Naked Blog

More famous than Susan Boyle!


Saturday, December 22, 2001

NAKED BLOG CLOSED UNTIL MID-JANUARY

No Rest For The Wicked Department: They say a sure sign of internet success is to be Number 1 on Google. Well, Naked Blog has been that for ages. But now we've achieved the dubious further distinction of being around number 10 for just "naked". An awful lot of people search for "naked", I can exclusively reveal.
(Apparently we're also Number 1 on Yahoo for "marys minge", something which should amuse readers in Leith, if not the divine Mary herself.)
I'm enjoying my holiday, yet missing y'all at the same time. Thanks for your many, many letters, and I WILL reply to each and every one.


Holiday Reading List

Just under the surface of Naked Blog bubbles a vast web of linkage from other sites. Here, belatedly in some cases, is our recognition of your kindness. The following weblogs are either linked to NB, or should be, or their authors left comments or mentions, or maybe they're just good. Enjoy.

barbara   burner   carrie   cooties   deborah   dominique   drew   geek   groc   hoopty   jim   john   josh   meg   michael   mimi   morgaana   nine   noyen   paul   paulo   rannva   ronald   ruth   ryan   scott   simon   stuart   tara   tim   trevor

And of course, don't forget the Sites to See to your left. Just drop an email or comment if you've been left out.


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Friday, December 21, 2001

2001 SOLSTICE 19.21 GMT TODAY

Well, after all that build-up, what ever could we expect but an anti-climax! It's thick wi' cloud and pissin' wi' rain here in East Central Scotland. But I love it. Just about nine hours to go and the earth will pass through its point of greatest inclination to the sun, then start winding back in again. It truly is the "correct" new year - all the other festivals are mistakes.

I just plucked up the confidence to glance at a couple of my once-regular blog-reads, and they only served to show how far up my butt my brains seem to be right now. Ah well - "the days cannot all be bright and sunny: upon each a little rain must fall," as my mother used to say.

So - NB will be on vacation for about three weeks, recharging batteries, finding new depths of neurosis to share with you, and new people with fascinating lives to plunder - till they're tossed out, drained, onto the garbage fields of "next!"

My one and only New Year's Resolution must simply be: Get A Life. We're in a crisis of nothing. See you, revived, in January.


Sicut erit in principio, et nunc, et semper,
et in saecula saeculorum.


As it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be -
world without end.
(Holy Mass)


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Thursday, December 20, 2001

ONE

One day to the Solstice! So close you can almost touch it! Might be less than twenty-four hours, in fact, as I don't know the actual moment. It's really hard to discover that precise time, involving phone-calls to observatories, National Maritime Museums at Greenwich and so on.
Caller: Hello, is that the Royal Greenwich Observatory, the centre of longitude, and the historical setter of time for the discovered universe?

Lady: No, ducks - it's the National Maritime Museum, and this is the Gift Shoppe.

Caller: Well, I'm sorry to bother you, but I need to know the time of the Solstice.

Lady: Oooo - dunno nuffink baht that, me old cock sparrer - the astronomers are out to lunch.
You couldn't make it up. Well, it is only the twenty-first Century. I'm sure the Stonehenge people had it much better sussed.

If it's a reasonable day tomorrow, I'll head up Calton Hill for Low Noon. You get a great view, plus there'll be people there from sunrise to sunset. (About time for a packed lunch.)

[Editor's Note: The 2001 Solstice is at 19.21GMT on December 21. (That's 14.21 EST and 11.21PST.) Thanks to Cyberslut for that, and the reference is in the Comment Box below. Isn't progress wonderful!]



The next ten days will be a breeze, I'm convinced of it. Head down. Door locked. Phone and buzzer unplugged. Thirteen-plus hours a day in bed only leaves ten or eleven to get through. TV on, brain off. Choose life, not drugs.

Thanks for hanging in here with Naked Blog these last couple of weeks, and I can assure you your presence has been a great comfort. Tomorrow will be the last entry until mid-January when the daylight shows its first sign of returning. Here at 58 degreees North that's between 10 and 15 January, depending on the cloud cover. In Shetland they make a whole festival out of the return of the sun, called Up-Helly-A'



All the men of Lerwick, the capital, have a couple of drinks, then put on Viking outfits and parade through the town with a drink, then set a long-boat on fire, while relaxing with a few more drinks. Traditionally the next day is a Shetland holiday, to recover, but this year Councillor Christine Begg has banned the holiday. There may be trouble ahead. I sense they might put Councillor Begg on top of the burning long-boat.

Because Shetland is much further North, their festival is a little later, on the last Tuesday in January. Thanks to JH for fact-checking.

So close now! I can almost feel an emotion. Now when the fuck is that damn Solstice?

Naked Seasonal Message - the one they all read!

There will never be peace, so long as people are raised to trust only those who look and sound exactly like themselves. The archetypal urge to kill that which is different had huge survival advantage in the days when there were competing hominid species. Now there is only homo sapiens - yet with profound superficial differences across the planet.

Even this would have been OK, so long as people only ever met or saw those from nearby. But now, with "progress" you can bomb the fuck out of each other from right across the world.

Modern toys and Jurassic genes.

But have a "nice one" anyway! There's never any point in worrying over things you can do absolutely nothing about.


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Wednesday, December 19, 2001

TWO

Dentist appointment this morning and I made it. Teeth AOK even though I really don't clean them properly any more. "Now what about the chips on the front two?" he asked. "I think I can do something."

Not only this guy a great dentist, but he's got a body and face to die for. About thirty, built like a rugby player, fair of hair and pale blue of eye, he has the reddest lips and whitest teeth making you long to stuff your tongue in there. Or anything else that crops up.

Ed: Cut it out. I thought you were supposed to be depressed.

Me: Shut it, dude. Who pays you for this?

My Seasonal Psychiatrist: Too much Internet Relay Chat, if you ask me.

Me: You can fuck off too. I'm sure your wife would be really interested in a couple of things you've let slip.

Ed: Is this a weblog or a daytime soap?

The top two front teeth have been chipped ever since a scrap with a partner when I was 23. Since then there've been a few more bar-room brawls which have only added to the damage. In Leith, when you're gay, you got to fight for your lovin'. To be honest, the straights do a lot of scrapping as well. It's not a Milk Tray kind of place.

So there we were - scaled, polished and with upper left (and right) one as smooth as the day they erupted. Some things are worth waiting for, even it it takes 30 years.



"Have a nice Christmas!" Gwen said, as I left The Village later. "Yes, you too honey!" I replied, rehearsed. But then she stuck the knife right in. "Oh, and happy birthday, too!" she beamed. "It just goes on and on," I managed to croak, faking a laugh. Actually, it gets much worse than that, but NB will be closed then, so as not to spoil your own holidays.

Came out of the Port at 1.40pm, when the sky was the purest of sunsets. Un-be-fucking-lievable.

Cathode Rays

Just watched the American Weakest Link for the first time. The money's loads better, but otherwise it's exactly the same. One difference I did notice was that neither the contestants nor the audience were as intimidated by La Robinson as they are over here. They even had a laugh-track going for some of her staged "nastinesses". Good stuff.

Screen Gems

Gattaca. To die for. Just do it, if you haven't already. Last night was its Network Premiere on Channel Four, and I was spell-bound. Even though it started at 10.20 there wasn't one hint of tiredness. My movie of the year, beyond doubt.

What's it all about? Genes. A vision of the future where a person's entire life-chances are utterly and totally dependent on their genetic profile. But of course there's a catch, a plot.

Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Jude Law - and I apologise to the director for not noticing. Was that Jude Law who starred in Shopping, that interesting and under-rated Britflick? Tasty.


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Tuesday, December 18, 2001

THREE

One thing, probably the only thing, which I will achieve this month is to continue this blog until 21 December, no matter how brief or miserable the entries. Whether thirty sentences, three, or even only one - there will be some form of posting. I hope that clears up matters with a couple of recent commenters.

Apropos of which, I tried to disable the comment feature, but it started indenting the articles. Anybody know how to do this correctly?

Thanks to those who've kindly emailed, and I promise to reply early in the new year. Cya's.

Just Sitting

When one of my aunts died many years ago, my mother made the comment, "It's for the best, really. She was just sitting." After that Just Sitting became something of a family joke. But I love it. Ever since I decided I was middle-aged, I've longed for the day I can be put into A Home. And spend all my days Just Sitting.


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Monday, December 17, 2001

FOUR

Went to the Port. Talked to Mary, Ali, Claire, Mark, Alligator Johnny, Reynold, Barbara, Eilidih, Norma, Woolly Dave, Hymie, Al, Juicy, Gwen, Jim.

Not too much social withdrawal there. Except I think I must have been gabbling a bit, as I could swear they were all looking at me funny.

Sitting on the ground, talking much too loud, running up and down the stairs." (Jagger, Richard)



As the mask slips, and the social veneer departs, then all that is left is the child within - lonely, frightened and desperate to be liked. Very, very few can bear that intensity of contact - that brief brush with another's very being. Stuart can do it, but I don't know many others. They drink up, look about, start chatting to somebody else - anybody really - ask them how they're cooking the turkey this year.

And Everyman waits and wonders - whyever he was made so different. But the fact remains, and the reason wouldn't change it, so all that's left is to get on with it. Naked we come in, and naked we go out. How few are ever naked in between.


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Sunday, December 16, 2001

FIVE

Oh dear - let's get it over with. I'm determined to keep this damn blog going till the 21st, after which I can languish about staring at kitchen knives all day. Today the anticyclone leaves Shetland and travels southwards down the Atlantic coast of Scotland. Crossing over Ireland it will then head further south, to eventually disappear up its own asshole.

You might wonder about this obsession with barometric pressures, but when in truth the mental health of an entire nation depends on the visible sky, then maybe it's not so hard to understand.



Today I think I'll do a midday walk to the Stag's Head in Canonmills - a great pub run by the superb Diane. All over Edinburgh I've got favourite watering holes, depending on the length and route of that day's walk. Blind drunk by three, I'll stagger to the Port o Leith, who take (almost) all comers, and there I'll make a complete fool of myself. Norma and Gerry do it all the time - why should I continue to pretend any last semblance of respectability?

"Seeking out the poorer quarters where the ragged people go - looking for the places only they would know." (Simon)



Tony has just completed a website for the Harley Davidson company, and has asked me to check it out. Unfortunately I can't bear to even look at any site which isn't a blog, and knowing that some of you find these databasey things of interest, I hand it over for your input. You can email Tony at his company WordWrap. All emails will be entered into a prize draw, and the winners announced in 2002.

Prize will be an all-expenses-paid night out with Naked Blog, once I've cheered up a bit. And shaved and showered.


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Saturday, December 15, 2001

SIX

Good evening from dark and cloudy Scotland, after three solid days of uninterrupted gloom. Talk about one extreme to another. Anyway, looking on the bright side, tomorrow is supposed to have lighter clouds at least. We shall see.

Today turned into a "non-day". Haven't even crossed the threshold. Sad that my friend Scott has returned to sea, but nevertheless it was a good leave. Saw more of him this time than usual. After fifteen years there's not much new to say, but it's still good just to hang.



The phone rang this afternoon and put me in a complete anxiety attack. I think I'll unplug it. Don't want any calls anyway. This is my private place. Do not invade - I don't want you, I don't want to speak to you, and no... I don't want to go to anything at all. That should be fairly clear.

Roll on January, that lovely month of new beginnings, unlike this desperate tail-end of regrets and missed opportunities called December.

Off to watch Ruby Wax now, another neurotic, depressive, talented old bag. But they pay her good money to cheer me up - and she always does.

Every cloud...

You many congratulate me. I've just found out I've won the National Lottery. Well, not the actual lottery, but rather a charity Bonus Ball draw in my local pub. Thirty-nine pounds. Don't think I've ever owned that much at one time.

By the time the lottery sheet got to me with its forty-nine squares, there were only three left - sixteen, twenty-three and thirty-one. Now, 23 and 31 are ugly little numbers - prime certainly, but they've got nothing else going for them. But sixteen - that passport to so many sweet sixteen delights, was staring me right in the face, and in a fit of delayed adolescence, that's the one I picked. And up it came.

So, why am I so pleased? After all, money can't buy happiness - it's a well known fact. No, the thing that's cheered me up is that when all around have deserted me, Nature has shown that She cares. (Sob.)


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Friday, December 14, 2001

SEVEN

Too many dark days are not a good thing. Today was spent seeing off Scott, who joins his ship tomorrow in Rotterdam, then sets sail for China. "It's not a good time to say goodbye," I ventured. "Shit happens," he replied.

Scott will be updating his nautical notes weblog as things progress. We'll give you the link at the right time. I sense another night on the Internet Relay Chat coming on.


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Thursday, December 13, 2001

EIGHT

At last! One of those dull, grey miserable days which make it a joy to lounge about the place, read old magazines, have an afternoon nap if you feel like it, and so on. Too, too much good weather lately. Not natural. We'll pay the price, of course.

From my postbag

In yesterday's post we indicated - without coming right out with it - that Shetland has a bit of a "perceived liveliness problem" (i.e. it's as depressing as fuck). Well, since then our office has been deluged with angry e-mailed responses. Typical was the following from someone who calls himself simply "Shetland John"...

Dear Sir or Madam,

What's all this about an awful life in Shetland? We brought culture to Edinburgh. OK so the weather is a bit bad but '51 was a breeze. I can remember when it was so cold that by the time a spit hit the road it had turned into ice. Now that's cold.

When we shovel snow the blades become so hot that the snow just melts. You'd be able for your breakfast after that my boy!
Keep cool
Shetland John

Thanks for that one Mr John, and do keep those letters coming in. Remember at Naked Blog we laugh at value our readers' opinions.

So far, sulphate

Bit groggy this afternoon, following an entire night on Internet Relay Chat. (Dinnae start - I don't want to know what you think.) Sleeplessness was courtesy of a molecule too much of a popular yet prohibited stimulant.

The longest continuous IRC session I ever had was 37 hours, but that was last century, in the long, long ago. The whole thing gets quite creepy after ten hours, and after twenty you can "hear" the punters speaking (although of course they're just words on your screen), and then you can "sense" them actually in the room with you, just outside your field of vision.

Not recommended. Keep your body and mind healthy in God's temple(!?!) Plus speed makes you smelly as old get-out. Guaranteed to lose you every friend except your dealer.

December 1951

Every bit as much fun as the roadside snow mountains was sledging. The sledges (toboggans) all were home-made, built from any wooden box or flat with iron runners nailed underneath. The runners were the tricky bit, as you had to buy them from a blacksmith. Then simply attach a light rope at the front for pulling, and you were snow-mobile.

One way of playing was to take turns with your friends and cousins pulling each other along, which was fine - but best of all, of course, was to find a suitable hill and make your own Cresta Run. The young and/or cowardly would sit on the sledge while it hurtled downhill risking life and limb, but real men did it different.

The cool thing was to lie face-down on the damn sledge, your head just inches from the dense-packed snow and rocky outcrops you were so desperate to miss as they flew past at a fearsome rate. Even thinking about it, half a century later, brings all that excitement rushing back! Glory, glory days.

The snow lasted for months, then the sledge was put away ready for the next winter. We were immortal, of course.


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Wednesday, December 12, 2001

NINE

Daylight, weather, temps etc. all as yesterday. The anticyclone continues uninterrupted, and is centred on Shetland. (Is that how you spell centred? Been HTML-ing so long that I'm losing the plot.) Shetland is the highest place on the globe, I'm sure of it. Nice that, as they got an awful life up there... rain and wind and weather. No wonder they drink a bit.

All this brilliant sunshine is wearing me out. If I see one more picture-postcard riverside, with frosted grassy banks, and the sunbeams filtering down through the light evaporative mist, then I swear I will explode. But you gotta do it. The imperative is OUT.



Yesterday I only managed about 8 miles, unlike Monday which was nearer 12. Reason being I bought an enormous breakfast roll called Gutbuster Number 2. This roll would have fed a lumber camp. Two sausages, bacon, black pudding, fried egg, tattie scone (don't ask), beans and sliced tomatoes, all inside a circular bread roll about six inches across. You couldn't bite one side of it without a sausage dropping out the other.

"Some fuck-off roll, that!" Scott said, later. "Yeah," I agreed. "Fine if you've just done a fuck-off morning's work on a building site. But sitting typing out neurotic blogs hardly consumes the calories."

We saw, we ate, we could hardly move.

December 1951

And then the snow-ploughs came. We loved them - we danced and clapped as they brutally forced their way up the Main Street, shooting and discarding the snow high and wide to the sides.

And we knew why we loved them - because they made snowy mountain ridges the length of the roadsides, and the height of our five-year-old bodies.

Life from then on was ordained, as daily we tramped our tiny Alpine range - planning the route with precision. "Let's make a ridge...here's a tiny pass...oops - kinda fell through that one!"

When you did "fall through" then your rubber boots got filled with loads and loads of long-packed snow, yours to melt and fill your wellies with icy wetness. But we loved it - nothing could keep us back. Those Alps were our Alps, and my God we loved their challenge. They lasted for months.


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Tuesday, December 11, 2001

TEN

Daylight, weather, temps etc. all as yesterday. This morning on the TV news Scotland had 10 yellow suns dotted about. Lovely. If we'd had even 10 percent of November and December's sunshine in the summer, when it would have been more appreciated, how nice it would have been. Never satisfied, eh?

Yesterday was AbFab. Did the walk. Chatted to strangers. Loved the frozen vegetation. Had a great chin-wag in the Port afterwards with Scott and Big Straight Al.

BSA was moaning that his lady regularly calls him a poof. "Look at you!" she would say to him. "Your hair, your tattoos, your head-square!" Al was grinning while he shared these domestic snippets. "What do you think about that, boys?" he beseeched us.

"Can't really comment, Al," I said. "Young people are so different these days. Back in the fifties a woman would never dream of talking to her man like that."



Don't know whether to walk or not today. Bit solitary. Trees and rivers might look lovely, but they're not too hot at the repartee. However, at least they never call you a poof.

Have talked Scott into starting his own blog. It'll be about his adventures in the engine-rooms of the seven seas, sprinkled with salty salacious gossip about trips ashore in exotic ports. A sure-fire Blog of Note for the future. I'm to be blog-secretary, as his only communication afloat is by email.

Fancy coming home and being faced with three months of your own blog to read. Enough to drive a man to drink, if you ask me.


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Monday, December 10, 2001

NIAGARA

Awoke to wet windows once more. All of em - pouring with the night's condensations. But now I got it sussed. Grab a toilet roll, and wipe like crazy. Cleans em up bit-time.

The anti-cyclone continues, and today is bright, bright, bright again. Unlike yesterday however, I'm not gonna sit here watching it through windows and bleating on about my lousy life. Today is for OUT!

This demands organisation. Leave it even till 1pm and it's too late. Starting to set. Sadsville Inc.



Right now the ground and the cars are covered in thick icy layers. Jumping Jack Frost. The sun is horizontal (well - nearly), and its light yellowish orange. In the last fortnight what remained of the leaves has fallen, leaving mountains of the wee buggers all over the place. Wildlife sanctuary? Nah - not in the city... they gotta get swept. And hoovered. Life, but highly managed.

Met Sandra yesterday. "I see you keep writing about Ruth these days," she observed. "Sorry, darling - are you feeling a bit displaced?" it suddenly occurred. Fickle bitch that I am. In. Out. Next!! But we're meeting for a drink and doubtless a long blether this week, so Sandra-fans won't have too long to wait for news.



God - it's hard writing when everybody you know is reading the damn thing. Was easier in the olden days, when there were only Rex, Tony and Scott when he was home. Could say anything then. No limits.

That's enough really. See you soon, serotonin permitting. Don't know whether to make my walk "Nature" or "City".


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Sunday, December 09, 2001

BUSINESS AS USUAL

A gloriously-sunny day, and I should have gone out. This level of light almost demands a lengthy walk, but - I'm a bit knackered. Too many days of afternoon and early evening boozing, trying to bridge that space between when it's unacceptable for it to be dark (4pm) and to the tolerable (7pm).

Some silly ass in last week's Sunday Times (Nicola Gill) was having a whale of a time reporting that SAD wasn't recognised as an illness by the WHO. Well, that one's knocked on the head more easily than Humpty Dumpty.

I have no doubt at all that depression is recognised as genuine (the pharmy-giants make a fortune out of it), so all I ask Ms Gill to do before picking up her correcting fluid next time is to compare the suicide rates in December and June. End of story.

Why these people don't hire Naked Blog to write for them defeats me.



There are three ways this little blog can go, for the next few weeks...

  • Stop altogether
  • Be filled with anger and horror that you probably won't enjoy
  • Continue as normal

  • Whichever happens, I hope you won't abandon us altogether. The madness generally starts 8, 9 or 10 December, and lasts till 10 to 15 of January, when the very observant eye can detect the day-length increasing. These next days shape, colour and darken our entire year, knowing even in the heady midsummer that this is just around the corner. "Remember me!" as Eminem sings (shouts).



    However, there's the possibility that self-treatment with Saint John's Wort might help, as it did last year. Previous to that I used a light-box, with only limited relief. But you can't combine the two. SJW causes a photo-sensitivity in the skin and eyes, and there's a risk of cataract and other damage.

    Probably the safest course will be to trot out a few topics now and again, but there'll be nothing at all about Christmas or New Year - for personal and family reasons. Words can hardly convey how much I hate and fear December.

    Well, maybe they can. A couple of years ago, in December 1999 - probably the worst one ever - I managed to wring out no less than ten pieces, my countdown to the millennium. They're horrible. But they kept me alive. I might link to them. Depends how mad I get :)

    Far-out and about...

    Yesterday I took a bit of a walk on the wild side, onto Internet Relay Chat. (Purely for research reasons, you understand. It's the language I study.) The names are as hilarious as the coded sex-talk. In no time at all I was watching CumDude4U chatting with Fell8io about a party he'd been to. "I was the only mo in a roomful of breeders," CD complained. Well - Naked Blog worked it out pretty quickly. Kewlio.

    In view of the above, my little Christmas greeting (we're allowed to say Christmas in this country) might seem a bit empty. But I mean it. For you all.


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    Friday, December 07, 2001

    IN MY PRIME

    Hoots mon, and welcome to all our new readers from Burner. We've given this Blog a C for Caution rating, as it contains adult language and material, right from the outset.

    I'm convinced that Anwar is after my body, and last night in his restaurant clinched it. "I don't think your new beard improves you, sir," he said, in that deliciously-precise English known as Pakistani-Scots. "You look much younger without it."

    He lowered my pakora into the deep-fat frier then made shaving motions about his face. "When are you going to shave it off?" he beseeched.

    But the beard's really a depression thing. It signals loud and clear, "Don't fuck with me, baby. I might burst into tears - or I might kill you. Could go either way." So far this season it's worked a treat.



    So - that's hairy Pete off Anwar's Christmas Card list. Pity about that long-term, loving relationship we might have had, as I'm sure he's loaded. Even though he's sixty.

    Anyway - kinda like the hairy face myself. Saves all that shivering in the bathroom, breathing clouds of steam into the arctic blast. Plus it's significantly browner than I'd dared hope for. Oh, there's some whitish bits, but I'll slap a bit Just for Poofs Men on it. Works wonders, that stuff! It targets only the grey, you know.



    Readers interested in very large prime numbers will be fascinated to discover that the largest one ever has just been discovered here. It's a fucking stonker.

    Readers confused by our recent reference to the term QC can be advised that it stands for Queen's Counsel, and refers to the highest-ranking (and best-paid!) barristers/ advocates/ attorneys - you choose.

    Time was, when I used to explain potentially confusing terms, but then I was getting assailed by my local readers wailing, "Is that blog for us or for them?" Which goes to show you can never please everybody. My blog. My way. I decide.

    Thanks to Edge for his very nice letter and enquiry on this matter. Nice blog too. Anybody got any info about a Morrissey song involving QCs and JPs which got banned in Britain?

    And finally...

    Fed up with all these boring, pointless online personality tests? Could you, like me, not give a fuck which disease/ animal/ dead Beatle/ work of art you are? Then take the ultimate test, called - brilliantly - Which online personality test are you?

    Naked Blog ended up as the Internet Addict Test, with a score of 69 percent. Priceless. (Sorry no link, but I can't be bothered, and - frankly darlings - it's just as daft as all the others. Have a cup of tea instead.) See you soon.


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    Thursday, December 06, 2001

    TRUE ROMANCE

    "It sounds a bit soppy," Scott said, when Pam and I were discussing the movie True Romance. "Kinda like a women's thing." "Oh no, it's not!" we cried, but then again... maybe he was right, but in a way he never visualised. You see there's a lineage of man/woman/gun movies.

    The actresses change, but the woman is always the same. Be it Dunaway, Spacek, Dern or Arquette, they're always blonde, always a bit dim-sounding, but nevertheless doing their homely best for their man.



    Film nowadays is such a boytoy-thing. Bruceybabe, Arniebabe et al, shooting, driving and even fucking, if there's a lull in the action. It was so different before - in the forties when Bette and Joan ruled supreme - and the mostly gay directors knew instinctively what the female audience demanded. Men got Westerns, and the women got human interest. True romance, you might say.

    There were three Tarantino flicks in one year, or so it seemed - back then in the long long ago. True Romance, Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Can't even remember which one I saw first, so altered was my mind in those days. But I do recall they were the talking points with everyone you met. And I definitely said to Percy, when he was alive, "Wow - that was something! Now I've got to see the other two."



    Some day I'll tell you all about the nineties - or rather, my nineties. But I'm afraid it's too valuable for here. All I need is a publisher with balls, unlike the agent who turned down my last novel in 1983 - at least five years before Mr Welsh and Trainspotting killed it for ever.

    I've got the time, and the resources, and Rex keeps telling me I'm wasting my energies here with you. We shall see. It's certainly great practice, and I've got kinda fond of you all. Aaaaaah. Watch this space.

    For someone else's Edinburgh nineties, see Meg at notsosoft. It's quite a city, once you get beyond the tourists and the tartan.


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    Wednesday, December 05, 2001

    RELEGATION

    Yesterday was gloriously sunny, so I thought I'd take my (lightly) shattered left leg for a walk. Latest theory is that it might not be broken, btw. Couple of days ago I met up with my reader and new friend Ruth in the Port o Leith Bar, where she seems to be coming a bit of a regular. (Don't worry, Ruthibabe - it gets everybody like that. You can check out any time you want, etc.)

    Anyway, Ruth was making with the sympathy, and moving her hands in the air therapeutically, so I said, "Wanna look? Are you a nurse maybe?" "Not a nurse," replied Ruth. "But I'm holistic. A holistic woman."

    "That'll do," I thought, and popped my leg onto a wee barstool for her holistic examination. "Arnica," Ruth prescribed. "I really don't think it's broken, but it is a bit swollen." Then Gerry Not Guilty, the former QC, wove unsteadily into view. "Can I touch that?" he demanded. "OK," I said, and then the two of them were doing a job on my tender ankle. But Ruth slapped Gerry's hand out of the way.



    There's a street near my home called Easter Road, home of the unknown-outside-of-Scotland Hibernian Football Club. Despite the street's name, it points due South, so if you walk up it at precisely 12.40pm, you get the sun in your face all the way.

    I should maybe say to those unfamiliar with Scottish cities that Scottish Urban Architecture consists of high and narrow streets. Four storeys minimum, sometimes five. Concrete Canyons. A sunbeam in winter has one helluva hard time making it to ground level.

    The walk was good. SAD sufferers will know exactly what I mean, as the low, grey, chilly-looking sun beat down almost horizontally, freely offering what little power was left in its wintry rays. I buttoned my coat high against the freezing wind and faced up as much as I could. Ecstatic.

    Out and About

    Well, our time in Blogdex 400 was indeed brief. Blink and you would have missed it! But nevertheless, there in our Search Logs is the living proof. Maybe again soon. (And I got a nice story out of it, so what the heck!)

    Much more seriously, Dave the Mad Monk has discontinued his blog for personal reasons, and I'm sure all NB readers will agree this is a major loss to our weblog community.

    However, the good news (if there can be such a thing) is that Naked Blog has been offered exclusive rights to Dave's forthcoming adventures in the Languedoc, in search of the Holy Grail - that ultimate Catholic heresy. Remember The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail? That one. Thank you Dave and Carrie - I won't let you down. Should any of you wish to contact Dave, you can do so here.



    This now leaves us a vacant slot in our Sites To See. Naturally NB is grateful to the dozens of you who link us from your sites, most of which are well-established thriving blogs. So I've decided, once again, to give a wee boost to another discovery, Jim.

    I hope you enjoy his vigorous and fascinating material, and that he soon learns how to make his text a bit bigger. (It is a bit hard on the over-forty eyeballs, Jim, especially on a 15-incher!) Jim's journal is pretty new, so you can get in at the beginning.



    Ryan brought a tear to my eye this morning with his observations of life and death, and in contrast Mimi had me LMAO with her story of a flea.

    NB has gained a reader who prefers us in the German tongue, in which we're called BLANKES BLOG, and I become ein fünfzig-etwas homosexueller Mann. Sounds kinda creepy. Vorsprung durch Technik, if you ask me.

    Pissin wi' rain today. That's because yesterday was so nice. Aye - we'll all suffer for this!! (Scottish Presbyterian philosophy.)


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    Monday, December 03, 2001

    BLOGDEX 400

    Well, we seem to have got there quite quickly, at number 382.

    Blogdex is an index of prominent sites run by the Massachussetts Institute of Technology, which grades them by linkage. Note for non-US readers: don't let the word "Institute" put you off. MIT rocks.

    There's more firepower in the students' cafeteria than at Carrie's Prom dance. That's Carrie the Stephen King character, not Carrie the Queen of the B-list, my mentor, reviewer and protector.

    So - what's in it for me? Well, so far as I can ascertain, this means that our news stories now enjoy a fast-track to the internet news-wires, such as My Userland. This in turn means zillions of readers for our pénses, rather than the paltry 100,000 we enjoyed at The Scotsman.



    However, every silver lining has a cloud, and from now on you can expect no camp tittle-tattle about Leith low-life and sleazy bars. You bet your sweet ass.

    Work in progress includes...

  • Projections of Fiscal Deficit for 2003, assuming an overall two percent rate of growth in the G8 nations.
  • Breast-feeding made me a tit-man.
  • What Paul McCartney really thought about George Harrison.
  • Jonathan King didn't buy me enough Rolls Royces so I grassed him up.
  • The Port and The Village - the untold story.

  • You're getting the idea? Obviously NB will be sorry to lose all of our present loyal readers, but face it darlings, I've got bigger fish to fry than you lot. Been good. Thanks. Cya's.


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    Sunday, December 02, 2001

    TOUGH SHIT

    I don't know - one day without Guinness and what do I get but an haemorrhoid. Yesterday was World Aids Day, and to mark it I thought I'd try a day without alcohol. In the past, apparently, there've been "days without weblogs", and there was also the possibility of a "day without sex", but who would notice the difference? Not me.

    December now, and pumping up the Saint John's Wort. We're on two 300mg tabs a day now, spread over three doses. The passing out problem is mostly solved - it must be just a side-effect you've got to work through. Worth it though, to see the sun starting to set at lunchtime and not want to burst into tears. To realise that January will be here before you can say, "Gie's another pint, Pam."



    "How's yer leg?" Alastair asked me, the last time I entered the Port o Leith. "It's broken," I replied, as truthfully as I could. "HEE HAW HAHAHA!" cried Tony, burying his face into the stained and mottled wood of the bartop - all the others quickly following his lead. Why do people find broken bones (or, in particular, my broken bones) so funny? Alastair was highly amused also, which was a bit rich (like him), seeing as it was he who broke the damn thing.

    Now, let me make it clear at the outset, I'm utterly sure he didn't mean to. Alastair is one of the kindest guys, and unlike almost everyone else I know, doesn't appear to harbour any deap-seated, underlying dislike of moi. Why people find me so dreadful, when I too am one of the kindest guys, will have to remain for ever a mystery.



    Alastair, when push comes to shoveThis is how it happened. My big break, I mean. There we were a few days ago sitting at the bar, on high stools smoking and joking, when suddenly Ali gives me a little shove. Queenly, not vicious. More Julian Clary than Vinnie Jones, you might say.

    Rocking away from him in camp distress, I suddenly realised my centre of gravity was no longer above the feet of the barstool. In slow motion, as calmly as you like, Naked Blog was heading for the deck, with both legs irretrievably entangled in the iron legs of the stool.

    Talk about nightmare. On offer were a broken neck, a broken back, a definitely-wounded pride, and God knows what else. Ali could have grabbed me. Mark, on the other side, could have pushed me back. But no - there they sat, witnessing this sad, fat old queen sinking into the ground as fast as she was sinking into the sunset. At times like that you start counting yer friends!



    End result. Naked Blog at forty five degrees, legs still wrapped in the unbending ironwork of the barstool, and a piercing, shooting pain in my left leg, at the front, just above the ankle. Oh, I made light of it. No, I didn't want to spoil their evening with ambulances, sirens and the like, so I just sank onto a couch, Central Perk style, and rubbed my throbbing member. "Gie's me drink an me fags, pal," I said to Mark. "See if you can do one thing right, eh?" My body and mind are broken, to steal a line from Ryan.



    So, it's off to the quack tomorrow, and I'll insist he sends me for an X-ray. This really couldn't come at a worse time, as in December, walking is my only salvation. Walking actually isn't too bad, but break into the slightest trot and there come those shooting pains again. You can feel a vibrating looseness if you wobble it. Readers who are bone consultants (but I don't know if there are any of them), might want to try a world first here and do a diagnosis by weblog. Makes sense, eh? Add it to your CV next time you apply for a promotion. "Darlings, I don't even have to see the fuckers to know what's wrong with them!"



    Just been watching Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, on Breakfast with Frost. He had dandruff on his shoulders, and what looked like cum stains on his lapel. That man could bore for Britain. I've heard they have his TV appearances flagged in the Power Stations, as the moment he comes on telly, everybody in the country puts the kettle on.

    "Are you gonna blog this?" Alastair asked after the putsch. Let the above be your testament. And of course I still love you.


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    Saturday, December 01, 2001

    FROM THE "AIDS CAPITAL OF EUROPE..."

    That's what they used to call this place, back then in the early eighties. That's what we had to live with, as nightly on the TV news they showed the shadowy dock gates and the working girls, most of them needlers, puffing anxiously on their cigs. Still today, in bars in England, if you say you're from Edinburgh or Leith you'll notice people edging away.

    So - today is World Aids Day, and I'm supposed to write about it, according to Bradley L. Graham. Well, dya know what, I'm not gonna. I'm not going to because the whole AIDS pandemic has turned into nothing more than the biggest cash cow ever for the drug multinationals. Those same companies who are content to let the third world (literally) rot, so long as the rich northern hemisphere can afford their latest gizmo or other.

    Cure? Who the hell wants a cure!! They're making a fucking fortune keeping people alive on expensive combination therapies. Get real, baby.

    Cover your dick (or his) and don't use a needle. End of story. This infection is as easy to avoid as it is to catch.

    Anyway - I should do my civic duty I suppose, and put this link here. Take care. AVERT


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