Friday, 29 February 2008

Feedback Friday :: Arise, Brother Bête

bulk :: 18st 2 (don’t know how it happened, but I’ve lost nothing this week. I’m guessing it was to do with levelling out after the illness. It’s still very disappointing though. But I have to look at the bigger picture. For weeks ago I weighed 19 stone. Now I weigh 12 pounds less. And that is to be commended. If I could reach, I’d give myself a slap on the back.)
cigarettes smoked :: 0
units of alcohol imbibed :: 6 (crikey. I’ve just realised, the only difference between me and a monk is that monks believe in God and I don’t. I used to though. Maybe I can pick it up again and fashion myself a crazy tonsure. I bet monks have more sex than me. I’ve seen The Name of the Rose, I know they do. God, I so want to be a monk all of a sudden.)
runs run :: 3
friendships jeopardised :: 3
marks overstepped :: 1
lessons learned :: 2 (don’t blog about your friends’ personal lives if you think they might be reading / don’t pleasure yourself after chopping chilli without first having thoroughly washed your hands – more like an old lesson relearned, this one)

So it’s been a funny old week. And one I’m just about ready to put behind me.


There it goes.

Now, I’ve discovered this thing. This thing is called Madal Bal Natural Tree Syrup, and here is the good news.

Madal Bal Natural Tree Syrup is a safe and natural detox with no preservatives and no chemical processes. The Lemon Detox allows the body to cleanse itself naturally of accumulated toxins and helps the body to normalise its weight.


The body has miraculous powers to cleanse itself. Unfortunately much of what we eat today in the western world is useless and the numerous chemicals and toxins that have been introduced into the natural environment can find their ways into our bodies through the air we breathe and the water we drink. The Natural Tree Syrup & Lemon Detox lets the body cleanse itself naturally while you take a break from solid food.


Furthermore, apparently, people who have completed the detox programme frequently report a wide variety of benefits including…

• Cleansing the body of toxins


• Effective weight loss


• Increased vigour and vitality


• Better digestion


• Sounder sleep


• Better circulation


• Shiny hair and stronger nails


• Clear skin and eyes


• Greater resistance to illness


• Reduced dependence on supplements and drugs


• Fortified will-power and determination


• Improved concentration and clarity of thought

Er…. YES!

• Balanced emotions


• Happier, more positive outlook

YES! ; )

• Sense of inner peace

And relax.

How absolutely wonderful does that sound?

It’s £37, which isn’t cheap, but for all those benefits it’s surely the bargain of the century.

I can’t help thinking there must be some sort of catch – like maybe falling down dead after 72 hours – but to hell with it, it’s got to be worth a shot. I’ve sent off for some, and I’m going to give it a go. I plan to do a week, which is the time recommended for a detox beginner. I’m very much looking forward to it. It’ll be like going on a retreat. Of course! My monky business! This fasting will be exactly what I need to tip me over the edge into a total religious fervour! I'll probably be speaking in tongues and all sorts by the end of the week. Fantastic. Benediction followed by superhot monk sex here I come!

The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee.


Have a good weekend.

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Thursday, 28 February 2008

Sebastian Horsley :: The Most Tiresome Man in London

I bought Time Out yesterday because I’ve been getting back into Martin Amis recently – just started rereading Dead Babies, which is great fun. Amis was mentioned on the cover of TO. Granted, all it said was ‘London’s raunchiest writing selected by Martin Amis [and other authors]’. I knew it wouldn’t be much then, but with the added promise of a bit of raunch, I thought it’d be worth it.

From Amis there are 41 words bigging up Henry Fielding. Which was rather disappointing, I have to say. As for the raunch…

The article is entitled ‘Cunning Linguists’ – pause for belly-laughs – and it promises ‘Time Out’s pick of London’s 30 finest-ever peddlers of smut, filth and depravity’. I’m afraid I got as far as Sebastian Horsley and skimmed the rest.

Is it just me or is there something to be said for subtlety in this world?

Here are a few examples of some of the writing considered by Time Out writer John O’Connell to be worthy of praise:

‘All the time he gorged and slurped on Hugo’s dick, he wanked his own, which swelled into a fat organ dribbling colourless fluid.’

- from A Matter of Life and Sex by Oscar Moore

‘Since my fingers were greased, I worked them into Sarah’s arse and soon she was bucking like an unbroken horse.’

- from Cunt by Stewart Home

‘…to hear a man moan above her as he came, shuddered, shouted out obscenities or religious adjectives, and experience the heat waves coursing from cunt to heart to brain.’

- from Paris Noir by Maxim Jakubowski

(This could be down to my appalling lack of experience, but what, pray, are the religious adjectives that one might shout out during sex? Not nouns or the names of deities, but adjectives. Really, I’m very keen to know.)

OK, so the quotes above are taken out of context and I’ve not read books from which they’re taken and they could be great books, of course they could, but what irks me about all this dick-slurping and arse-greasing is that, on the whole – fnaar - it’s very very very very boring. There’s no artistry to it. I’m talking about the writing here of course – there could be a breath-taking amount of artistry in the actual slurping of the dick or the actual greasing of the arse. But writing about it in such bald, prosaic terms is about as erotic as a knee-trembler in a lorry full of rotting meat. Actually, scratch that – that might just work.

You see, I reckon that this excerpt, from Keats, is actually genuinely erotic:

‘Anon his heart revives: her vespers done;
Of all its wreathed pearls her hair she frees;
Unclasps her warmed jewels one by one;
Loosens her fragrant bodice; by degrees
Her rich attire creeps rustling to her knees.’

- from The Eve of St Agnes

For me, that is arousing. I am sitting here with the glimmer of genital emboldenment and a palpable ache to read on. Whereas all that balls-out ‘ooh, look at me cunt!’ rubbish just leaves me cold. I find it really tiresome.

Now, speaking of tiresome, we come to Sebastian Horsley.

I would like at this point to officially nominate him as London’s Most Tiresome Man. I’ve encountered people like this before. They’re always going on about fucking babies or raping nuns or wanking over Hitler or smearing shit on dead bodies. And they seem to genuinely believe themselves to be shocking, and they clearly get off on it. They’re addicted to it. They’re shockaholics. But those aren’t gasps they can hear, they’re yawns. For there is nothing more inherently tedious than people whose only desire is to show the world with how incredibly outrageous they are.

Plus, to make matters worse, this Horsley character also prides himself on his pretentiousness. Everything he says reeks of pith. He has bon mots coming out of his top hat. He considers himself a dandy, an artist, a renegade.

‘Living in Soho is like an ongoing orgasm… God created the country, Satan created Soho. It is proof that hell is full and the damned walk the streets. It is a madhouse without walls… Ten years ago, on a good night here you could get your throat cut. Now there’s even a health club in Soho! Can you imagine that? It has really got worse. The air used to be clean and the sex dirty, and now it’s the other way around. The only pocket of resistance is my house... It’s better to be quotable than honest... I say that I injected cocaine into my knob but that was actually heroin... Think of how many boring, blameless lives are brightened by the blazing indiscretion of me.’

If you were with him and he came out with stuff like that, you wouldn’t be able to stop yourself, would you? You’d just have to take off his top hat and be sick in it.

Oh, and he prides himself on his misogyny too. Of course he does, he’s outrageous. Here are a selection of things Sebastian Horsley has said about women:

‘I remember the first time I had sex - I still have the receipt. The girl was alive, as far as I could tell, she was warm and she was better than nothing. She cost me £20.’

‘What I hate with women generally is the intimacy, the invasion of my innermost space, the slow strangulation of my art.’

‘The problem is that the modern woman is a prostitute who doesn't deliver the goods. Teasers are never pleasers; they greedily accept presents to seal a contract and then break it. At least the whore pays the flesh that's haggled for.’

- all of the above quotes from this, his paean to prostitution. (you may find it interesting to contrast that vile, self-centred, self-fellating, barrage of contrived outrageousness with this, written by someone who doesn't appear to hate women, sex or himself.)

And then there’s this from the Time Out article:

‘Let’s just say for the sake of argument that I’m a misogynist. If I want to dislike women I should be allowed to. As it happens I love them. Women to me are privately worshipped and publicly disdained. I just like pissing people off. I like language and it excites me to write violently against the things that I love. Everyone knows it isn’t right to go and chop women’s heads off….’

Horsley is like the six-year-old boy who has just discovered he can get a reaction if he takes down his pants or says ‘fuck’ a lot. There is desperation oozing from him. And of course, he only says these things so that people will respond, and be shocked. But they're not shocked, they're merely repulsed. And bored. But of course that’s enough for Horsley. As he says on his dreary, try-hard blog, ‘The more one is hated, I find, the happier one is.’

Oh, well. Best stop then.

But I will leave the last words to him.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you, Sebastian Horsley, London’s Most Tiresome Man:

‘Why shouldn’t I be allowed to say stupid, outrageous things? If you don’t like them, you can suck my Nazi cock.’


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Wednesday, 27 February 2008

To Blog Or Not To Blog

It’s difficult to know sometimes, what to say, in life. Some things, no matter how difficult, should definitely be aired; others, not. But often it’s not that clear which way to go. Myself, I’ve always been of the ‘when in doubt, blurt it out’ school. Hence yesterday’s post. But as commenter Dan said last night, ‘…I'm not convinced that your blog was the most appropriate way of saying this. You may have decided to put your life out there on the net, but maybe [Keith] hasn't….’ Yes. I agree. I really do. But I also disagree, kind of, and for three important reasons:

a) I didn’t break any confidences. It would have been different if Patricia didn’t know that her boyfriend had cheated on her and there was a chance of her finding out through this blog. But there was no chance of that, because she already knew.

b) All of the people mentioned in this blog are disguised. So Keith isn’t really called Keith, Ange isn’t really called Ange, and Patricia, who isn’t really called Patricia, doesn’t really play the cello. She’s actually called Pam and she plays the viola. I jest, but I must concede, it’s not the most sophisticated of encryption techniques. I’m not Graham Greene after all. But on a tiny little blog that only one of my friends reads, I’m certain it’s enough.

Or it least it was. Till yesterday. Now – I’m not entirely sure why, but I guess it’s for slightly misguided reasons of damage limitation - he’s told Patricia about the blog.

I’m guessing he’s probably mentioned it to Ange too. (I don’t think I’m doing him any massive disservice to presume that breaking a small confidence is beneath him.)

c) …I’ve forgotten what the third thing was. Damn. I think that may have been the clincher too.

But still, I agree that really the point is that people have the right not to have their private lives discussed on a public forum. But for Christ’s sake, this isn’t Perez Hilton or Matt Drudge. I only have - at most - a dozen regular readers.

Sorry. I keep trying to justify myself, and I shouldn’t. The fact is, even if he is a smiling damned villain, even if he is a treacherous, conniving, back-stabbing, adulterous dog, Keith is my friend – my best friend – and he wasn’t best pleased with my virtual washing of his dirty, stinking, love-rat laundry.

So I’m sorry. Genuinely.

And from now on, there shall be no more discussing my friends’ private lives. Which is a shame because there is news. But no…. From now on it’s just me and my sordid forays into weight loss and sexual satisfaction.

Speaking of which, two things:

a) This morning I lay on my back and attempted to lift my legs up in the air – just keeping them straight and raising them, like we used to do at school in the gym. And I could manage five seconds, at most. I felt ashamed. Really ashamed. I have to do more to get rid of this sickening blancmange I have the temerity to call a stomach. I think it might be time to invest in an ab roller. Or even better, a 6 second abs system. Complete with DVD. I love DVDs! Wave goodbye to the aberration of your abs in just six seconds! Six seconds! I can’t get over that. What kind of moron would I have to be to miss this opportunity?

Yeah, well. I love the way it has ‘As seen on TV’ splashed over the packet too, like that’s supposed to give some kind of guarantee of quality. Hey, it's been on TV! It must be good!

More swimming I think, is called for.

b) I feel terribly, terribly libidinous. I think it’s a combination of losing a little weight and starting to feel healthier in general, not filling my body with bad chemicals, nascent spring filling up my nostrils when I go for a run, and - not forgetting - my recent discovery of YouPorn. JesusGod. If this had existed when I was 15, I would NEVER HAVE LEFT THE HOUSE!


Oh, and I’m playing tennis again later with Pip. You remember Pip, fitness freak, good-for-nothing and potential dog-murderer. Shit, am I even allowed to say that anymore? Or have I betrayed another confidence?


A guy can’t say nothin’ round here.

Supercool war posters from here.

Afterthought: Do you blog? Course you do. So what's your take on the whole 'tell it like it is' thing? Do you tell it like it is? Or is it just not worth the bother? Do tell.

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Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Something Emotional This Way Comes

This afternoon I heard a little kid in the park declare to what I assumed was his granddad: ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks is the best film I have seen in my eyes!’

I smiled. It’s not that good.

Somehow this reminded me of a story Ange told me a few weeks ago. It was the morning after Heath Ledger died. She was in the staff room at the school where she works, early in the morning and alone, using the internet. She had just found out about the story and was shocked. She was one of those women who got off on Heath and Jake not being able to quit one another in that gay cowboy film. A colleague of hers, a nerdy but lively guy called Johnny came through the door. Ange turned to him and said, ‘Have you seen the news? Heath Ledger’s dead!’

‘I know!’ replied Johnny, seemingly equally shocked. ‘I thought his name was Keith!’

I laughed.

I used to think his name was Keith too.

Speaking of which, Keith is on his way over. Apparently, he needs to talk. He sounded emotional on the phone. I’m going to cook some pasta. I believe that pasta is good food when you’re emotional. I have no idea why I believe that.

But I do.

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Monday, 25 February 2008

The Long, Dark Soap Opera of the Soul :: An Open Letter to a Friend

So, as you know, I started keeping this blog so that I could help force myself to pursue a healthy lifestyle and, somewhere along the way, find myself a lady. A lovely lady at that. One with silken skin and leathery skirts. Or vice versa. One who would make me giddy with adoration and fill my nether regions with hot blood and gristle. A lady to laugh with and love with, to have and to hold, to tickle and tether from this day forth, as long as we both shall live. Or at least for a couple of months, till the inevitable withering or betrayal.

Finding such a thing of course requires me opening my heart and telling my tales. It requires me sharing my intimates and spilling my beans. And my beans of course are smothered in the brightly coloured sauce of other people, other things. The occasional colleagues. The pets I’ve known and loved. The women I ogle on buses and the ones who give me hope in parks and online. And my family, I suppose. And my friends. Aaaaaaaaah yes, my friends.

I haven’t really got that many friends, and of those that I do have, only Keith is aware that this blog exists. (As far as I know.) Because I told him. Because I had to tell someone. But now, as of last night, I’m kind of regretting it. Because as of last night, I realise I want to talk about Keith. And not in a good way.

I’ve been struggling with this all day.

But if blogging is like therapy, which it definitely is, I can’t just lie here on this virtual couch staring out of the window or talking about America’s Next Top Model every week. There are things that need to be said. Even if they sting. So I may as well say them directly. And I know I may regret this. I may end up not even posting it. I don’t know. If you’re reading it, it’s probably safe to say I forced myself to click ‘publish’. I hope I don’t regret it…

Dear Keith

I’ve known you a very long time and you’re my oldest and dearest friend in all the world and I love you.


I got a call from Patricia yesterday, your girlfriend of more than a year, the woman you love and want to marry, the woman whose children you have pledged to support and threatened to adopt. She was crying. She said that you’d betrayed her, that you’d slept with someone else on Friday night. She didn’t know the name of the woman you slept with, but of course I do. You slept with Ange.

I’m amazed. I’m disappointed. I’m shocked and hurt and totally bewildered. I don’t know how you could do this. I don't know how you could do this to Patricia. I really can’t get my head around the fact that you’ve gone and jeopardised the very thing you’ve always yearned for, that which you’ve described a million times as the best thing that’s ever happened to you. And for what?

Ange is great, don’t get me wrong. She’s a fabulous woman. She’s warm, witty and wonderful. But she’s hardly the most emotionally mature mental patient on the ward, is she? She said to me sometime last month: ‘I’m not a very good girlfriend. I’m a good fuck, but I’m not a good girlfriend.’ I replied that I thought that’s all most men wanted anyway, was a good fuck. She said: ‘Not the ones I meet. Nine out of ten times they fall for me. Or they think they do. And they want to go out with me. Or they want to take me home to meet their parents. I’m sure the fact that I don’t want any of that is what makes them think that they do… But I really don’t get off on being in a relationship. I like my independence. And I like my friends. And I don’t want kids. So what’s the point? I just happen to have a very high sex drive.’

I’m guessing that’s what swung it for you. The sex. I understand it’s a very powerful force. I hope it was worth it.

I could be wrong of course, and I’m sure I shouldn’t be writing all this without having heard your side of the story. But for now you’re not sharing; and I have to.

In a way I hope I am wrong. I hope Ange is the one for you. I hope you’ve fallen in love with her and you both make each other blissfully happy. But even if that turns out to be the case, you could have handled it a lot better. You didn’t have to hurt Patricia like this. She spent most of last night weeping into my arms, trying not to wake the kids with her sobs, wondering what she’d done wrong, what she'd done to deserve the pain she was in.

I can’t believe it.

I know I shouldn’t because it’s ludicrous, but I can’t help feeling a little guilty for bringing the two of you together. I keep thinking, if only I hadn’t got sick, or if only Ange hadn’t got sick before me, or if only I hadn’t got back in touch with Ange in December, or if only you weren’t such a selfish fucking short-sighted arsehole.

But this isn’t about me. It’s about you and Patricia; it’s about you and Ben and Dina; it’s about you and Ange. And neither you nor Ange are answering your phones tonight. Hopefully you’re round at Patricia’s and you’re going some way to starting to sort this out, one way or the other.

I’m sorry I’m writing this to you in a public forum and not in a private email. But I kind of lied when I said it’s not about me. It is also about me. And this is where I write about me and my life. And this ugly mess you’ve made is now part of my life.

I’m sorry I’m coming across all self-righteous too. Maybe if I had the opportunity, I’d be a treacherous son-of-a-bitch too, and maybe you’d be up here, poncing around on the moral highground, all holier than thou and smug as a Samaritan. Maybe. But I doubt it. You're not as self-righteous as I am. And I'm not as selfish as you are.

Most of all, I’m sorry this has happened. And I hope it can be resolved without too much more pain. I just don’t want to see the people I love hurting each other. I know, I know, me, me, me…

I’m sorry.

Good luck.



In other news, someone pointed me at this dating site, OkCupid, which wipes the floor with loveandfriends. Just as soon as I have a moment, I’m going to beef up my profile and find that woman I’m after, the one with leathery skin and the jasmine-scented undergarments. And when I find her, I swear to God I'll treat her well and never ever be swayed by another woman's leather. Or jasmine. I swear.

Oh, crikey. It really is good. I just had someone message me!

I’m in!

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Friday, 22 February 2008

Feedback Friday :: Taking Control

:: 18st 2 (every cloud has a silver lining – stomach lining in this case but it all counts)
cigarettes :: 0
alcohol units :: 12
runs :: 2 (by runs I mean me lumbering through the park of course; not ‘the runs’)
the runs :: 500
stars out of ten for Control :: 1
stars out of ten for Juno :: 10
Colleen McLoughlin’s IQ :: 4
Get Well Soon cards received :: 2 (awww)

Well, I’m pretty much all better now. I’m still a little flimsy in the stool department but the running and the retching are over, thank God. Thank you for all of your kind wishes and warm words. Ange did come over last night, after work, and she made me leak and sweet potato soup. Then Keith came over with a copy of Juno, which made my heart bleed. ‘You’re just a big old softy, aren’t you?’ said Ange, but I couldn’t answer because I was blubbing into a cushion. I recommend it. Not blubbing into a cushion, but… actually yes, damn it, I recommend that too. Ange and Keith had never met before. They got on very well. When they left, they left together. Ange gave Keith a lift home. It gave me a peculiar and not particularly pleasant feeling.

One thing to have come out of the last few days which is particularly pleasant however, is the weight loss. I’ve lost much more than I would have, had it not been for the constant expulsion of stuff. And although I feel weak now, and still with the occasional twinge, I do feel somewhat purged. Not exactly born again, but certainly wide awake. In fact, I might go so far as to suggest that the norovirus has actually done me some good. For a while there it was like being eaten alive from the inside out by a double-headed anorexic poltergeist, but at the end of it, I feel positively lithe.

Ooh, something else that made me feel good through making me feel bad - Control. I watched it yesterday afternoon. (I was malingering a little by yesterday, and needed to treat myself.) Ian Curtis. What an incredible bore. Never have I watched a man drift toward suicide so slowly. ‘Do it, Ian! For God’s sake, man! If you want to bore yourself to death, that’s fine, but please, please don’t take me with you.’ And I’m sure he couldn’t have been so horribly unsympathetic in real life. I bet that in real life, he had a sense of humour. I bet there was something in him to make you care for him, something to make you melt a little just to see him suffer. But no. In the film, nothing. Just a flat, stale coward of a man, with one halfway decent song. Horrible film. While I was watching it I actually had to walk away and be sick at least three times.

‘It all looked so vividly real to my fortysomething eye that, frankly, I thought I'd died and gone to Q-magazine-reading 50-quid bloke heaven. And when John Cooper Clarke came on playing himself, a support act to Joy Division when they were called Warsaw, I pretty well levitated out of my seat with sheer happiness, and had to be tied back down with guy-ropes. What a fantastic film this is… a film about England, about music, about loneliness and love; there is melancholy in it, but also a roar of energy. I thought it might depress me. Instead I left the cinema walking on air.'

- Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

‘This loveless farrago made me puke up my guts and shit myself. And not in a good way. Six thumbs down…’

- Bête de Jour, Hell's Bells and Elbows

And don’t even get me started on Colleen. I caught the last half hour of Colleen’s Real Women last night. Never was a woman so unintentionally antagonising as Colleen McLoughlin. Or maybe it is intentional. You can see she has a mean streak. Either way, she riles me. It’s not just her tiny brain and glans-grater of an accent either. It’s more that she’s just so unfit to be on TV. She can’t do any of the things that the job requires. She can’t think on her feet, she’s unpleasant on the eye (and yes, every single TV presenter should be physically adorable) and most importantly, she’s got no discernable personality. Let alone talent. She’s not even an average civilian. She’s like Max Gogarty. She’s there because of who she knows. TV should be about genuinely interesting people, and Colleen McLoughlin is anything but genuinely interesting. And it really gets my goat. I could crush a grape, I really could. I could pulverise a plum.

Speaking of small, sweet furry things, no word back from Grace as yet, but I did get another card from Sally. Wishing me good health.

God, I feel spicy.

It’s a horrible, vile day outside, but I think I need to venture into the air today. I’ll have to spend the weekend catching up with work, so for now I think I might drive somewhere nice, eat something hearty and hale, and prepare myself mentally for the challenges ahead. I don’t know what, exactly, but there are always challenges ahead. So I’ll just do some fairly vague mental preparation. Then I might watch This is England again. Now there’s a film.

Here's wishing a good weekend to all and sundry.

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Curse of the Nurse

My skin is aching.

It is colder than a witch's fridge and yet, I am sweating.

Every few minutes a tiny dwarf in my gut jabs at my innards with a sharpened spoon.

I can't keep my eyes open but I can't seem to sleep.

I feel like I've taken a handful of mysterious pills from an old lady's handbag - I feel spaced and confused, like I don't know what's going on. But I do know. I know exactly what's going on.

I feel really pissed off because I know that in a few hours' time, I'll be sitting on the loo, throwing up between my legs.

It's taken me about half an hour to type this.

I have to go now. I expect I'll be back by Friday.

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Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Sex in Cyberia :: Like a Leopard On a Dove

So yeah, as I mentioned, I lost my cybersex virginity on Sunday night. And now, because blogs are all about making public that which once would have remained strictly private, I’m going to share the experience with you. If I had had real sex with Grace – this was the name of the lady in question, if indeed she was a lady – then what I’m about to do would be the equivalent of me embedding a video of us going at it. Which would make me nothing more than a lowly peddler of smut. However, all we actually did was type words to one another, and although at times the words do get a little spicy – if you’re of a prim disposition, consider this a warning – it is just a conversation, so I feel less like a pornographer, and more like a purveyor of spice. A spice boy.

Zigazig aah.

I had been chatting on and off to Grace for a few days by the way, so we had already got to know one another a little, but the conversation had only recently taken on a zesty thrust. So here it is, with permission, my virtual cherry, laid bare and pulsing...

wicked.grace: so do you want to ‘cyber’, as I believe the kids call it?
elbows: but i'm eating my banana and peanut butter sandwich
wicked.grace: well hurry up. I’m feeling sexy.
elbows: oh my
wicked.grace: what are you wearing?
elbows: oh god, lots of clothes. It’s freezing in here at the moment. I think the heating’s busted. I keep meaning to have a word with the landlord but there just aren’t enough hours in the day. And he’s not the easiest person to get hold of at the best of times, let alone when I want something doing. You still feeling sexy?
wicked.grace: You’re not taking this seriously are you?
elbows: I’m sorry. Am I supposed to? Are you?
wicked.grace: A bit. Well, I was going to try and give it a try
elbows: OK, hold on. Right. Sandwich finished. Now I just need to establish a couple of ground rules here – I’ve never done this before you see and I really don’t know how it works. So – am I supposed to tell the truth? Or just tell you what I think you want to hear?
wicked.grace: I’m not sure. The truth I guess. Maybe with a couple of sexy lies thrown in.
elbows: Really? OK, here we go. I’m wearing a large tee shirt with an amusing slogan on it ('Warning: this t-shirt may contain tits' - hilarious), plus a big fisherman’s jumper, plus a woolly hat pulled down over my ears. On my bottom half however, I’m wearing skintight sexy rubber pants, and no underwear. Woof!
wicked.grace: Hmmm.
elbows: what are you wearing?
wicked.grace: I’m wearing leather boots and tight blue jeans. On my top half I’m wearing a green shirt and a green scarf round my neck.
elbows: Long or short sleeves?
wicked.grace: long sleeves, pulled up to the elbows.
elbows: Please don’t say ‘elbows’.
wicked.grace: Sorry. Long sleeves. I’m also wearing red lipstick and my hair is tied back in a pony tail.
elbows: gosh, I’m becoming aroused already. It really works!
wicked.grace: would you like me to take off some clothes?
elbows: I’m not sure. Is your heating working OK?
wicked.grace: tip top, yeah. I’m actually quite warm.
elbows: OK then. Maybe you could slip something off.
wicked.grace: will you join me?
elbows: OK then.
wicked.grace: I’ve loosened the scarf around my neck first. I’ve slipped it off and let it drop to the living room floor.
elbows: I’ve taken off my hat. And thrown it at the cat.
wicked.grace: I’ve undone the top button of my shirt. Then the next.
elbows: You’ll be here all night at that rate. Hold on… There. I’m naked.
wicked.grace: Hmmm.
elbows: Nnngh! Nurk!
wicked.grace: ?
elbows: I came.
wicked.grace: I don’t think you’re very good at cybersex. I’m sorry to have to say that to you. I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but you should know. In fact, you’re the worst I’ve ever had.
elbows: I’m sorry.
wicked.grace: Meh.
elbows: No I really am sorry. I wish I could make it up to you.
wicked.grace: Maybe you’re better in real life.
elbows: much better, yes.
wicked.grace: I bet you’re not as repulsive as you say you are.
elbows: Honestly, I’m worse.
wicked.grace: I kind of wish you were here anyway, so I could see for myself.
elbows: I am here.
wicked.grace: I mean here.
elbows: So do I. I’m standing behind you right now. Can’t you hear me breathing?
wicked.grace: Oooh, hello.
elbows: You’re sitting at your desk in the living room. I’m standing behind you. I reach my hand out and run my fingers over your neck, over the hair at the back of your neck.
wicked.grace: that’s nice. Would you kiss it maybe?
elbows: kissing's later. First I pinch your ear lobes with my fingers, then lean forward and smell your hair
wicked.grace: you're making me slightly moist
elbows: it smells nice. Your hair I mean. Not your moistness. I can’t smell your moistness. Not yet.
wicked.grace: you're making murmuring noises into my ear
elbows: Yes, I kiss the top of your left ear, slowly, murmuring.
wicked.grace: mmmmm
elbows: you are a little tense though – I think I need to apply some pressure to your back. My hands move down and my thumbs burrow into your flesh.
wicked.grace: I groan and reach around to you
elbows: i kiss your neck
wicked.grace: i can feel how hard you are
elbows: lightly. I groan.
wicked.grace: I start to touch you
elbows: where?
wicked.grace: gently rubbing the top of you. You’re poking out of your trousers
elbows: i've moved my hands round to your breasts - i can't resist
wicked.grace: I'm loosening your belt and reaching in to hold all of you in my hand
elbows: i'm caressing your breasts with both hands. I want to kiss you
wicked.grace: i want to turn around and take you in my mouth
elbows: I really need to kiss you
wicked.grace: I'm turning around and looking up at you
elbows: I stroke your face
wicked.grace: I offer you my tongue
elbows: I bend toward you
wicked.grace: I lick your hand
elbows: I move your face to mine
wicked.grace: I look into your eyes
elbows: I kiss you lightly on the top lip
wicked.grace: My lips are throbbing with desire
elbows: i lick them, lightly
wicked.grace: mmm, you tease
elbows: with the tip of my tongue
wicked.grace: i intake breath, sharply
elbows: my hands are on you. my hands are all over you. I unbutton your shirt.
wicked.grace: please...
elbows: i unbutton you quickly and pull your shirt over your shoulders while I’m kissing your cheeks, the corners of your mouth
wicked.grace: i lick you every time you come near me
elbows: i pull away a little, teasing you
wicked.grace: i'm still offering you my tongue and i'm still holding your cock, lightly. i start to move my hand
elbows: i need to feel you
wicked.grace: it's throbbing, moving on its own
i unzip you
i turn to get close to you
i pause to lick your stomach and breathe hot air on the part i've just licked
i move down, slowly, peppering your body with kisses until i reach your man-hair!
and I feel your cock, throbbing, pulsating against my cheek.
i rub my cheek against it for a moment, and it responds, nudging me back
elbows: i need to remove, i need you to remove - pull my pants down! please!
wicked.grace: i slowly tug at your pants
and they fall down around your ankles
elbows: i feel like i'm about to lose control. it's all too much
wicked.grace: keys and change in the pockets clinking
and I take you in my mouth, your hot hardness, and I take my tongue and offer it to your cock instead
elbows: my cock accepts your tongue
wicked.grace: i'm feeling your every movement inside my mouth
elbows: i put my hand on the back of your head and push it onto me
my cock is deep inside your mouth
wicked.grace: i take you as deep as i can
my throat opens up too
elbows: nnngh
wicked.grace: and I move back and forth, tickling the underneath of you with my tongue
elbows: this is too much for me. i lift your head from my cock and kiss you passionately. Then I drag you to the bed and leap on top of you, like a leopard onto a dove. my tongue is deep in your mouth
wicked.grace: i'm trembling with lust
elbows: i am kissing you hard
and my left hand has moved down to your crotch
wicked.grace: i'm scratching your back with my nails
elbows: i am rubbing you violently
wicked.grace: and moaning
elbows: i undo your belt
your top button
scratching at your zip
i undo it
i use my other hand and start to pull at your jeans
wicked.grace: i am very wet now
i let you
elbows: i move down your body quickly and pull off your jeans - down your legs - off!
wicked.grace: i raise my ass off the bed to help you a bit
elbows: don’t say ass
then i remove your knickers in one swift movement and while your bum is raised i flip you over onto your stomach
then i move up between your legs and thwap my cock against your buttocks
wicked.grace: mmm, i love being face down
elbows: thwap thwap
i push my hand into the small of your back
my thumb finds its way into your bum
wicked.grace: mmmm, it slides in because you've licked it
elbows: my fingers are in your vagina too
of course i've licked it. it's dripping
wicked.grace: that gets wetter as you play with my ass
elbows: sigh
my hand is in you like a bowling ball
(sorry for the bowling ball analogy)
wicked.grace: dirty. i like it
elbows: Ok then. i bowl you across the room and the furniture goes flying
i follow you
wicked.grace: erm
elbows: and launch myself at your rectum. then i'm in you like a light sabre through a knob of butter. fffshoom
wicked.grace: no no no.
elbows: fffshoom. shhhhhvummm. fffshoom. fffshoom
wicked.grace: stop with the analogies. keep the butter, lose the lightsabre
elbows: what about the knob?
wicked.grace: so, you're buttering me up
and slipping in
yeah, that can stay
elbows: i slide in slowly
like, real slow
wicked.grace: in and then out and then in again, ever so slowly
i can feel myself opening up to you
bit by bit
elbows: i can feel myself throbbing inside you
wicked.grace: i can feel that too, inch by inch, you're filling me up
i'm wriggling away a bit, as it's so intense, and then coming back for more
pushing myself back onto you
enjoying the impalement
elbows: i push myself into you a little harder as you try and inch away
i'm not letting you get away
i pull you onto me
grabbing your hips
i grunt involuntarily
wicked.grace: i'm clawing at the bedsheets and the pillows
i'm grunting too
elbows: i scratch your back and slap you hard on the right buttock
wicked.grace: i'm almost there, you're almost all in
the last part is the most fulfilling
elbows: slap! slap! slap!
wicked.grace: when everything opens up like a flower, and I feel the whole of you
elbows: my right hand snakes around your hips to your frontal flower and slips and slides and rubs and gently pinches
wicked.grace: i feel your front against my back, and your hand on my petals...or should that be my stamen?
elbows: my hand is sticky with your love pollen
wicked.grace: i'm moaning with agony/ecstasy/ mostly ecstasy
elbows: i'm pumping into you quite hard now
wicked.grace: yes, i'm so wet, i'm leaving a wet patch on the bed
elbows: and squeezing you
slapping your buttocks
scratching your back
pulling your hair
it's like i have 12 hands
wicked.grace: i'm moving against you, pushing when you pull
elbows: and three cocks
wicked.grace: you feel huge. and hard.
elbows: the bed is juddering
wicked.grace: i'm biting my lip, biting the pillow, anything in reach
elbows: . i'm bellowing
someone starts banging on the ceiling from upstairs.
i carry on bellowing
wicked.grace: the rythym quickens
elbows: like a mad fuck-wizard
i pull back your head by your hair and lift your legs
wicked.grace: i'm moaning loudly
elbows: you're floating
we're both floating!
wicked.grace: i'm calling your name
elbows: a frantic floating fuck!
i'm calling yours!
i can't hold out much longer!
wicked.grace: i'm going to come with you
I'm going to judder as hard as the bed
elbows: you'd better be quick then - I.. I...
wicked.grace: i reach down and touch myself to quicken my orgasm
i'm coming with you
elbows: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh
I am screaming
coming from every orifice
wicked.grace: I'm speechless
just breathless
still shuddering, weak-kneed
elbows: i'm blind
and deaf
there are lights behind my eyes
i cannot breathe
where am I? I feel your breath
i open my eyes
wicked.grace: i feel your come pumping into me, like foam from a fireman’s hose
elbows: nice analogy. i look at you. you are the most beautiful woman i have ever seen in my life
i kiss you tenderly
wicked.grace: i'm pink-cheeked and sticky
i kiss you back
elbows: i hold you
wicked.grace: i run my hands through your hair
elbows: i pinch your cheeks and punch you on the shoulder, like the Fonz. Eeeeeyyyyyyyyy.
wicked.grace: eeeeeyyyyyyyyy
elbows: Heh. You know what? That was fun.
wicked.grace: Did you come?
elbows: What, really? No, I wasn’t even touching myself. Were you? Did you come?
wicked.grace: No, not quite. I’m going to go and finish myself off now. You should send a photo.
elbows: I’ll try.
wicked.grace: Try hard. x

Yesterday morning I wrote to Grace and asked her if I could blog our exchange. She said I could. I sent her a photo.

I’ve yet to hear back.

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Monday, 18 February 2008


Ange and I had arranged to meet up for a meal sometime this week so I called her last night to check it was still on. She didn’t answer. Then, fifteen minutes later, she called me back sounding like she’d just regained consciousness after a 12-hour operation. She said she’d been in the bathroom when I called, being sick from her bottom. She’d been vomiting for most of the day, from both ends. She seemed really dazed. I asked her if I should come up and see her. She said she didn’t know, which was really a yes in disguise, so I drove to Hackney, stopping off along the way for some bad magazines (Heat, Now, Soaplife), because she likes that sort of thing, and some carrot and coriander soup, because I had no idea how ill she actually was.

Turns out out she’s got the norovirus. That’s it above. It looks pretty. But it isn’t. It’s really nasty.

I’d never seen projectile vomiting in real life before. It really was like in The Exorcist, but without the other unpleasant stuff, the cussing and the blasphemy and the ultraviolence. Well, there was a bit of blasphemy but nothing that involved a crucifix. God, I hate that film. Ange was in a right state. When she wasn’t passing stuff, she was just lying around all shivery and delirious. She was very sweet and sad and I felt very tender toward her, especially as in lucid moments, she kept complaining that she looked ‘a right state’. It’s true that with vomit drying on her dressing gown, she was far from her best, but it really didn’t matter.

She’s less feverish today, and the vomiting seems to have stopped. She’s still spending a lot of time on the loo but is now well enough to stress about missing work. So that’s good.

Now I’ve got to do another round of disinfecting. I’m determined not to catch this thing myself, but I think it might be a bit difficult to avoid it, what with such close proximity and all.

By the way, last night while Ange was managing to get some sleep, I was eating carrot and coriander soup and losing my cyber-cherry with an Irish girl in Germany. At the risk of repeating myself, isn’t the internet wonderful?

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Friday, 15 February 2008

Max Gogarty :: The Ugly Side of Travelling

I’ve just spent the last couple of hours or so reading about Max Gogarty’s brief stint over at Comment Is Free, the Guardian’s attempt to gather readers and cachet from blogging and bloggers. It’s a life-affirming read on the whole. Not Comment Is Free, but the Max Gogarty drama.

Here’s the first post.

Here’s the official response.

In both cases, it’s the responses of the people – the comments, which of course are free - that really lift the soul. And it’s not about spite and meanness, and it’s certainly not about ‘threat and reputation savaging’ as the apologist, travel editor Andy Pietrasik suggests. Rather, it’s about people standing up and shaking their fists at such obvious mediocrity and such bald-faced nepotism. It all really pongs.

Here it is in a minuscule shell of some description: hack’s kid lands fairly plum role at the Guardian online; writes first instalment in such a way - i.e. very, very badly - as to immediately rub his readers up entirely the wrong way; readers annihilate him in their hundreds; editor and father turn up in sequel, only to make matters much worse.

According to his father (or at least someone having a damned splendid stab at pretending to be his father, which is certainly good enough for me), Max’s Guardian debut will have no offspring of its own. No tiny descendants for whom it will have to warm lavatory seats and scratch old school backs. And that, in my opinion, is a damn shame, because this has been fun. It really brought me out of my post-Valentine malaise.

I think they should at least let him have one final opportunity to show them what he’s made of. On second thoughts, I'll do it for him. I’ve got nothing else on... no exotic destinations to rush off to, no dusky dysentery or runny maidens to keep me busy. So what the hell. I’ll give it a shot. I imagine stirring music, as Max, in a moment’s respite in some Thai hostelry or other, scribbles frantically on a scrap of parchment he brought with him from Rymans…

This is my dad, Peter Gogarty, a self-made media mogul. He's quite a guy. This is Mr Pietrasik. He's gorgeous. He's one Guardian editor who knows how to take care of my dad. By the way, my name is Max. I take advantage of both of them, which ain't easy, ‘cause when they met, it was murder. Or attempted murder at least. My poor career. But I’ll be alright, I’m sure. I’m well in. A couple of months here in Thailand, couple more in India, I’ll get back in the summer, brown as a berry and ripped to the ribs, my synapses still throbbing from cheap and powerful hashish – and WHAM! I’ll spring back like a springbok, unharmed and horny for media, right into the lap of success. Lap my shitting arse! I’ll get right in the gusset of success, nestling in the very clitoral hood of public adoration, exactly where I belong. I’ve already got my novel deal in place. Simon Trewin is a tennis buddy of father’s. They love tennis, but they like to keep it real.

Shame Daddy had to be such a bleating pussy really. If only he’d butched out the storm and persuaded Uncle Andy to keep me on, kept me writing every week, me telling my edgy tales of teen excess, being all bawdy and lusty, burning the candelabra at both ends, just like in Skins! Guardian readership would have shot up. Like a bloody rocket. But I think that’s what they were afraid of. I attract success. Me in my skinny jeans with that awful supercilious tone - like a freshly oiled and fluffed Bruiser de Cadenet - which is how I imagine people rightly imagine I speak when they read my delicious words… words like ‘kinda’, ‘partying’, ‘bullshit’ and 'shitting'. Plebs love that shit and Rusbridger knows I’d have his job by August. He’s such an arse-diver. At least that’s what Daddy says, but I’m probably not supposed to say that either.

If only that bastard Alex Garland hadn’t written The Beach already. I could’ve written that. If I had any talent. Actually, he was somebody’s son too, wasn’t he? Pffft. A mere cartoonist. Makes sense actually. Like father, like son. But I bet Nicholas Garland doesn’t have his own a PR company. I bet he isn’t uniquely positioned to deliver maximum exposure. Like my dad. I bet he doesn’t know that knowing the right people is key. Like my dad. But by the looks of him, neither is he a brash, self-centred, jumped-up little money freak. Like my dad was saying just the other day: ‘I’m uniquely positioned for maximum exposure. Just write any old shit. As long as it’s got an exotic location, I can get some shit-hot young director to spunk a promising career on it. No worries. Lovely jubbly.’

This is why I rather enjoy the free comments I get over here. Because I’m so strong that I actually learn from them. I grow more powerful with every fresh barrage of your abuse. And I thank you for it. I feel good. Actually, I feel wonderful. My pummelling at your hands has rejuvenated me. I don’t know what it is about Thailand. Always manages to pummel me into a state of bliss. That or the opium’s kicking in…

I’d better stop there actually. I leave my critics with the single, really quite profound thought that while tales of Thai sticks and stoners may break your cohones, your words can never hurt me. You know why? Cause I got loadsaPR. Loads of it.

Of course the egg will be on all of our cynical chops when it turns out that we’re being played for prime chumps, but not quite in the way we think we are. That’s right, Max Gogarty is actually a brilliant writer, a nouveau nepotistic techno-Dickens and delicious little weaver of games. It’s all a scam, a writing showcase, all of it: from his seemingly gauche, foot-chompingly awful prose, to every single last comment – all written by him, crafted and honed to satirical perfection. The boy is a genius.

But probably not. More likely the big nobs at the Guardian haven’t got a clue what they’re doing.

Can't wait for his play.

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Feedback Friday, Favour Friday :: La Ayuda Une Por Favor A Hombres Feos…

:: 18st 7 (still in the right direction but a disappointment, especially considering the pain I am still in from physical exertion. I deserved to have lost at least a stone playing tennis.)
cigarettes :: 0
alcohol units :: 20
runs :: 1 (this is poor. More effort required.)
new IM friends snagged :: 1
poodles killed :: 0
valentines day cards received :: 1 (oh yes, finally I received one. Sadly, it was a card professing love for someone else…)


Sal and I are ‘just good friends’…
And this is where the story ends.
She loves her boyfriend (of 12 weeks),
Despite the bumfluff on his cheeks.
Apparently, he’s ‘ace in bed’ -
A fact now burning in my head...
(Her truth delights me, makes me glow,
But some things I don’t need to know.)
IM is fine but IM not
To let myself with her besot.
But unrequitings are my fate,
And now I fear, it’s much too late…
What makes this story so much worse
Is telling it in rotten verse…

…but that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about. Or so I am led to believe. Anyhow, that’s me done with love. Let’s just get on with the ugly stuff.

So last weekend I received an email from the very exciting Glamourpuss concerning Gonzalo Otálora, a Venezuelan chap who’s written a book called ‘Feo’. ‘Feo’, as you may or may not be aware, means ‘ugly’. So I found his blog and dropped him a line. I introduced myself as a fellow freak and suggested that it might be good to do something together – some kind of interview maybe. A couple of days later he wrote back.

‘Thank for wrote me,’ he said. ‘My ingles is very poor….’

Bless. As poor as his ingles is however, I’m sure it’s a darn site better than my Espanish. He’s happy for me to ask him some questions anyway, and reckons that he’ll muddle through. However, as amusing as it might be to see two ugly men floundering around in a pit of poor language skills, I just think it would be better if I could talk to him in his own sweet tongue. So yes, in short, do any of you speak Spanish and fancy helping out on a little ‘ugly hands across the water’ project? I don’t even know what I want to say to him yet, but it would be good to be able to say it in his original language. It’s a gesture, innit?

So far I’ve been relying on Babel Fish, which even I can see is pretty bad. The title of this blog post is courtesy of Babel Fish. ‘Please Help Unite the Ugly Men’. I have no idea how accurate it is. But it’s a computer for God’s sake. And if computers worked, translators would be out of a job. Besides which, it’s all a bit, ‘Open the pod bay door, Hal’ for me. I prefer the human touch. We all need it.

By the way, as you can see from the photo above, he's really not that ugly. The big faker.

Oh and also, while I’m begging favours, does anyone know anything about Facebook? More specifically, if I were to start a group, how would I invite more than just my own friends to join it?

Thanking you in advance.

I leave you with a couple more cards....



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Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Only in Korea...

What on earth is this all about? It's from here, a blog logging bog logos.

I really don't know what the message is it's attempting to convey, but really, it makes you think. They're way ahead out there.

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Speaking of Dogs...

After my first was overlooked, leaving me sad, my second title has been taken up by Sam Brown over at Exploding Dog. Leaving me happy. And strangely proud. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...

is it because I'm ugly

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Old Dogs

When I got home last night, the real pain had not yet properly begun. But it was in the post. Express delivery. In fact, it would shake me awake like a sociopathic prison guard in about seven hours. I just had time to revisit Money by Martin Amis to see how I measured up to John Self when he was foolish enough to think he could play tennis and get away with it.

I ended up reading for at least an hour and a half. I’d forgotten how much I love Martin Amis’s writing. He was the first writer I ever really fell for. Here’s a bit from the tennis match scene. It’s fun:

‘…At love-thirty I served so blind and wild that Fielding simply reached out and caught the ball on the volley. He pocketed it and strolled forward a few paces – several paces. I moved wide and, in petulant despair, hit my second serve as if it were my first. And it went in! Fielding was less surprised than I was but he only just got his racket to the ball – and he was so insultingly far advanced that his return was nothing more than a skied half-volley. The yellow ball plopped down invitingly in the centre of my court. I hit it pretty low, hard and deep to Fielding’s backhand and lumbered cautiously up to the net. A big mistake. Fielding chose this moment to unleash a two-fisted topspin drive. The ball came screaming over the tape, skipped a beat, regathered its momentum – and punched me in the face. I toppled over backwards and my racket fell with a clatter. For several shocked seconds I lay there like an old dog, an old dog that wants its old belly stroked…

After five minutes I was playing with a more or less permanent mouthful of vomit. It was the slowest hour of my life, and I’ve had some slow hours.’

Yep, that’s pretty much exactly how it was. I played with Pip, a friend of Keith’s who was something in software till he was made redundant last year some time. Pip is nearly ten years older than me but much, much fitter. He plays tennis a lot since he lost his job, and despite the fact that he wiped the floor with me, it was clear that he was actually taking it very easy. By the end of the hour and a bit that we played, he hadn’t broken a sweat, whereas I looked obscene, like a giant overripe plum, throbbing dangerously and tossing out phlegm.

So naturally, I woke up this morning feeling like I’d been beaten to within a millimetre of my life. I inched to the bathroom an hour or so ago, then made a detour to pick up my laptop. Now I’m back in bed. I have a lot to do today, but I’m not sure I can manage it.

I’m also slightly hungover, which doesn’t help matters. Speaking of which, I had a very odd conversation with Pip last night in the pub.

It begins with a poodle.

Six months ago, because she was worried, Pip insured his mum’s pet poodle. Then, as she’s without funds beyond a substandard state pension, he finds himself paying the £17 monthly premium. (Which seems like an awful lot to me. Especially for a poodle.) Then as the months creep by, Pip starts to worry himself. He’s running out of money. The last thing he wants to do however, is find another job, so he starts to look at how he can save money. He cancels a couple of direct debits. For example, a Lovefilm subscription which he never uses, and a gym subscription which he never uses, together amounting to a saving of £50 a month. But he’s bitter about that poodle. He says he wants some return on his investment.

He said to me, ‘How hard can it be to break a dog’s leg?’ He said, ‘It’s not like it’s a Great Dane or anything. It’s not like it’s going to retaliate. It’s a scrawny little thing, and it’s old. Weak. On Sunday I was round at my mum’s, and Steve was there, snuffling about.’ That’s the dog’s name. Steve. Steve the 14-year-old poodle. ‘He’s not even very friendly anymore. Plus he’s started shitting indoors, which is annoying. To say the least. So I’m doing the washing-up after dinner. Stacking the machine. And he’s mooching around my feet. So I crouch down and I say “sit”, and he sits. Then I say “give me your paw”, and he gives me his paw. And I’m there, with Steve’s paw in my hand, thinking, “How much would I get for a paw broken in two, maybe three places?” I apply a tiny bit of pressure and he whimpers and scampers off. It would have to be a swift, clean break.’

At which point I put it to him that if he breaks the dog’s leg and receives money from the insurance company to fix the dog’s leg, surely – correct me if I’m wrong, and I may very well be – but surely that money would have to be spent on fixing the dog’s leg? He nods, thinking. ‘You might be right.’ He nods again. ‘You’re right.’ He shakes his head, looking sorry. ‘There’s only one thing for it then. Steve must die.’

We spent the rest of the evening discussing the moral implications of murdering his mother’s dog – I can’t imagine that the thing actually has life assurance; this seems like madness to me – and then I came home, aches and pains completely anaesthetised by four pints of Guinness.

Now as I lie here, with the anaesthetic worn off, shifting around in groggy agony, I realise that Steve and I actually have very little in common.

You see, I wanted to say that we had a great deal in common, and be dreadfully poignant about it. But we don’t.

* He lives with a lady. I live alone.
* He has insurance. I have none.
* He cannot learn new tricks. I most certainly can.
* He has a psychotic software developer - who apparently could have played tennis for the county - trying to cripple him. I… actually yeah, we do have that in common.

Still, three out of four ain’t bad. Ah, I’m feeling better already. Now all I need is someone to pop round and stroke my old belly…

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Tuesday, 12 February 2008

All That David Copperfield Kind of Crap, Part One

One thing I don’t want this to become is a Misery Blog. Those so-called ‘misery memoirs’ really tease my bile, frankly. And I want this to be a joyous read on the whole. I want it to be funny, first and foremost, and perhaps inspiring for fellow fuglies, secondly. But most of all, as I’ve already made clear but cannot stress enough, I want it to find me a mate – so I don’t want to frighten any potential mate off with dreary tales of childhood heartache and emotional torture. However, I would like to write a little bit about my relationship with my parents, because people say that that kind of thing is important. And maybe I do want a bit of sympathy. Yeah, go on. I’ll take a pity fuck…

I was born in Dartford in December, 1977. An appropriately ugly place, I’m sure – if you’ve ever been – you will agree. When I was handed to my mum, I have been led to believe that her face fell – the way a mother’s face might fall if her baby’s heart is on the outside of its body, or if it has butter beans for limbs.

‘What’s wrong with it?’ she wanted to know.

It seems I had a face only a mother could love. Just not my mother. ‘Nothing’s wrong with him,’ she was told. ‘He’s a perfectly healthy baby boy.’ As it happens this was true only to a certain extent. I was healthy, yes, but I had a couple of conditions that would have to be treated, with varying degrees of success.

‘But,’ she said, unable to hold back the tears, ‘but… he’s got a face like... like a bag of elbows.’

Not really. She didn’t say that. What she said was, ‘But he’s so ugly. How can he be so ugly?’

My father was there too, drunk. It is to him I owe this story. Although my mother did confirm it. However, that’s no reason to necessarily believe it as they were both as honest as they were erudite.

My mother was what they used to call ‘a handsome woman’, which I believe was a rather euphemistic way of saying that she looked a bit like a bloke. My father meanwhile, was ever so slightly effeminate but not what you could really label ugly. Quite a pretty man, all told. And honestly, if I put myself in their collective shoes, I can understand some of their dismay when they first caught sight of me.

There is I believe one photo in existence of me as a baby. I don’t have it or I might post it here. Although to be honest, I probably wouldn’t. I want you to use your imagination. A couple of people have said to me since I started blogging that they really want to see what I look like. Well, you can’t. This is not a freak show. I am not an animal. I am a human being! Besides which, this blog is not about physical appearance. It’s about words.

Suffice to say, I had a large face, shaped like a lozenge, or even like a gravestone. And I already had the dark patches of skin that were to become my trademark. This was intrinsic atopic dermatitis, which I’ve never really managed to shake off. Plus my eyes were further apart than what might be termed ‘normal’ and they were pointing in opposite directions. This was a rather unpleasantly advanced strabismus, which – thank you, Jesus – was later corrected with surgery. Also, as if that wasn’t enough, I had, for a baby, a shockingly large nose. In short, I wasn’t a pretty sight. But I was healthy. More or less.

From the impression with which subsequent stories have left me, my parents never even attempted to conceal their disappointment, but they did nurture some hope that my ugliness was just a phase, that it was just really unpleasant puppy fat. This hope however, was dashed by the time I was five or six and my first adult teeth began to cut through and pretty soon my mouth had all the aesthetic appeal of a roof tiled by a blind man.

When I was about 8 I overheard a conversation in my parents’ bedroom. Between my parents. I can’t possibly claim to remember it word for word. That would be freakish. But some of it stuck with me, and the gist is accurate…

Mum: I feel guilty because I feel ashamed of him. And I hate him for making me feel guilty.

Dad: You’ve got nothing to be ashamed of, love. It’s not your fault. It’s an act of God.

Mum: I know. I know it’s not my fault. That’s what makes me so mad. I just think, you know, it wouldn’t be so bad if he had Down’s or something. At least then, you know, we’d have an excuse.

It didn’t seem to mitigate my parents’ shame at all that I was excelling at school. On the contrary, it quickly became apparent to me that they had been the kind of children who hated, and most probably persecuted, the bright kids, the swots. Which is what I was. I took refuge in my education. I got lost in it. And I had a very good memory. Which is what it all seemed to come down to in the end anyway.

We were never close, my parents and I…

But still - and in typical misery memoir style - I don’t blame them for their inability to love me sufficiently well. They were after all, only human, and not, it has to be said, especially brilliant examples of the species.

However, you would think – wouldn’t you – you would think that if you had an ugly baby, the one thing you would do to offset the poor wee mite’s physical disadvantages and give him or her a decent start in life, would be to confer upon him or her an unembarrassing and ideally euphonic moniker. You’d think that was the least you could do. If the child is a baby boy for example, with a face – let’s say – like a bag of elbows – give the little blighter a chance in life: christen him Danny or Max or Sam, Jake or Luke or Zachary. Don’t christen him Stanley.

I was Stanley after my granddad. Apparently I looked like him. I never met my granddad. But I did see a couple of photos and it’s true, the man was a monster. It seems the only reason he managed to snag a female and consequently procreate was because he owned the family farm in a place called Otley, back in the day, when farms were all the rage and owning one was the equivalent of driving round in a thoroughly pimped Ferrari.

I don’t have a farm.

All I have is this blog. And that’s all I need. Just this blog. And you, my dear readers. This blog and you, my dear readers and that’s all I need. And a 20-year-old art student with silver eyes and a boyfriend. This blog, you, my dear readers, a 20-year-old art student with silver eyes and a boyfriend and that’s all I need. And that’s all I need.

Oh, and I need to warm up, because in a few short hours, I’m playing tennis for the first time in 15 years.

Wish me luck.

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Saturday, 9 February 2008

Feedback Friday :: Sweet Memes and Early Spring

bulk :: 18st 9
cigarettes smoked :: 0
alcohol units drunk :: 14
runs run :: 3
Men’s Health gym-at-home exercise routines performed :: 2
ladies befriended irl :: 1
kittens abused :: 0

This week’s Feedback Friday is more of a Summery Saturday Summary, but it’s all the better for it in my opinion. What a beautiful day. The sky is blue, the sun is splendid and there is a palpable odour of possibility on the air…

I woke up wide and early today and couldn’t get back to sleep. So I got out of bed, ate a banana and settled myself at my computer. But then I felt restless and unusually energetic. It was a beautiful bright morning through my window and my car was fixed and waiting to be picked up at a nearby garage. I phoned at 7.30 and the mechanic was already at work, which surprised me, so I ate two more bananas and went to pick up my car.

I call my car Heathcote because I am pretentious and self-aggrandising. But Heathcote doesn’t mind. And this morning he was shiny, light and positively reborn. The mechanic chappy was quite chirpy as he talked me through the list of extra jobs he’d had to do and I must admit, when I paid him, I did so with a horrible grimace. However, Heathcote didn’t mind at all. He felt great in fact. He felt like he’d just back from a health farm and a tonne of bricks had been taken out of his boot.

So we went for a drive, Heathcote and I. Balls to London, Heathcote! That is what I shouted as we found the open road. And let me tell you, I really opened that bitch up. As they say. Half an hour later we were drifting towards Dartford and I found myself toying with the idea of revisiting some old haunts – my childhood home, my school, the birthplace of Mick Jagger – but then I thought, no. I thought, that’s a terrible idea. So instead I headed off into the country and drove rather too fast for half an hour or so. It was exhilarating.

And the weather was perfect for me. Too much sun and heat and I get all rashy. Today was glorious. Fecund, sharp and moist, like spring.

I parked up somewhere near Maidstone and took to the fields, feeling almost pagan enough to strip myself naked, thrash about on the ground and rub soil into my nipples. But not quite.

Full of promise though. It was really glorious. And it reminded me, that life is good.

This week I lost more weight and got a little fitter. I also promised that I’d reply in kind to a blog props meme, but in the end I actually found it too difficult. I feel underqualified frankly. I don’t know the web well enough and am just starting to find other people’s blogs. I thought the internet was just about me, but maybe it isn’t. But hey, maybe it is. Anyhow, there are two websites which I visit regularly that always leave me feeling a little richer. One is very well known, one less so.

1. Post Secret. Excellent for giving so much with so little. It’s impossible not to spend five minutes there without laughing, smiling, gasping, shaking your head and feeling very sad.

2. Clairvoyance. Excellent for sharing tiny short stories – or, ‘moments of grace where the heavens conspire to deliver a slice of life too good to ignore’. As above, this site gives an emotional reaction in such a short space of time. Something I would love to be able to do.

Oh, go on then, on a similar vein…

3. Exploding Dog.
Send him your titles and he’ll illustrate them. Although so far he’s ignored mine. The talented swine. The two pictures in this post are his The first is called ‘another awesome day’. The second is called ‘i’d slay a dragon for you’.

And that is that.

Meanwhile, I’m trying desperately not to get ahead of myself here, but Sally and I have become IM buddies.


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Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Confessions of a Kitten Fancier

If I want you to fall in love with me, and I do – no, not you, silly... you - then I feel I should be honest about all of the things I’ve done in my life. I’m not one of those people who believes that a little mystery in a relationship is a good thing and that a couple shouldn’t know everything about each other. I’m the opposite. I feel – in theory and in my extremely limited experience – that there is nothing more erotic than knowing all there is to know about your life-partner, and when we get together I will want to know every gory detail about your past. And don’t even think of asking me to leave the bathroom when you’re in there because I won’t. I want everything.

So anyway, there’s something you should know. I wasn’t going to tell you because frankly, part of me is ashamed and frightened. But then, some people feel that if something frightens you, that’s a damn good reason for doing it. I'm not sure I'm one of them, but in this case, to hell with it.

So, I hadn’t actually thought about this thing I'm about to share with you for years until I joined the Cook’d and Bomb’d talk forum recently. There was a thread there in which people were confessing to some of the vile things they’d done – lots of stories of bodily functions gone wrong, enforced emissions under unusual circumstances and so on. I was a little repulsed by these people if you want to know the truth, then I remembered when I was 13 or 14 and I became embroiled in an experiment. We’ve all been there. What happened was this…

One late afternoon I was home from school, in my room watching TV and eating marmite and cheese on toast. Inadvertently, some of the marmite found its way on to the back of my hand. Rather than wash it off, I guess I must just have rubbed if off, and not very well, for later that evening, still in my room I couldn’t help notice that my pet kitten was licking the back of my hand with an unusual attentiveness. One might even say a passion. This gave me an idea. You can probably see where this is going already. I am sorry.

Thinking about it, I’m pretty sure I was actually 15. But definitely no older.

A few days later – hours, minutes, whatever – I found myself home alone and feeling a little lonely – a little “lonely” - as teenage boys are wont to, and I decided I’d try a little experiment. So, I retired to my sleeping quarters with the tiny jar of marmite, giving Mavis a little sniff to make sure she followed – Mavis was the name of my kitten and I do take some solace from the fact that she was at least a lady cat. I then proceeded to undress myself, lay on the bed and smear a tiny trail of marmite on – at first – my nipples, which were particularly sensitive, then later, when that proved an enormous success, on the end of my burgeoning boyhood.

OK, so. You’ve got that image in your head. A strange-looking 15-year-old boy lying naked on an unmade bed in a slightly smelly room with hot summer sun trying hard to squeeze its way in through permanently closed curtains; he is lying on his side, holding himself in his right hand; a tiny black kitten is lapping at the end of his teenage Johnson with its tiny sandpapery tongue.

How does that make you feel? Do you find yourself strangely aroused? No, of course you don't. Well, believe me, it sounds as strange and perverted to me as is does to you. I have no idea what was going on in my head that convinced me it would be a good idea.

As it happens, it wasn't. And it didn’t last very long. No, not because I emptied myself all over poor Mavis’s tiny head. No. That would be sick. But because at some stage – around about the time Mavis got a little too bitey – I kind of saw what I was doing and I felt a little repulsed. So I stopped. Then I went and washed myself, took Mavis downstairs and gave her some proper food.

So, all in all, nothing really happened. Except that I cajoled an underage cat into licking my erogenous zones. And ‘cajoled’ is probably a bit much. It was consensual. She was purring.

After I’d posted this on the forum, someone from there asked me if I would mention it here. They suggested that if I did so, I may alienate some of my readers. I know that that is a possibility – a pussibility! – but it’s a risk I have to take. The fact is, I feel better having shared.

Oh, look! Pablo has just wandered into the room. He’s just eaten. He’s licking his lips. Awww. He’s so sweet. He wants to come on my lap. Come on then, Pablo. Just this once…

No kittens were harmed in the retelling of this adolescent abomination.

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Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Don't You Know Who I Am? (The Internet Is Scary.)

I’m in a really good mood. Things have happened over the last few days which have really made me happy. I shall tell you about them now, in reverse order.

1. Lots of new readers have arrived to grant my humble quest their time, courtesy of a couple of much-appreciated links. Many of them have left lovely comments. And I love that. It fills me with joy.

2. I’ve been memed by DJ Kirkby. She has sweetly awarded me an E for Excellent, which I must now award to 10 other bloggers. It will be an honour. Very soon.

3. A new season of America’s Next Top Model kicked off last night. I do feel ashamed if that’s any consolation but the fact is, I just can’t help myself. I just love watching beautiful, predominantly low-intelligence people attempting simple tasks - like buying nice clothes, looking sad or walking - like they’ve been asked to cure cancer with three pipe cleaners and a bag of flour. And the bitching is such a pleasure. Ebony and Bianca, I think, are the major bitches for this series. Every series must have at least a couple major league Satan-women, just to pick on the sweet ones for our viewing entertainment. The sweet ones this time round are Victoria, lozenge-faced college student from New Haven, and Heather, weepy humpbacked autist. Aaaaah, reality TV. Fuck you, Tyra. Oh, and shame on you for dumping Spontanouise. From her name on down, she was comedy gold.

By the way, if you care, don’t read the next two words: Saleisha wins.


Unfortunately I’m out tonight, so I’ll miss the first instalment of The Next Best Thing, which looks great, apart from the dreadful, dreadful, dreadful judges. Ideally, if you’re making a TV show in which you humiliate deluded members of the public, you should ensure that the panel have at least a modicum more talent than the average contestant. The Next Best Thing appears to fail horribly in this respect.

Anyway, I’ve said too much. I should perhaps point out that I also enjoy news programmes, critically acclaimed American drama (particularly HBO mega-sagas) and arse-numbingly serious documentaries.

4. More important even than reality TV, this: I was out running in Brockwell Park yesterday afternoon. It was a lovely day. A bit cold, but the sun was out, the air was crisp and light like a perfect pancake and I swear my guardian angel came to me in the form of a fluffy grey squirrel. This squirrel ran ahead of me, for at least a minute, scurrying from one tree to the next, then waiting for me to catch up before running on. It was quite odd. Made me laugh. Then it disappeared. A few moments later, I’d completed my circuit and was stretching by a gate, a young woman walked up to me, slowly. She was wearing a big duffle coat and big jumper and a big dress and big trousers. But she wasn’t big. She was quite small. Slim anyway. As far as I could tell. She had long dyed-blonde curly hair that had lots of bits of stuff tied into it. She had lots of piercings. She looked a bit scary if I’m honest. But pretty.

When I realised that she was definitely coming towards me and not just ambling in my direction, my heart began to beat a little faster. I felt like a wreck, a phlegm-packed, sweat-stained, sickening mouth-breather of a wreck. I thought she might be about to chastise me for blowing my nose in the park, or else just say something really unpleasant about my appearance; something about the sight of fat men jogging being repellent to her. But she didn’t. She just said: ‘Hello.’

I blushed and squinted at her. She really was very pretty. Bright grey, piercing eyes. Like silver in fact. And pierced, black eyebrows. I tried to regulate my breathing. ‘Hello,’ I said. It wasn’t brilliant, but I figured the ball was still in her court.

‘This is a bit embarrassing really, but I think I know who you are. Do you write a blog?’

I nodded vigorously before I could speak. Then I sort of gurgled an affirmative.

‘Are you Bête de Jour?’ she said.

It sounded really strange. It was a strange sentence to hear.

‘Yeah,’ I said. I was blushing horribly. I felt like I’d been unmasked. I was embarrassed I think because the only reason she could have known it was me is because I am fat and ugly and I run in Brockwell Park.

‘Your blog is really good,’ she said. ‘You’re a really good writer.’

‘Thanks,’ I said, a tiny bit too blasé perhaps. ‘That’s really nice of you to say.’

There was a silence. She nodded a couple of times. I knew I was supposed to say something. Or else she’d just walk away. I nodded. I thought about negging her. Something about her piercings weighing down her face maybe. ‘Well, OK,’ she said. ‘I just wanted to say, you know, keep it up.’

‘I just saw a squirrel,’ I blurted out.

She smiled. Nodded again. She likes to nod.

‘I’m not usually a great believer in squirrels,’ I said, ‘but this one was definitely something special. It ran with me for about ten minutes, ahead of me, like it was trying to say something. But then it didn’t say anything. It was quite disappointing in the end.’

‘I’m not a fan of squirrels,’ she said. ‘And if I may say so, that behaviour there that you’ve just described is typical of them. They promise so much, then they just let you down.’

‘Yes!’ I cried. ‘They are evil!’ I stopped. Looked into her eyes. ‘Cute though,’ I said.

Wow. I do believe I was flirting!

‘Yeah.’ She nodded. ‘But appearances can be deceptive.’


At which point she introduced herself. Her name was Spontaniouse. Nah, just kidding. Let’s call her Sally. Which is actually very close to her real name. Sally studies at Camberwell College of Arts. She’s a painter. And a photographer. And she plays the guitar. And when I said she was pretty, I was wrong. She’s divine. She’s absolutely perfect. And - DAMN YOU, WORLD! - her boyfriend thinks so too.

And I must remember, now that I’m sitting here having thoughts I probably shouldn’t, that she probably wouldn’t be interested in me in a million years. I’m ten years older than her, ten stone heavier than her and way way way out of her league. The other way around I mean. She’s out of mine. Whatever. We're in different leagues. Plus she has a boyfriend. But she does like my writing. And we did chat for a full ten minutes before she had to rejoin her friends and carry on drawing trees. And we did make each other laugh. Which counts for a lot.

The funny thing is of course, that the chances are, she will read this.

I’m not sure what that means really. I guess I just have to carry on being myself. Not drive her away by breaking down in the middle of sentences and declaring I LOVE YOU, SALLY – I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT YOU. No. That would be madness. And so not true. I mean, she was alright. I meet breathtakingly beautiful, gob-smackingly intelligent, brain-wateringly funny women all the time and it’ll take a lot more than a comprehensive knowledge of Nobuyoshi Araki to win me over.

So, really, apart perhaps from pointing out that I really do like Nobuyoshi Araki too, now that I know who he is, it's pretty much business as usual.

Nothing to see here.

As you were.

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