Naked Blog

More famous than Susan Boyle!

Friday, June 29, 2001


At work this morning, Pat was upset. "Oh Peter," she wailed. "A man had his cock on my back last night." Now let me tell you that Pat is a great lady, a Scouser, so it really came out as, "Amanadiscoch onmebach lasnight."

I was startled, imagining possibly some homemade porno production. But I know Pat isn't into men at all. "No, it wasn't like that," she went on. "It was just me an me bird dancin slow in this club, when all of a sudden I felt it behind me, pressing. It was still in his trousers, but I knew straight away what it was."

I gasped and feigned shock at this intemperate tumescence, this unwanted penile presence on Pat's back.

"You have no idea how horrible that is for a lesbian," she said, as she composed herself, cockless, to call the bingo numbers. And she was right. I have no idea how horrible that could be. Different strokes.

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Thursday, June 28, 2001


Old queens like me are a nuisance. We should be dead, if not from natural causes, then from The Curse. And we get in the way of what people want, which is either Stuart's campness, Robin's lechery, or Dolly's fuckability. Those three types seem to get on OK. But as Norton shape-shifts into Grayson then things become more confusing for the herd.

No offence to Graham Norton, who does what he can with what he's got. But - really - he is the very Daily Mail of homosexuality. Just no comparison to Boy George, the century's second most important faggot - who combined camp with rock n roll, heroin with chic, and Marylin with manslaughter. He strode the planet.

But back to old queens! La Burchill never loses the thread like this...

Typical was tonight in The Village. "You're speccy and pot-bellied," said straight young Roddy, the tree surgeon. Now, dear readers, let me tell you that Roddy and I have hardly spoken in the past, as he seems quite dull. And all he knows of me is what he sees, and that I am gay.

"Young man," I replied. "The glasses are so that I can see more clearly, and the pot belly is a natural result of ageing - something you as yet know nothing about. But you certainly know how to be extremely rude." He had the grace at least to appear apologetic, but I doubt it really.

Fasten your seat belts, girls - it's all there ahead of you. Or maybe it's me.

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Now it's back after a refit, you just gotta see this one, folks. The standard by which the others are judged, and the inspiration back in April for our present humble efforts. The man not only blogs to death, but lives as well. (Unless he makes it all up.) Particularly interested when he writes that "CSS style sheets kicked my ass". His site is a souffle of gay Americana, by someone who doesn't completely buy into it the way the turds on IRC seem to. Read the blog, read the site, and come away refreshed.

We've been engaged to maintain possibly Edinburgh's most trendy webpage. It does need some maintenance. Accept no alternatives.

A new assistant manager at work called me "a pain in the ass". I could have had him sacked. I still might.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2001


Tuesday Night
It's terrifying. The sky is full of sheet lightning - wave after wave. Did you ever see Day of The Triffids? Even as I sit here penning what could well be our last ever communication, the room flashes and jumps. Well, OK, I've got the lights off, for max effect, but what is a queen without her drama?

Can't concentrate on you. Keep jumping with the jack flash. Wow - just had the brightest yet - it's getting closer. Now the thunder is loud - immense - splitting my ears. And I think the sparks are hitting the ground now. Have you ever heard of lighning in Africa, or in Spain?. Half of Centra l Scotlnad is without communications. What is happening. Didi the Gods not like Rex and me watching the sunset.?





Wednesday Morning
Prayer works. I'm still here. Where are Wahlberg and Clooney when you need them? Wow - that was scary... possibly the nearest and most violent I've seen. You could almost picture the big white guy in the sky tossing his jagged thunderbolts. It's easy for you lot to laugh, but you probably don't live on the top floor of a tall building.

Progress on the money front, with a very nice bank manager I met yesterday. They come and go. He gave me precise instructions for retrieving my money, which isn't gone at all, unlike what a minion had told me, but merely "attached". Attached we can live with. Attachments are like pie-crusts. He also gave a generous overdraft "facility", and promised to waive all the returned direct debit charges. Bank of Scotland. They now have my unreserved recommendation. Don't confuse with Royal Bank of Scotland, a much more shady outfit. Plus RBS give the Conservative Party a 20 million pound free overdraft. From your money.

Rex is very upset because Scott, who runs InterPOL, the magazine of the Port o Leith Bar, has rejected one of his stories. It was about Stuart, aka Granny, giving "blow-jobs" I think he called them. This involves no less than four of my sidebar characters. You don't need telly when you live here.

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Sunday, June 24, 2001


It is finished. The letters since autumn 2000. They're not read, of course - that would take weeks - but at long last I've sorted out the blancmange of letters from the aspic of rainforests which enveloped them. Free newspapers I'm talking about. Possibly the most invasive consumerism there is. Through your door. On your floor. In your face.

My carpet is visible again. It took less than a bottle of wine, and fewer than ten cigarettes, but - believe me - weeks upon weeks of mental set. Done. Sorted. In neat piles on my kitchen floor, and available for reading now.

Here's what turned up...

Bank Statements 16
Telewest (Phone and Cable Internet) 12
Inland Revenue 11
Capital One (Credit Card) 9
Scottish Power 7
Scottish Office 4
Council Tax 4
Mortgage Company 3
Christmas Cards 2

That last one kinda gets ya, doesn't it? Thanks for your perseverance, Ewan and Beth. Maybe some day you'll read this shit and see what's happened to your former friend. You take the high road. It's the easiest.

IKEA catalogue. That's the one that really killed me. Just SO Tyler Durden.

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Friday, June 22, 2001


"Hey Rex! Fancy taking a taxi up Calton Hill to watch the sunset?" I said to him a few hours ago. It was about 7pm, and if you read MIDNIGHT LITE below you'll get the background to tonight's tale.
"But the Solstice was yesterday," Rex replied, accurately.
"Well, what the fuck. It's a great evening, and it is at least the longest day."

They say you should never go back. Never try to relive. And yes, OK, it was the same scene - but a different time, a different friend, a different me. We went. We watched. And we drank and laughed.

"Let's climb on that monument!" I cried. "Get an even better view." You might have seen pictures of this part-Parthenon - started then abandoned after one collonnade wall. But it was very high, and there were no steps. "Come along, Rex," I instructed. "You first - I'll push you up."

Imagine now, if you can, two middle-aged, bespectacled queens trying to mount an enormous Greek palace wall, higher than our heads. And that was just the first level. I put my hands on Rex's ass and manfully shoved. Then he hauled me up after him. There were young people way way above us, sitting chilled between the columns, and they gave a little round of applause. In public, stardom is all.

Later, on our drunken way home down a steep grassy slope, Rex lost his footing while chatting to a sunset cowboy. Next thing he was spinning down the hill, Sonic-style, helplessly and deliciously out of control. His carrier bag flew one way, his glasses another, but give him his due, not one squeak escaped his wine-drenched lips. Blossom Cabernet Sauvignon. I would have screamed the place down.

In these little ways do we make our existences bearable.

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Thursday, June 21, 2001

Oh no - I shouldn't be here with you on this late, late Wednesday night. Not another of these post-pub ramblings. But hey - you seem to swallow it up like the troupers you are (note correct spelling) so what the fuck. Super Trouper.

Tonight I met a man who hadn't opened any letters for three months. "Three months?" I retorted. "That's pathetic. How about seven months, mate." This did shut him up a bit. Envelophobia. They're just invasive, coming through your letter box so uninvited, so demanding, so alien.

Watched an enormous film last night on Channel Five. Mercury Rising. I hate writing about TV and films, as it's just plain sad, (unless you're getting paid for it) but this one was exceptional. Bruce Willis and an autistic child. Fair brought a tear to my een, as they say oop here.

Autism. Child actors. What ever happens to them? What happened to turn LeoBabe from his incandescent performance in Gilbert Grape into the drink and drug-sodden whoremaster he now seems to be? What turned River in the equally enthralling Stand By Me into the no longer alive? Too much, too soon. The whole of the moon.

Now it's two minutes to 1 am, which is midnight under British Summer Time. Walking home half an hour ago in a cloudless night, for a change, there was just so much blue still alive in the sky. Dark, but not black. Light in the South. Waiting for tomorrow!!

Isn't Angel just the biz? David Boreanaz. Borealis. Aurora. Australis. I wonder the thoughts that surround him. I want to look inside his... You choose.

Gotta go. Not really that broke. I'll get it back - every last penny. Have a great Solstice.

Currant bun

Great Giver of Life
Vast Cauldron of Death

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Wednesday, June 20, 2001


Imagine if you can my shock and horror when I checked my bank statement yesterday and found that all of my money - all of it - had been given to the Inland Revenue a month ago. And I calculate that I owe them nothing. Nada.

But it's my own fault. Just as we don't vacuum, sweep or polish, neither do we open letters. Well, not in the dark months at least. Dark months? But it's June you dumb ass. Well, OK then, but there's a lag. I was gonna get round to it tomorrow. Honest, M'lud.

There must be a name for it - how about envelophobia? How about fucking stupidity? Bit more like it.

I'm hiring a tax consultant to sort it all out - Indian, for added karma. He's pretty cheap, cos he drinks a bit. All part of our rich local community. In the meantime, pray for magnificat. And send your spare dollars.

News from other blogs: Paul of Dollsoup is having something of a personality crisis I sense, and is consulting everything from tarot cards to political quizzes. Groc has abandoned humans and instead filled his garden with a seal, a chimp, and various birds. Lovely piccies 4 U. Tom hasn't blogged one word for a week, and I'm a bit concerned. Links on blue sidebar.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2001


Fun and games yesterday with a Switch card. My employers pay quite a generous Dress Allowance, so every now and then they can reasonably expect some new Dress. But buying clothes is even scarier than the dentist - all that staring at mirrors and wondering when it all went wrong.

However, like laundry and showering, it has to be done. Yesterday I'd had just enough beer to feel confident yet not bloated, so off I trotted to Capital Menswear. No good. Mile after mile of funeral and bank-wear.

Then to Frasers, on foot, right across the New Town, which is Edinburgh's own Mayfair. Groc (sidebar) describes Edinburgh as being "up north", but it isn't. Up north finishes at Newcastle or Carlisle. After that comes a whole new ball-game, of which one lives in the capital. The city is awash with style and culture and modish trends. Just not where I am standing.

The sun bore down hard, as manfully I strode through these huge, money-dripping Georgian terraces, thinking of what might have been. What could have happened if I'd planned my life even a little, instead of being so hormone-driven. But then an achingly handsome skinhead overtook me on a slope, and I knew I'd taken the only possible course. He was about thirty - tall and lean, with a dyed-blonde skunk stripe surrounded by scalp tattoos I didn't have time to read. His ears hung heavy with metal, and not only did he have a thick bull-ring through his nose, but one between his eyebrows as well. His clothes were semi-sensible, and his shoes brown walking boots, but you felt there would be wilder gear in his closet.

Wow! Where were we? Oh yeah. Frasers was shite, and the service as well, so off to good old Marks and the handsome young Lee, who easily teased twice as much out of me as I'd intended. Then to the Village, also awash with testosterone. Lots of compliments about my choices. Must get thinner. Never been this fat. Does it ever stop? Dare I start cycling again? Two days to the solstice!!

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Saturday, June 16, 2001


Hi! Howzitgoin? Been a coupla days since we talked, and I was wondering how u doing. Shitty weather, isn't it? Not really what we'd been hoping for after such a nice May. But that's just weather talk, while I warm up and think what to tell you tonight, after work, after the Village, after a night walk home in the silent city.

It's the lightest fortnight of the year, you know, and up here at 57 degrees it's only quite dark for an instant - or it would be, if we could get some clear skies ever again. Permadawn - that's what I call it. Permadawn. It doesn't last long, however. Soon after the 21st the strong dark fingers of night will start their evil comeuppance again. But there's time yet. Lots of time.

The most memorable solstice ever was with Andy and Ian five years ago. We took a taxi to Calton Hill, grabbing a couple of bottles of wine on the way, and watched the huge red orb settling slowly behind the Fife hills. The moment of the solstice - for there is a precise moment - was 9.58 pm, but there was tons of sunshine still after that. It's not easy to find the time of the solstice - seems to be one of the best-kept secrets.

It was just after Michael Howard had put a ban on meetings of more than six people or summat, so there was a cop car there in attendance, but we had nothing to declare except our joy. Loads of people danced and played instruments, and watched as the Great Giver of life dipped out of sight on that day its longest trip for us.

I'd just discovered internet chat rooms the week before that, and the near constant daylight coupled with the odd snifter or two had kept me awake for seven days and nights, chatting filth and disgust across the hemispheres. But things had gone far enough, and my feet were swelling up with lack of sleep. I remember the climb up the hill to watch the sunset seemed to heal my feet a bit, as if the exercise was putting the fluids back wherever they were supposed to be.

Etched. Engraved. One of the scenes you know you'll savour in your final moments, whenever those moments make their way. Wonder what Timothy thought of. I got to stop, or I'll go on longer.

Seasonal Affective Disorder. But this is the upside. These next days are what we worship in the darkest winter hours - why we continue to live. I will NOT waste them. Nor should you. Sleep well, take care, look up.

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Friday, June 15, 2001


Flaming awful, if you ask me. Pissing down all day, and me on a day off. Can't even leave the house, there's that much rain.

So I switch on the News, and who do I see? Michael fucking Portillo. He of the revolving closet. Love to see the mags tucked under his bed. Puts me in mind of a couple of stories I wrote in 1999, when he was first outed. They're not very nice, but there again neither are gay Tory hypocrites.

Gay Portillo Thrilla!, a spoof Sun interview.
Granny Spills The Beans. Similar but more hysterical, featuring Granny, a pulsating star on our main site.
No Turning Back. Thoroughly nasty!!

There. I feel better now. That'll do him a lot of harm. Gonna brave the rain - go for a pint wiv me mates an catch up on the goss.

Later... much more cheerful... I've got two friends called Alastair and Dolly. They have an immaculate home, with not one inch of display space wasted. Even the coffee table has a magazine shelf under a glass top, and their mags of choice are ancient copies of Good Housekeeping. Tres butch. The boys would love this cookery site!

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Thursday, June 14, 2001


Back to work, and a mystery shopper visit. A hefty bonus depends on these anonymous inspections, and they're the one thing which unites an often bickering staff. However, the guy was either generous or a bit thick, as early on he brought out his assessment sheets so that a sharp-eyed colleague spotted both them and him.

From that moment his four-hour visit was an orgy of Uriah Heep-like servility. "Yes, sir. No, sir. How do you like your dick sucked, sir?" But not from me, of course. Clint Eastwood just said "..........Hi."

My bit came later, as live in front of my colleagues I produced an impeccable 90 minutes of bingo-calling. Star or what? I even allowed one bead of sweat onto my naked brow, just to show them how hard I was working for them, and how very much I cared. Anyway, the man awarded us a perfect 100 percent, then fled back to the real world. Probably to get snarled at in the first shop he went to.

Bingo is the new sex, by the way. It was in The Guardian. And Robbie Williams goes.

Fun bingo stories...
First day.
First time calling.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2001


Spent most of yesterday with my thoughts in America. All I knew previously of Timothy McVeigh was how cute he looked in his orange prison outfit. But now I've learned loads more, thanks to a brilliant documentary by Donal McIntyre on BBC1. Outstanding. Deserves an award for its knife-edge balance.

It's back to work again today, after a so-so fortnight off. Hope the blog doesn't suffer too much - especially after our fab mention on Groc Blog. You have to take a good look! There are really only two other UK gay sites I've ever reckoned, and that is one of them. BUT!! The guy not only writes cool scribbles, he draws ace cartoons as well!

My own faves are the Stupid Faggot comic strip, and How to write your own gay mag Look, linger, and laugh your Homer Simpson socks off. Right. Back to moi.

Things I didn't do in my holiday

Go anywhere
Clean the flat (Needs a JCB)
Buy a new suit (For work only, you understand. Rex says I should dress more like Graham Norton.)
Sort out Income Tax
Get a new job
Get a life

But what I did do was more precious than diamonds - drink and think and talk. You are my reward.

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Monday, June 11, 2001


Although Leith stands on the River Forth, of painting the bridge fame, there is another, much smaller river passing through its heart, called the Water of Leith. In its lower stretches it's now quite posh (see left) but still is home to jakies (drinking gents), working girls, and their clients. In some parts you can't even take a discreet piss without treading on a bunch of used condoms.

Rather more pleasantly, it also houses (or did) a locally-famous pair of swans which we named Darren and Deirdre in one of our earliest stories for you. Take a glance at three years ago, then hop back here. Swanning about

Darren and Deirdre have featured in Edinburgh's evening paper, in election material, and there's even a pub named "The Black Swan". (Wrong colour, but right idea.) Year after year they nested in the same spot - the jakies keeping watch over their Carlsberg and chats - and the annual hatching was a feast of accessible wildlife for all to enjoy.

Last week Robin and I decided to take a look at this year's nest. "But it's not Darren and Deirdre any more," Robin said. "Some other swans chased them away." Only yesterday did I learn the full, awful, story - from a lady of a certain age with bird-food and a moustache.

"It was rogue swans," she told me, urgently. "They came from further up the river and chased the first couple away. They cornered the male and attacked him. People were phoning the swan centres and the paper and the police and everything, but nobody came. Its neck was all hanging and it couldn't lift it. It was terrible, I was that upset."

"And what about the female?" I asked, horrified. "Oh, she would go away to die," my swan lady said. "Swans mate for life, you know."

Awful. We just can't feel good about the new residents. But that's human. And swans are not human - unlike "we the American people". Timothy McVeigh was executed today. We can not comment. That is for the 500 million people of the USA. God bless you and keep you, and may peace come to your desperate land.

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Sunday, June 10, 2001


Went to a gay bar yesterday, with Robin. Two, in fact. First time for probably ten years. A bit nervous, but keen to see what had changed.

First was Habana, in the Playhouse Theatre/ CC Bloom's plaza. I remembered this one vaguely as Chapps, in another time, another life. Decor tarted up a bit, but everything else as it was. Even saw an ex, who didn't speak, and a bingo lady, who did. Bingo's very popular with sensible-shoed ladies. High-female environment, and they get no hassle.

Close by was Planet Out, formerly straight. Louder music, but quality system, so not too awful. It was good to have Robin with me - not to be thought of as trolling. Didn't get a second glance from anyone, of course, but at least the first one didn't seem to startle them too much. Will I go back? Well, I think they'll manage fine without me!

For loads of showbiz gossip, take a look at A List. That one I got from Groc's blog, very nicely laid out' with lots of fun links. Must start link-slutting here a bit more.

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Saturday, June 09, 2001


Fun last night at Telford College Art exhibition. This was a last chance for the students to strut their artistic stuff before settling down to life at the Call Centre, and wondering where it all went wrong. The most startling bit of the evening was a chat between straight, ultra-macho(?) Juicy and a limpid mincer.

"What are you doing here?" Juicy grunted at this tall, lean young man. "I teach here - I teach sculpture!", the slim t-shirted guy replied, his shoulder tattoos glinting in the falling light. He really did look a bit uncomfortable. "I've got to go now - all right?" And off he shimmied down the corridor to greet his adoring charges.

"That's Nellie!" Juicy growled. "Ah ken him from clubbing." He was clearly astonished, but I was merely amused. "Nellie the lecturer," I breathed. "We're not all dysfunctional alkies, you know."

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Friday, June 08, 2001


Labour victory.... yawn
Hague resigns.... yawn
Well, at least all the 'girlz' got in, didn't they? Mandy, Twiglet, Chrissie, Tia Maria? Suppose the rest did also. Yawn, Yawn.

Much more fun!! Yesterday at The Village there was a semantic dispute between Cliff the weekend barman, and Barbara the weekday cook. He called her a wench. She reacted verbally. He threatened to get his wife to pan her cunt in.*

I don't know... only been open a couple of weeks, and a landslide already.

*(Pan yer cunt in - Edinburgh slang meaning unspecified physical threat. It can also be used - fairly accurately - for what the voters did to William Hague. Good.)

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Thursday, June 07, 2001


Well, if you've been following the story so far (see post and links below), Steve Gibson, head of Gibson Research Corporation, and one of the world's leading computer security experts, has gone onto Internet Relay Chat and talked live to an elite hacker called ^bOss^ - in an attempt to get him to "call off" a series of Distributed Denial of Service attacks on his website.

He goes further, and writes an apparently sincere plea to the hackers not to do it again. "I admit I am powerless - I will walk on the beach," or words to that effect.

Much wailing and wringing of hands! What can we do with these evil 13 year old "script kiddies"? But hey!! Help might just be at hand, in the form of Spoofarino, a shield against these very attacks. And who is going to supply Spoofarino? Well - none other than.... Yep, you guessed it.

It is now our view that the entire episode, including IRC transcripts, maybe, just may be have been dramatised by Mr Gibson himself, and the Guardian so gullibly led into the plot. Who says theatre is dead?? Well done, Steve!! Put me down for two!!

Either way, genuine or spoof, a thrilling dip into the mad, bad world of hack attack.

The "I surrender" letter.
The full story, including plug for new protection product.
The second reference is a very long download, so advise early am.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2001


Oh dear. Oh dearie dear. Throughout much of last month a 13 year old called Wicked brought the mighty Gibson Research Corporation (computer security) to its knees. This is by far the most serious Denial Of Service attack we have come across, and puts the whole future of computing at risk, including Microsoft's latest offering, XP. The FBI were unable to help, because of the age of the perpetrator, and that they were fully stretched with higher-dollar cases. So Gibson ventured personally onto Internet Relay Chat to meet the author of the attacking software, in a live exchange which only a true IRC head (like myself) will appreciate the gravity of.

A couple of years ago we wrote Internet Relay Splat, a story about IRC life, but never, ever did we imagine this level of damage. Read the Guardian and the GRC site and be very afraid.

Internet Relay Splat (my own story)
Guardian Story, but without the killer IRC chat.
Gibson Research For the full account.
My transcript of the IRC You have NO idea how serious this is.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2001


Glancing through yesterday's site traffic report and came across a referral from Google Directory, which I'd never heard of. Google itself is the leading search engine, but Google Directory has human editing, part of the Open Directory Project initiated by Netscape.

And we were at number two. In the country. For Gay and Lesbian Homepages. Now - many would be pleased with this, but not magnificat. Second place is not in our nature, preferring either number one, or nowhere at all. (If I can't get my own way, then I'm not playing.)

So who was this UK Dave who dared snatch the laurels from under our very nose? Well, both Dave and his site are a delight belying his tender years, and you should take a wee look.

Also, be sure and fill in my new ManPoll, to your left. (I'll think of more interesting questions for the next one - honest!)

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Sunday, June 03, 2001


Years ago, when the universe was young and Windows was 3.1, I worked hard at learning a thing called Word For Windows 2.

I got a huge book and mastered every chapter. Formatting, tables, frames (frames were a bit of a bugger - used to jump about a bit if you didn't watch them). You could even do arithmetic inside the table cells, and I designed my own accounting spreadsheet for a business I ran then. WFW2 was glorious, and I thought of it as almost Mozartian.

But word processing is old hat now, of course, and browsers are the new sex, with Mozilla at their core. I only realised this when I started writing my own HTML a few weeks ago. Such silly little types, so full of < and > which Mozilla effortlessly transmutes into screens full of life and colour and dance.

Tony disagreed. "It's not the browser - the real creative part is in the typed HTML," he stated. And of course, he has a point. But what use is sheet music without a piano to play it on? Or a song without a singer?

Take a favourite webpage - this one even - click View|Source and then marvel. Write your own < and > and you will marvel even more.

To the glory of God.

Later, after the pub. The glory of God is one thing, but my all-too-human head is right now bursting with words, with thoughts, with ideas. Bursting - exploding - you get the picture!!??

"Tell me more, tell me more, say does he have a car?"
"Ooh ooh, ooh ooh, ooh ooh, ooh ooh"

Went to The Village this pm, needing a chat, desperate to talk - anything to get me away from YOU and this damn Blog. Oh, the usual suspects were there all right. I won't name them, to spare their blushes, but today's topic was bisexual confessions. Everybody's at it. Men and women. Sodom and Gomorrah in South Fort Street. I was shocked, I can tell you. So shocked I wished I was young enough to join in.

"Hey babe - take a walk on the wild side..."

The Port was saner. Less mad, inasmuch as you couldn't make out the insanities for the music. Scott was staggering about a bit with jet-lag, but I got a hug off Matthew. What a night. What a life. I will get back to you.

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Saturday, June 02, 2001


Just spent a delicious half-hour in musical nostalgia. I thought I'd try out internet radio, and chose BBC Radio 2. That's the station for people who have no concept of decent music, yet are too old to wallow in the current charts. Yesterday's tripe, you could say. But this was different. This was the Top 20 from FORTY years ago, when your author was a babyteen.

Listen to BBC radio.

There's a syndrome that yesterday everything was better. TV, music, clothes, everything. Yet the startling thing about this selection was just how ordinary it was. Different, yet ordinary. The only three songs which stood out at all were Frightened City (The Shadows, who were the true pioneers of electric guitar - so perfect for AM and tinny radios), Runaway (Del Shannon - a deserved classic) and the Number 1 which was an inferior Elvis called Surrender.

Oh, Shirley Bassey was there too with a dreary dirge called You'll Never Know How much I Love You (one of me mam's faves), and there were also The Marcels with Blue Moon - a brave experiment in polyphony. But the rest? Nada.

Hey!! 1979 is on now as I write, and there go the Shadows again, with Theme from Deerhunter! Talk about sticking power! This Radio 2 has got something going!!

Margaret, one of the bingo ladies around my own age, probably liked the Shadows. She spoke to me after Thursday's session, thanking me for her win. (They often do that - it's easiest to play along with the fantasy.) She said she was going to Sardinia. "Oh that's nice," I quickly chipped in. "Yes, I just pray my daughter will last the night," she explained, her eyes filling. "And I'll see her there before she goes. But thanks for that wee win anyway."

What can you say? I've long lost count of the times I've hugged my ladies after their husbands, children, whatever have died. It goes with the territory I guess.

More nostalgia!! I love 1972 presented by no other than David Cassidy, now well into his fifties, and with a damn stomach to die for. Face lifted, of course - hair dyed, what else... but no faking his slimness. Bastard. As is Donny Osmond, now also within reach of his bus pass. I jest, of course, dear reader. Jealousy is not in my nature. Anyway - where were we, before this post runs off the page? Oh yes, 1972. There was the book The Joy of Sex. And the mag Cosmopolitan. Cue Burchill, who has been taking elocution I suspect, and Greer, who never needed it. Then there was T Rex, now represented by a Bolan-alike called DanielZ. Look back in joy!!

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