Life in London

Life in London for a not-quite-middle-aged gay Australian guy. Oh, the glamour of it all!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I've always liked red....

After Australia were cruelly knocked out by diving Italians, I'm forced to switch allegiance to Spain and England.

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Stacks on!!!

as Australia makes it thru to the 2 Round of the World Cup Finals. It was edge-of-your-seat-stuff as Australia had to come from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Croatia. Next up - the Azzurri (gulp!).

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Good triumphs over evil yet again......

as Kylie announces she's well enough to tour.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Champagne is good for you

So it’s a pretty late update from the weekend, but it’s easy to get caught up in the World Cup and the summer of love. World Cup games featuring Spain, England, Australia and Sweden the last few nights have meant we were slightly distracted.

Friday night saw me ‘cook’ a goat’s cheese salad and a beef carpaccio of sorts for Paul. Both were pretty nice, if I do say so myself. We knocked back a bottle of Pinot with that, and topped it all off with berries and crème fraiche, so no wonder I decided to get up early (c’mon, 8:30am is early) and go for a run Saturday.

I don’t know why I bothered really, it was probably one of my worst runs for about 5 years. I did my normal 6-mile down and around Regent’s Park, but the warm weather combined with sleepiness, no food and a niggly foot injury meant I stopped about 3 times. Still it was sunny enough to take my shirt off in Regents Park and I got a little less pasty. Soon I’ll be positively Kidmanesque in my complexion.

At least I burnt off some of the 5000 calories and 45 units of alcohol we consumed at the Taste of London. It was a lovely hot day (well, 27C) and we ate plenty and drank far too much champagne.I took some pictures, but they seem to consist of the tops of peoples heads - not sure how that happened. It finished bang on 4pm, so we went and sat in Regent’s Park, drank some more champagne, then the group decamped to our place to freshen up for Mark II’s friend’s party.

We all headed off to Clapham South for a housewarming. Mark II’s friend’s name is Alan and he is lovely. So lovely that Paul is keen to groom him as a friend. It was a fairly quiet affair, only about 25 or so people there, and I made friends with a pocket gay from Boston. He was very sweet and one of those americans you meet that challenges your preconceptions about americans. There’s always one. After that we went clubbing, purely to keep Alan, Mark, Oscar, Damien, Dr F. et. al. company, mind you. Mark and Oscar are really nice guys - so generous - we’re very glad to have met them.

Sunday was originally for going to the ponds and sunbathing, but it turned out Sunday was for sleeping. And for watching Australia get beaten by Brazil, but at least they put up a good fight. Just a draw needed now to get through to the last 16. And then elimination.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

He Shoots, He Scores

The Spanish team (and out 3rd) continue to conquer all in their path. Paul is particularly impressed by Torres.

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Friday, June 16, 2006


Last night Mark, the very broad-shouldered Chris, the lovely Bernadette, Paul and I went to see Fuerzabruta at the newly redeveloped Roundhouse in Camden. It was fantastic. Honestly. One of the best theatrical nights out I've ever had. It was jaw-dropping in the real sense. At one stage I looked around at the pure looks of joy and wonderment on grown adult's faces and thought this must really give the performers a buzz - seeing people looking deliriously happy and amazed. Expat Aussie Pam Ann was there. And Bernie couldn't stop making sauna references all night.

Bernie making references to saunas.

At this point the stage was moving towards us and we were walking backwards......

Very Bondesque.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Go Eng-er-land!!!

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Sometimes I Wish I was Braver

Last night, Damien had organised for Paul, he and I to attend a talk given by John Pilger, on his latest book, ‘Freedom Next Time’. He spoke very impressively (without notes) for about 25 minutes, then took questions from the floor on a variety of topics for another 40 minutes or so. I respect the stand John Pilger makes on various issues (Palestine, black poverty in South Africa, the tyranny and arrogance with which governments treat their voters and collude with big business, the plight of Diego Garcia, Imperialism etc. etc.), and agree with most of what he says. Sometimes, however, I can’t help but feel he glosses over some inconvenient truths if they don’t serve his argument.

Last night, for instance, he claimed that the Taliban had wiped out the afghan opium industry when they were in power. I didn’t think that was correct, and then today’s guardian had a story ,(purely by coincidence), about the resurgence of opium production in Afghanistan, stating that the Taliban had significantly reduced opium production in Afghanistan when they were in power, but not wiped it out, as Pilger had claimed. And I think that making claims in that fashion does his cause a disservice, because he does a great job in highlighting unfashionable causes.

Not that I'm saying the right doesn’t do manipulate the truth either, but I’d rather not be misled. I wanted to ask Pilger his opinion on China and whether he felt democracy would ever prevail, but I didn't have the balls to. Anyway, it was a very interesting night, so a big thankyou to Damien.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Summer Love, Is Like No Other Love....

Game 1 : Australia-Japan 3-1!!!
At the 80-minute mark Australia were 0-1 down and I had given up all hope.
And Harry Kewell has finally got a decentish haircut.

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

So, The Summer of Love Has Begun.

After what seems likes weeks of grey damp weather, summer is finally here. It has officially been dubbed the ‘Summer of Love’, because ‘the lord’ is back from Brussels, and it’s Chris and Bernie’s first whole summer here. The weather has been hot and sunny for over a week now, and we're loving it (although the Bakerloo line is already unbearably hot).

Friday night we had Damien over for dinner. Paul was cooking as a thankyou to D and myself for helping him out on a work project earlier in the week. D is looking very brown, (I tell you, the Moors did conquer southern Italy!) and Paul cooked a lovely meal, asparagus with manchego and a vinaigrette, followed by tagliata.

Saturday afternoon we headed down to Balham (in deepest, darkest South London), for the very broad-shouldered Chris and his lovely wife Bernadette’s ‘Farewell Balham, Hello Summer of Love’ party. We started of by chilling out in the garden, then went inside later on for a bit of a dance. Needless to say we missed the last tube, and got a taxi home considerably later than we should have. We had a lovely time because almost all of our favourite people were there. Bernie sortof liturgically danced, but it lacked Sharna’s choreographic input.

Sunday we met the Smith family for a picnic. My day consisted mainly of lifting kids onto monkey bars. I only had one glass of wine! Josh wanted to go on the big Kids slide, but I said ‘No!’. He’s only three, but after seeing another kid about the same age hurtle down, I thought the slide wasn’t that bad. Paul invited him to go on it and he said ‘No, I’m not allowed’. I relented, thinking that if he flew off the thing, taking most of his skin off, at least he would have been happy. He was fine.

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I Know, Let's Eat Lunch Outside

Today was another beautiful sunny day. Sunny enough to make people to go and eat lunch basking in Slough's light industrial pollution and within choking distance of the A4 (one of the major roads from London to Bath). As the group in the left of picture are, under the tree. Now can you see why I'm more than happy to start work back in central London?

More to come later - including pictures of Bernie's liturgial dancing.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

London in Summer is Beautiful

Mark, Paul and I went for a beer in Hammersmith after 'The Exonorated' (8.5/10 - 10/10 for leftwing liberal bias (not that I'm complaining!)).

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Friday, June 02, 2006

I Love theguardian - Reason #158

On today's front page:
'Does he or doesn't he? Moisturising secrets by Jon Snow (at Hay!), Nicky Campbell, Neil Warnock and David Cameron ' (boo, hiss!).

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There's been a lot of blessing going on

Olga, the portuguese cleaner who cleans the common areas in our block, blessed herself when she saw me this morning. I was still half asleep, so momentarily considered that I may, in fact, have been dead and she was seeing a ghost. After recollecting that to the best of my knowledge, I was still alive, we exchanged pleasantries.

Normally, I see Olga every day she works, but as I've been leaving earlier to get to Winnersh, I haven't seen her for a month or so. She said 'I think to myself today, I no see the man in number 15 for long time. I thought you might have been sick, or move away or be on holiday. But you are here!'. She is very sweet. Even if she did call me a man - I'm only 39, after all!!

And I blessed myself after we arrived safely in Wales the other day. Half in jest, but half seriously - the driving really was that bad. Here's a view of the tailgating, taken from the back seat.