Sunday, 21 December 2008

Thank you, Norway!

The lovely Norwegians have sent us a lovely big tree, as they always do, that sits proudly in the middle of Trafalgar Square.

Oh Tannenbaum, Oh Tannenbaum...

Wie grün sind Deine Blätter...

My lovely partner, Queer Royale, likes a Christmas tree, so we have one. He has done a good job. It's a handsome tree, in a commanding position on top of the dining table, and he has only half of the decorations appended yet.

The fact that I split up with my last partner - of many years - whilst decorating our tree and that my mother has been given all my life to Christmas hypomania and Boxing Day depression (culminating in proper suicide attempt and emergency hospital admission on the 26th a few years back) make me suspicious of the whole kitten caboodle. The buying and "trimming" of the tree can be a time of George & Martha Plimpton high drama chez nous.

I cite this video evidence in support of my contention that Christmas trees are untrustworthy:

Here's a pic that includes the pointy top bit too. We used to have a lovely treetop fairy but, for some reason, I gave it away to my sister. Then we got a really fabulous arab chap in a big floaty djellaba that did perfectly (very reminiscent of Madonna in the Frozen video) but we seem to have lost him in transit from one home to another. So now we have just the pointy red thing. It's not like there's a shortage of fairies in my life but somehow I haven't got round to finding one for the top of the tree.

I am undecided about Christmas trees. Once my partner has put one up, I must say that it adds to the general merriment of the Christmas thing. I cannot pretend that I would ever buy and decorate one, if left entirely to my own devices. However, I may very well be a curmudgeonly Scrooge-like figure who should be very grateful to those normal people who surround him for forcing him to connect with the real world, where Santa comes down chimneys and eats mince pies in your kitchen.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Remember me as a sunny day

According to the gay blog patriarch (he is The Daddy): Joe.My.God, today is the International Transgender Day of Remembrance.

From the TDOR site:
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.

Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgender — that is, as a transsexual, crossdresser, or otherwise gender-variant — each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgender people. We live in times more sensitive than ever to hatred based violence, especially since the events of September 11th. Yet even now, the deaths of those based on anti-transgender hatred or prejudice are largely ignored. Over the last decade, more than one person per month has died due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives. This trend shows no sign of abating.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


I like my gym. I go there every day. I am looking rather MuscleBear in consequence. It's big, so that you don't have to wait about to get on any of the machines. The staff are all quite lovely - there are two in particular, well three in fact, whom I like to take home in a doggie bag. It's not one of the super duper expensive gyms full of muscleboys, so I fit in pretty well with all the Halt, the Blind and the Lame. In fact, it's has been all a bit shabby and down-at-heel heretofore. I'm happy there, even although it has been a bit of a building site for several months as they make improvements.

So far the improvements have amounted to losing the row of plasma screens temporarily and all the cardio equipment moving to another part of the main gym floor for a while. BUT - today! New male changing rooms open for our use! Gone are the cramped ranks of wooden bench and metal locker. Gone are the old open showers with chaps soaping their genitals for thirty minutes at a time.

Instead, gorgeous, chic, dark wood lockers spread all round the large, airy changing room, arranged to face N, S, E, and W, instead of the old stratified rows. It affords you more privacy than the old bunched up arrangement. Not a bad thing but not 100% positive. I quite liked the being (more or less) innocently naked in public with lots of other naked men thing. Flashback to High School and 70s orgies :-))

Similar deal with the showers. Everybody has their own shower cubicle but they are all grey slate and frosted glass screens and really rather handsome. Very reminiscent of the smart boutique hotel in which we stayed this past Summer. Bit awkward to be towelling down in the cublicle though, rather than in an open common space as before. I'm not that high and mighty but I was having to concentrate on not banging up against things as I flounced my towel around.

Still, very pretty. Just a bit concerned now that the whole gym will be transformed into your standard central London gym, designed for people who only exist in GQ and they will decide I don't fit with the new décor.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Sunday, 2 November 2008

I say whip it, Whip it good

I am currently trapped in the 16th century, since watching The Tudors reawakened my interest in that period of history. I've been reading Joanna Denny's biography of Anne Boleyn and enjoying it a lot, although that's possibly because it's not any of the reading I should be doing for my MSc.

Have just been reading her take on Sir Thomas More. When I was young, I saw him as a heroic figure, as he is depicted in Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons. Certainly, the Church of Rome still sees him in that light. The Tudors gave him a more complicated gloss, with Jeremy Northam's realisation making him slightly less saintly than Paul Scofield's had been. Since I'm a big fan of Anne Boleyn, I tend to see More in a less than saintly light.

Then I read this in the Denny book:
More was a most unattractive character, a dreadful gossip according to Erasmus, and a fanatic where his religion was concerned. Ridley calls him 'a particularly nasty sadomasochistic pervert' who enjoyed being flogged by his favourite daughter, as he also flogged 'heretics' and beggars.

I wonder how (Jasper) Ridley discovered this tasty gossip. I'd like to have seen that subtext illustrated in The Tudors, echoing the fanaticism and obstinate refusal to bend to Henry's will. Reading all of that has made me think about how sexual behaviour may not have changed so much through the centuries but that the way we name it, explain it and contextualise it will have changed. I expect More's flagellations might have been perceived and described without a scintilla of sexual innuendo at the time.

Friday, 31 October 2008

The Vernacular

A've jist been hame fur a few days an' A cannae git back tae talking the wey A dae usually whin A'm ma normal sel doon here in London. Disnae take mair than an oor back whaur A came fae afore A stert soondin like ma faither. An' noo A cannae fuckin stoap it. Gie's a break, ay?

Homeward Bound

Home where my thought's escaping,
Home where my music's playing,
Home where my love lies waiting
Silently for me.

On my way home, over the border and all the way down the east coast of England by train, to my man and my cats! Have had a splendid time, more of which - perhaps - later. For the moment, my main concern is that a character from some CreatureFeature has come to sit beside me. He hasn't had a bath in a very long time. His apparel is totally post-Holocaust, down to the oddly Guns-n-Roses bandana he wears. He bends his head to within a few inches of my laptop screen when he sees something that interests him on the monitor. He also just took out a block of cheddar, the size of half a house brick, and knife about eight inches long to cut it. Maybe he's on the Atkins Diet too! It's going to be an interesting journey. Still, I'm having an M&S tinned gin and tonic for breakfast, so that will help with any social awkwardness. Unfortunately there should have been a second refreshing G&T too but I seem to have left it in my sister's fridge.

Scary neighbour was charming when I asked him to let me squeeze past and go to the toilet. He moved his dozen plastic bags with great care and infinite slowness. He's now asleep and sprawled over his seat and half of mine, muttering got three of them and midget. He isn't at all keen on that "midget". Earlier, he was explaining loudly to himself that "they" dry out ordinary teabags and inject them. With what, I wonder? We may never know. I'm not waking him up to find out.

Instead, I shall marvel at how pretty this stretch of the Berwickshire coastline is and take pictures on my phone since I have broken Queer Royale's camera.
KX asap, please!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye

Family fun and frolics last night, with the traditional bucketloads of alcohol. Baby sister and I sat up till 3, putting the world to rights. Had a great time looking through her old photo albums. Several pictures of a party she was at twenty five years ago or so and devilishly handsome chap in several of them. I quite fancied him. Then realised, with a shock, that he was me. By Jove, I was a shag in my youth! I tell people that all the time but I'm not sure I really believed it till now. I certainly didn't believe it then. Happy times though! Happier in retrospect, perhaps, when all the Angst and wrong-turn-relationships are in the distant past and the messy detail forgotten. Hope one of my geekette nieces will scan and upload the old photos.

I would like to take some photos of the splendid view of woodlands I have here from my sister's (rather chilly, have to say) sitting room window. Or perhaps a pic of her big handsome dog, asleep at my side. Sadly, having been entrusted with Queer Royale's second best camera, I used it to take a couple of blurry shots from the train yesterday and have since broken it, I think. Crap with gadgets and machines, me.

My younger niece, who used to be the noisiest and messiest girl on the block, has become a bit of a Hausfrau and had done a great job of tidying up her room for me, changing bedsheets etc. I was impressed and slept like a baby, although I was wide awake by the time she and her big sister were getting up and out to school. I seem to have become infected with Queer Royale's inability to sleep more than five hours at a stretch. Here at Château Soeur Cadette, there's the complication of a big dog and two sleek Siamese joining me in the bed, which is actually quite a treat. Reminds me of when our own cats were kittens and they would sleep in the bed with us.

So, the plan for today is to have shower in the en suite when my sister's up and about and then will go to meet my parents for lunch in town. Will be a job getting my Dad into his wheelchair and out of the house but a welcome adventure for him. No plans for after that, although I have suggested to my sister that she might help me buy a frock to wear to Liverpool is Burning*. I'm planning to achieve a (slightly ursine) Jackie O look that might fit either Retrosexual or Femme Realness categories. I'll have to sashay with style because Queer Royale is intending to be my (Kid Creole) pimp for the night, in his loud shoes and sharp hat. All I have collected of my outfit thus far is the shoes, so I better crack on! Coming back to the scene of my tortured, closeted adolescence has given me the urge to be as queer as humanly possible!

*Link to Simon Strange explaining what vogueing is, as he wears an attractive hair slide to demonstrate femme realness. Bless. The Cuteness of Being Earnest.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

And I’ll tak’ the low road

Decided to go back to the Land of Mountain and Flood to see my family. Got up in good time to pack shirts and underwear and take a crowded rush hour tube to KX. My lovely partner never looks lovelier than when I'm about to leave him! Especially when he's wearing his lovely white Liberty dressing gown and struggling with my instructions as to how to turn off the washing machine and extricate the clothes. But, when you're a dome-brained intellectual, why would you concern yourself with such trivia? I'm sure he will be fine, but I do worry. Hope he remembers to feed the cats, at least.

So, to KX for the Hogwarts Express, quickly round M&S to buy their handy little tinned G&Ts and some other tasty low carbohydrate snacks (since there will no gym for some days...) Soon as I left London, the world went WHITE! Snow filled fields and little frosted English towns. Like travelling by train from Moscow up to Leningrad, when that was still its name. Unfortunately, when we got to Peterborough, someone got on to sit beside me but that's OK. He seems like a nerdy scientist from all the visible signs and isn't encroaching upon my space.

Once again I marvel that, after a whole year of relatively miserable commuting up and down on the East Coast line before my move to London, things are so much improved! I have my mac plugged into a power source and free wifi. I have Series 4 of Lost to enjoy. Life is good and I am childishly excited by the train travel, despite taking short train rides to work and back most days. There's a four year old boy still lurking at the heart of me.

UPDATE: Broken down train ahead. Means unscheduled stop at fragrant, appetising Doncaster and a detour via Leeds. Going to be two hours late getting to the Gathering of the MacBear Clan. Will give the wine a chance to breathe before I get there...

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Friday, 5 September 2008

Tuesday, 19 August 2008