regarding the singer herself I'm slightly apprehensive about being told that she's a regular church-goer, as well as being a spinster (and, some have said, a virgin, but what does that matter if she is? Are we supposed to read between the lines? - nudge, nudge.) Anyway, I'm just ever so slightly nervous that, were it not for her occasional erratic behaviour, some Christian group would be eager to claim her as their own and use her to trumpet their 'faith' - and bigotry. I bet some are already waiting to jump. Maybe needless fears - but at least for the moment, even though I don't dislike the Stones myself, I'd rather hear her voice than that of Mr Jagger.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Isn't this a cutie?

I'm not sure how well this picture is known - it was on a card sent to me for my birthday six weeks ago ;-) by my brother and his wife. Like everyone else, they know I'm a great animal lover, and an ailurophile above all. I fail to see how anyone can not be won over by this heart-warming, winning image. Just wanted to share it with you.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Ain't he a handsome hunk?

One can find pleasant surprises in some unlikely places - like when I was riffling through our current TV/radio listings guide and came across this advert for bread - and I just had to stop. What a bear! Beautiful smile with more than a hint of sensitiveness underneath. Of course I'm aware that he almost certainly isn't the farmer he's posing as, but what the hell! And wearing those camo pants is the final macho touch to a glorious masculine image. I was also wondering if there was, say for the sake of argument, a whip in his hand instead of that wheat...... It's all just too much. This is the kind of guy from whom I want bear-hugs - Yeah!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Sad time for me

Last night the wife of one of my very few friends rang to tell me that he had passed away. John had been magnificently influential to me since we first met in a gay bar in Amsterdam in the early 1980s. He was at that time about as old as I am now and I could see that his then conspicuous age in a place where youthful looks was everything was isolating him. So, yes, out of pity, I started talking to him and what a fruitful friendship it turned out to be! Although he lived with his wife in an isolated part of England I did visit them once. But he visited me when I lived in Germany, we made further trips to Amsterdam together, as well as twice to Berlin, one time even with his wife. Even when I first talked with him he told me that he had six adult children and was a grandfather several times over. His wife was aware of an 'alternative' side of his personality, as were his children who, apparently, were all relaxed about it. (His youngest daughter thought it was 'hilarious'!) But John had a giant philosphical intellect which would put most, including me, to shame. He was also a Wagner-worshipper - a composer I can live with but don't adulate quite as much as he did.
In one very surprising respect John opened up a new feature of my life - disco-dancing. Before our acquaintanceship the thought of twirling alone on the disco floor so embarrassed me that I would always stand on the sidelines looking on longingly and enviously. But John found it so exhilerating he didn't care what anyone else thought. It certainly looked, erm, 'unusual' to see a white-haired old man energetically jigging around among youngsters some of whom looked askance or bemusedly at him. (By the way, he wasn't just sober - he was also teetotal.) So one day I forced myself onto the floor with him and started letting go. It was indescribably great. In fact for the next ten years there were hardly greater pleasures for me than shaking a leg or three on the disco floors of Gay Europe. I doubt I would ever have done that myself were it not for John's example.
He was 87. Last year he'd had a heart by-pass and a few years ago had had a hip replacement so the end was not totally surprising. But he was active right up to the last - caring for his very large garden which he and his wife let out for public viewings. I hadn't actuallyseen him since he visited me in 1997 when I lived in Brighton but we kept phone contact about once a month. It's unusual for me to lose a friend by means other than through the big 'A' but it makes it quite as devastating. I'll miss him one hell of a lot.

Sunday, 15 November 2009


Am I unusual in feeling giddy almost to the point of nausea when looking at this photo? (Yes, I know it's a well known pic. - 'Rockerfeller Center 1932') I think I read somewhere that there was actually a platform below the men just out of camera-shot, though still far enough under them to cause injury if anyone fell. But my imagination doesn't allow me to look at this photo for any length of time, feeling a disturbingly unnerving tingling in the soles of my feet as well as between balls and spine-base (why?). I keep having the curiously inappropriate thought "What if one of the men's shoes fell off?" when knowing full well that laced shoes hardly ever do so. I get a similar feeling of dizziness, though not quite so acute, while looking up at a very tall structure from ground level. Very strange

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Day of Shame

Just been announced that the Government has abandoned its attempt to make hatred on grounds of sexual orientation a criminal offence - as a result of sustained opposition from our unelected House of Lords who argued for 'freedom of speech and conscience'. This is the very same body which tried to stop the repeal of the blasphemy laws a few years back - unsuccessfully then, thank God (if there were one!). There are already such laws protecting against hatred on grounds of race and religion but, it seems, that, unlike this attempt to criminalise public expressions of homophobia, the former are really necessary! This sexual orientation provision was part of a larger Bill which the Government feared would be entirely lost due to lack of Parliamentary time if it continued to insist on all the clauses, so they've shown the white feather on this one. No doubt the religious bigots will be crowing at their 'victory'. Shame on this lily-livered Government! Anyway, what other democracy has an entirely unelected governing chamber (including 12 Church of England bishops, for goodness' sake!) with so much power? Whenever I hear that our system of Government (along with our system of justice, our police, army - in fact everything!) is the 'envy of the World', as is regularly claimed, I don't know whether to collapse with hilarity or to puke!