Even colder today. Minus three. But there's something about a nice fur coat.
FOR ZOE TO WIN A BLOGGIE...
...got to the Lifetime Achievement section (second last), and vote for Peter with the yellow box and half a face. If you've enjoyed Naked Blog at all over the last five years, it would be really nice if you'd do that. You have until 03.00 GMT on Wednesday.
The coldest night yet of the winter last night, I can tell from the grass and the windows. The grass is cold, white, crunchy underfoot and wetting of your shoes. While the windows pour down rivers to zoe's great confusion. Must be really weird, looking out at the circling and cawing seabirds, but seeing nothing but steam and trickles. Miaow.
A commenter accuses me of "continually bitching" about my fellow competitors. Nothing could be further from the truth. I've checked the archive, and they're mentioned, in complete generality, in two posts. Hardly continually. In both of those posts I seek to draw comparison between what blogging once was, and in most cases still is, and the corporate, ad-laden creations I see in this year's Bloggies. This is a valid point, and I make no apology for it. And it's fully illustrated in the 2002 reference in the post below this. So no miaow there, then.
Of course people are free to make money from their enterprises. Of course they are. It just seems that businesses (which is what these are) should possibly be in a different competition from Naked Blog and the other weblogs on my sidebar.
If I'd thought the medium would descend to a money-making racket, then I wouldn't have championed it so vociferously over the aeons.
Right. It's far too glorious a day to sit here bitchin about bitchin. Me, I'm off work while you are in your office. Hehe. So I'm going to the beach and gonna throw some sticks for Cherry the black part-Labrador. Woof.
Had Saturday evening off (last night), but as usual there was nowhere to go, no-one to see, and nothing to do. Played with the zoecat and watched telly.
There's just something about having captives for company, wholly dependent. Times I can kind of see where Ed Gein was coming from.
Zoe wouldn't be much use as a lampshade (smelly and opaque), but she'd make a lovely fashion handbag. Eventually. Let's let her run her course first though, before I auction the pelt on eBay. Did you know that domestic cats now outnumber dogs, by the way? Such is the power and influence of Naked Blog.
ANDANTE CON MOTO
So I got bored with the cloth goldfish on a string. (Zoe had lost interest half an hour earlier and was now fast asleep.) Four hours of Mozart were due on, to balance off the preceding three weeks of Celebrity Big Brother. They were four good hours. Best bits were the Daniel Barenboim Jew-Arab orchestra in Ramalla or Fallujah or some such place. Sinfonia concertante for wind quartet. Loved the oboeist refusing to wear Moss Bros like everyone else, and choosing a black Arab outfit instead. Mohammad, I noticed his name was.
Fine performances and engineering, unlike in the Vienna Cathedral which preceded it. Shite acoustics there, indifferent soloists, and oh dear me that Coronation Mass is such a potboiler nicht wahr? Talk about racing through it. (Except Dona nobis pacem, which is the only good bit.) Then back in Salzburg there was a bro/sis combo playing a violin sonata. In E flat, I think it was. The one where the piano and violin start in unison. Very trendy for its time, doncha just think? I've played that one myself, but not in public.
So do catch that Mozart evening again on repeat. Last night it was on BBC4. A must for Big Brother-haters and other classy types. Readers in other countries will just have to ensure their cable package includes lots of BBC. There's more to TV than Joey!
Mozart on radio: European Broadcasting Union: Mozart Day, today, Radio 3 from noon.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT!
Somewhere between the goldfish on a string and the commencement of the Mozart-o-rama I got to thinking about that daft Bloggies compo. Thinking how anyone arriving here from the Bloggie finalists page would think there must be some mistake. And they'd be right! But I contend the mistake is not in me, who hasn't changed, but in my fellow finalists, who are not bloggers in any sense I once would have regarded. Rather they are corporations with associate editors and even rate cards.
(Incidentally, appearance on Naked Blog cannot be bought. Simply can't. That's how it was, and that's how it ever should be.) So sad that even blogging, this so-recently pure and genuine medium of free expression, should now be reduced to a shopping mall. Shame on you! Soon you will reap the whirlwind.
Compare and contrast this, from January 2002, my first ever Bloggie involvement. Most of the blogs I mention there are no more, their early-day writers doubtless now on other projects - but I can assure you that every single one of them was a one-man or one-woman operation, made out of love.
"His troubled diva site is a delicious pot-pourri of soft furnishings, snaps of his house (most gay men's second interest), and tasteful soft-porn tales about his sexual exploits. Sort of Jackie Collins meets Shannon Tweed meets Elton John."
Some day soon I'll list a selection of the weblogs I've championed over the years. (It'll be even more than the number of ads on some of my competitors' pages!)
Surprised but pleased for her when Essex girl Chantelle won the BB gong last night, beating disgraced Michael Barrymore into second place. "Oh my God," Chantelle kept saying, mantra-like. "Oh my God."
It was (unkindly) suggested on BBC News this morning that no matter how "down to earth" she might be at the moment, in three months' time she'll be stumbling out of the Groucho Club just like all the other celebs.
We shall see. We surely shall.
In Other News...
There isn't any.
Except perhaps to ponder the astonishing level of stated hostility here to the BB topic over the last few days. This is a personal weblog. My weblog - not yours. Take it or leave it. Who cares if you don't enjoy Big Brother? Start you own blog and say so! Maybe I'll pop over and read it. But I sure as fuck won't start telling you what to write or not.
That is the entire essence of blogging, that you write what you wish within the law. For people to try to affect that process by seeking to deny whole topics is frankly bizarre. Just go away!
Absolutely fab-tastic bitching session in the Port yesterday, wit' me homies Kevin the Shopgirl and Sam. No stone was left unturned, no queen's reputation left unsullied as we mercilessly ploughed our way through every common denominator. And boy were some of them common!
Society being as it is though, it was funniest of all to see the various discussees actually arriving, one by one. "Dare you to shout down at Robin (he was at the other end of the bar), what you've just been saying about him!" I challenged Sam. Sam demurred. I think I might have started shouting myself, but they put a gagging order on me.
Venus In Blue Jeans
Amanda came in from Nobles Bar. She's nineteen and has the body many a woman (and Pete Burns) would pay half a million to aspire to, except she got it for nothing. She was standing there between me and Kevin, her firm young breasts slip-sliding away under the skimpy top. Skimpy top which also revealed her still-perfect flat stomach, before tailing off to that equally perfect rump. A vision, of bodily perfection.
Well - Kevin and I couldn't keep our eyes off her, and in Kevin's case his hands also. And Mandy, like many a woman over the aeons, allowed Kevin to go where no straight man would even dare consider. Me, I had to content myself with looking, but then I'm about the age of her grandad.
"It does nothing for me of course," Kevin said, after Amanda had knocked back her shooter and left. "Pull the other one, darling," I retorted. "Don't care if you're a queen, you were positively drooling." We laughed.
Take A Walk On the Mild Side
Michael came in from Carrier's Quarters Bar. "Everybody's decided you're gay," I said to him, rather cheekily, but by then caution was long gone off to the trade winds. And let's face it, the LibDems have put gayness on the map bigtime this week. Everyone who's anyone.
Michael protested his innocence of course, but when I came back from the gents he'd taken my spot at the bar and was sticking out his derriere to the passing world. I pretended to shag him. He invited me to lunch. I couldn't go. He invited Sam instead. You couldn't make it up.
Little Alex came in, fresh from Scott's house where he resides while Scott is at sea fixing engines. Or, rather, hoping they don't break. "Dare you to tell Alex what you were just saying about him," I almost said to Kevin the shopgirl, but stopped myself just in time. There are limits, even to queenery. Aren't there?
Time For Tubby Bye-Bye
The problem comes when it's time to leave a conversation group like that, of course, as naturally you yourself are the very next target. It's a Law of Nature. I chose amelioration, appeasement, as my exit strategies. "Thanks for a really fun couple of hours, guys," I said, kissing Sam and then Kevin in turn.
That would keep them quiet at least till I got through the door!
Celebrity Big Brother
Final tonight! Don't miss it. In the post below this are a few musings about the various finalists. I'm not linking to the Channel Four site this time, as it's infested with downloads.
Apologies for the non-appearance of Naked Blog yesterday. This was due to the non-occurrence of any life worth reporting on.
Right. That's used up the one sentence I had prepared. So now let's freestyle!
Would you like to learn a little about the "making of" Naked Blog? Why not. There's a nice (if I say it myself) piece I wrote for Scottish Blogs a couple of months back. Pop the kettle on.
In all honesty, I've already tired of being a global blogsuperstar, and decided to revert to my former state. But it's ironic that I'm being voted on (or not) in the same days as the Celebrity Big Brother crew. No, it's not ironic, it's hilarious. Wtf's me Botox?
But I can't. Decide which housemate to vote to win. (I wouldn't ever vote anyway, as that just lines the pockets of TV execs.) So - in no particular order, except the one in which they occur to me...
Pete: Needs and will probably get his own TV show after this. In highlights at least, he beats the rapidly-fading O'Grady and Norton into the sidelines. New, fresh, novelty - that's what TV ever thrives on. But of course he's shown himself to be a thoroughly nasty person too. A complete misogynist, like many drag queens seem to be. Chance of winning: 90 percent.
Traci: Nice enough person it would seem, but dull, dull, dull. Not British. Chance of winning: 5 percent.
Chantelle: Still not convinced anyone can be really that dim. But very amusing, in a zootime sort of way. Possibly fanciable by the emotionally immature. Chance of winning: 85 percent.
Preston: Again - vacuous and totally boring. Doubtless adored by teen fans, who will be impressed by his wickedness, which he demonstrates by smoking constantly. Chance of winning: 95 percent.
Michael: Quite ill, it would appear, with his obsessive tidyings. A spent force, all washed up. Might be sufficiently rehabilitated in the public eye to do panto and end-of-pier stuff. Chance of winning: 30 percent.
Maggot: So insignificant I almost forgot him. Played his cards tight, and ran a good game. Handicapped by extreme facial plainness and lack of wickedness, which won't endear him to the adolescent female voters. Chance of winning: 50 percent.
Not forgetting the newly-evicted Galloway and Rodman. Galloway has shown himself to be utterly repellent, and I felt Rodman was that all along. Good riddance to both.
Global warming has led to birds getting completely out of synch with the calendar, and my garden is already awash with baby brown ones. Sparrows, I think they're called. Chirpy chirpy boring. But zoe loves them. Dinner on wings, she thinks, her eyes following their every move!
Right. It's midday now, and this computer is so slow it's stifling the flow completely. Character constipation. So I'm away off to climb a mountain, then do some medium socialising. Maybe later.
...because yesterday I celebrated my Bloggie finalisation too much. (Lifetime Achievement department - the one with the yellow box and half a face. Vote Peter.)
Plus real life seems so deep down dull and boring when you've got Friends, Simpsons and Celebrity Big Brother to watch.
That last is car crash telly at its very finest, isn't it? Car crash. You couldn't make it up. If Pete Burns doesn't get his own show out of this, then I'm not a Bloggie finalist. (Did I mention that already? Sometimes I think I'm the Pete Burns of webloggia. Ken.)
But I did crawl from under the duvet long enough to check out my competitors. Briefly checked, because other weblogs are essentially a mistake. And you know - I think they're all professionals. Some have even got ads. I also think they're all in the USA, but you can't always tell the difference between USA and Canada. In South Park the Canadians have bouncy heads so you can tell.
Maybe I'll win the compo because I'm such an amateur. Big bucks are in it for some - whereas I'll just take my nice fudge gift and pack it.
Ready For My Close-up
Pam the barmaid in the Port was 38 yesterday, so she was celebrating also. She got a 42 inch plasma telly, which she plays her Gamecube games on. I said if I promise to buy the pizza would she invite me round. I said I'd even bring my Playstation 2 and Vice City and San Andreas.
We're not very rich here in Scotland, but we do have some fun sometimes. And you never see any guns. Except on Playstation games.
So I walked out of the Port tonight. I don't mean "walked out", although, in truth, that has happened before. No, I simply left. Left the bar saying these words to the assembled company:
"Right. I'm away off home to sit in a filthy bedroom with a cat running round my ankles - " I said to them, (I truly did say it), " - because only there am I a global weblog superstar. Jennifer Aniston... Lisa Kudrow... Jake Gyllenhaal..."
For they don't know. How could they know? How valid really is the stardom that Bloggies bring? In truth there is but one medium which actually matters, and that is the one sitting in your living room - the one with the dark glass screen in front.
All the rest are gaslight. TV rules all.
Soon I'll tell you why Naked Blog so richly deserves the Lifetime Achievement award. I'll tell you the ways I pushed forward the form, and constantly encouraged the budding practitioners. That I was never slow to recognise the talents far greater than my own. For they are legion.
"As you know, I'm a quiet, serious person, not given to show, networking or self-promotion. And blogs are, let's face it, a wicked blend of journalism, diarifying (I've just invented that one - I can do that now) and SHOWBIZ!
Blogs are a cabaret, my friend - or at least the ones worth a second look sure are.
So, one million thanks to those friends of NB who nominated my little effort in three categories, and the same in spades to the judges who selected it for this prestigious final. Look at those predecessors! Look at the finalists!
I'm terrified. (Not really.)
I'm really off out to climb a mountain, get drunk, and bore everyone in the discovered universe about my eight day stardom!
PRESS, PRESS, PRESS. Of course you want to interview me. I'm not cheap, but very fabulous. Find me on peter AT the domain you're currently reading.
And when you've finished giving this weblog the max in every category, don't forget the blogs on my sidebar. They're better than this. (I discovered some of them, you know.) Especially try troubled diva. It's the cat's whiskers."
Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten, contender for Party Leader, drops out when a newspaper reveals he has a wife and two children.
...when a newspaper reveals he's had a relationship with a male prostitute. (He also has a wife and two children, but I'm betting the sex with the rentboy was better.)
Naked Blog asks: why do they do that?
Why have relationships with prostitutes (of either sex) whilst pursuing a career in politics? Or, conversely, why aim for "high office" when five minute's blabbing from someone will crash that right down around your ears, and in the process devastate everyone you hold dear?
Mark Oaten deserves everything he is now getting, for his stupidity, not his gayness. Sex is never imperative. It is always a choice. And I'm betting a fiver to a brick shithouse he knew he was gay when he married. It's his family I feel sorry for.
Such a wonderful name for a species. So much nicer than our own, Homo chaviens. And so wonderful for the Channel Four and Endemol executives who must now be creaming in their knickers more often than a twenty quid parliamentary rentboy.
Not only do they get the country's most flamboyant politician putting his career on "crash and burn", but the very next day Lily Law steps in to demand a Big Brother fur coat for analysis. Channel Four stole the coat whilst owner Pete Burns wasn't looking, and handed it to the Metropolitan Police, who in turn passed it to the Natural History Museum for testing. (He'd lied on air that it was gorilla.)
Cue Pete Burns, on being told of all this, addressing the other housemates: "Listen - you'll never believe this. They've arrested the fucking coat."
Burns was pretending indignation, whilst of course basking in every moment of the attention - attention being as vital to his wellbeing as food is to you and to me. Attention and cigarettes. That programme glorifies tobacco in a way not seen since Bette Davis in her heyday, and will certainly be creating young smokers even as I sit here. There shold be a law preventing the display of cigarette smoking until after midnight, or indeed at all.
Less than nine weeks now to the Scottish Smoke Ban. This is the only thing that the billion-pound Scottish Executive has actually executed, but it's worth the trillions for this alone. You people in England and Wales have only yourselves to blame for having such a wussy government, you know. Change your representatives. Maybe the rentboy-shagger is anti-smoking.
AND (VERY) FINALLY
Yesterday a woman collapsed and died at my bingo. Whenever there's a medical emergency you have to keep calling the numbers while the paramedics do the treatment biz. That's the only thing keeps the customers in their seats, and stops them crowding round.
So I kept calling, increasingly aware that the attempted resuscitation, just three metres behind me, wasn't going well, and in fact had become a formality.
And the lady died there, on the floor between the bingo tables. She was elderly, and in one of her favourite places, surrounded by company she liked. It was quick and probably painless.
But do you know what the creepy bit is? The bit that freaks me out even now, twenty four hours later?
It's that the last sound she would ever, ever hear was my voice calling the bingo numbers.
"Six and three, sixty three."
I hope it was a nice transition, or end. Love to her family, whom I also know.
(There's something exquisitely comforting in sitting reading a cat book while the housemates chatter on in the background.) Like being part of a real family. Zoe loves Big Brother, especially when it goes into black and white at night in the bedroom. Cats have no sensitivity to red, did you know? Their laser-sharp vision is for tasks other than appreciating oil paintings.
A word I've noted from the BB house is wicked. And yes - of course I'm aware of "wicked meaning good". Who couldn't be? But it's just the easy, everyday way that Preston and Chantelle employ it that means it's dictionary time for wicked.
Preston: "I love Chantelle, she's wicked." (Pronounced wickid.) Chantelle: "Preston's that wicked, you can't help but like him."
The next was on an ad for Bonjela, some gum treatment or other.
"Sort it with Bonjela."
Sorted. (Sortid.) Used to mean "supplied with drugs". Then it meant more generally "problem solved". Now it's a verb on a TV ad.
Strange, as even in my youth there was "sorted out" and "sort it out, you two".
Words. Doncha just love em?
Making an Exhibition of Herself
Sandra was tellilng me just yesterday that she's hoping to exhibit her art in The Village pub. The curators of Village exhibitions are Dean, a gay man, and Jacks, a straight woman. (Chav Gav's partner, as it happens.)
"Hmmm. Dean and Jacks. You might have to do a bit pussy-licking," I said to her over the phone.
"Better watch I don't get hair lip!" she retorted, laughing.
And now it's two solid days of bingo. Getting really quite bored with this. New year - new opportunities.
So who's for the chop tonight? My money's on Traci. One hundred to one. (Except young people might vote to evict Rula.) Me, I never vote, as I refuse to further line the pockets of TV executives.
Was passing my local multiplex in the Ocean Terminal Mall. Noted that BBM lasts two hours and forty minutes. Now as there's no way in the discovered universe that a man of 59 can sit for that length of time without pissing and sleeping, then you'll have to wait till the DVD comes out for the definitive opinion.
I'm sure you can wait that long.
So I went into Waterstone's bookshop for a cat book instead. Browsed a book. Turned to the section on indoor cats. (I'm consumed with guilt that zoe doesn't get outside. Consumed.) "It is very cruel to keep a hunting animal indoors," the book declared.
I put it straight back on the shelf, and found one instead that said it can be quite OK to keep a cat indoors, providing it's never known anything else. And providing you play with it loads.
This I truly do.
That cat has got me playing more and more and more. One look up from that tiny face with her big round eyes giving me guilt, guilt, guilt - and I'm putty in her claws.
"What's that?" Eilidh (rhymes with daily) asked a little later in the Port. "It's a cat book," I said. "I'm a cat owner now. Cat lover, actually."
"Oh, I never knew that."
"It's true," I assured her. "The first relationship I've ever managed to sustain, and it's with a non-human who's locked in all the time."
She looked concerned then, and went to the other end of the bar. Some Leith big-wigs were there - Mary the landlady, Tony my IT Manager, and someone called Sandy. They all ignored me. As did Robin (don't call me gay, I'm bisexual), and all his friends too. So I left without touching my drink. Came back home to zoe and the cloth goldfish on a string. She loves her cloth goldfish. She'd polished off her Science Plan pellets so I put down some more. Arse like the back end of the Titanic.
This morning, shortly after midnight, George Galloway made the biggest miscalculation of his political career. Oh - far bigger than "Sir I salute you!" That was ages ago, when Saddam was still liked in parts of the West.
No - what happened was that Mr Galloway, who recently terrified the US Senate, went into the Celebrity Big Brother Diary Room and nominated his best friend Rula Lenska for eviction. Unaware that Ms Lenska was watching and hearing every word in another room.
As were all the other housemates. And as will millions of viewers at nine tonight when they air it to the masses, rather than just the nightbirds.
Galloway is struck dumb. Lost. He knows his goose is cooked and he's on borrowed time now, politically. Electors will forgive his fawning over Arab dictators far quicker than they'll sanction hurting the feelings of a sixty-plus dame with lovely red hair - the tobacco-raddled remains of a once-fine bearing.
But still they'd hit it off in the house, sort of. Rula had taken comfort in the fact that she wasn't the only "senior" in the joint. That George would stick by her, because he'd said and shown he would.
Till Last night. Oh, michty me. "My third nomination is for Rula, because she tries too hard, and she said she wants to win."
I'd thought the Greer/Stallone Big Brother would be hard to beat, but this one is winning hands down. Compelling viewing. That spied-on nomination speech has changed something for ever in television. It was the work of pure, evil genius.
You have only your prejudices to blame if you miss it, tonight and for the rest of the run. Trust me - you're not as classy as me, and I love it.
Having been a (very respectable, I might add) comprehensive school teacher myself in the seventies and eighties, I know of what I speak. So let's start in the staffroom, and the way male teachers discuss their female pupils. I can tell you this would make an outsider's hair stand on end. Not all of them, but far more than you would imagine. From the butchest PE studly types to the wimpiest geography or maths teacher. Tits. Bums. And what they would like to do to her, given half a chance.
When workmen are in school, maybe fixing wood or pipes, they stand open-mouthed at the parade of pert young breasts bobbing past them every break time. Gaping, and making no secret of it.
The girls for their part are in seventh heaven - openly flirting back at the men, and quickly getting the hang of what they only now can fully understand - that young means hot. Very hot. High Schools are highly sexualised places, and not just between the students. You only have to think back to your own schooldays, and recall Mr This or Sir That, and the way so many girls had crushes on them.
The teachers that schoolgirls "go for" are of the "boyband" type. Young themselves, of course. Not overly masculinised, smooth and unlined, ultra-slim, and a resemblance to any fashionable sport or pop star is no disadvantage.
Most girls go no further than the "swooning" stage. Doubtless these days there are efforts to snap the prey on their mobile phones. "Oh - he's gorgeous." Others, more determined and experienced, will make more serious efforts to score and to seduce.
And - from what I noted - the male recipients of all these teenage hormones are only too glad to play along. It makes their teaching much easier, when half the class are sitting gazing up in mute adoration.
Unless and until...
...things go "too far". Thoughts become words, words become deeds, and deeds lead quite quickly to jail. Or - most often - they don't. Teacher/pupil sex happens much more than the public realises. In one "trendy" Edinburgh school I taught, back in the seventies, these liaisons were almost everyday events. Senior girl pupils and young, fashionable teachers, not much older than their charges. Going at it like rabbits.
So it was horrifying to hear the words today of one such from the eighties - claiming that he did "nothing the girl didn't want". Precisely. That is exactly why the law is there - to protect young people from themselves. Teen years are highly sexual - the most so of your life. And sadly there are men waiting to take advantage of those feelings for their own vile lusts. After serving their (considerable) time they should never, ever be permitted to work with young people again. Ever. Ruth Kelly too must go.
Plus Babs said she's in Opus Dei, and the last people I want running the country are Christians, for God's sake. How can you talk seriously about stem cell research when you believe in virgin births? I'd rather be ruled by a bunch of homosexuals. Or George Galloway. Isn't he just fabulous on Big Brother? Don't you just lust to scrub his back in the bath?
So never send your daughter to a "trendy" school. Trendy invariably means teachers shagging pupils.
(On learning this weblog is long-listed for not one but two Bloggie awards. I'm fucking terrified as I write.)
Evergreen Norma was on fine form when I strode into the Port this afternoon. "Darling!" she cried out to me. "How ya doin? You're lookin' pretty gorgeous, by the way." Norma loves to throw working class expressions into her essentially middle class chat. It's the booze, ye ken. White wine. Plus I really don't think she eats that much.
"Norma!" I rallied. "Good to see you pissed again, m'dear. Makes things all right in the universe." Norma is about sixty-five. David her son used to live here in my house, but we parted some years ago. Before Naked Blog, I think, but things are very vague in the nineties. Maybe your nineties are a bit vague too? All those recreationals! Hehe. He fucking he. Bzzzz.
Robin (don't call me gay I'm bisexual) was there, reading The Sun through those cheapo reading glasses on a string he seems to have accrued. He said he was going off to see Brokeback Mountain on Thursday with his new toyboy. "Who's yer toyboy?" I demanded. "Not gonna tell ya, 'cos you'll put it on yer blog!" he retorted.
"Go on just tell us, pal," I sez to him. "Promise I won't put it on the blog." Wheedling. But he was adamant. So I phoned Babs the chef, cos she knows everything, and she soon tellt me, but made me promise to say that she hadn't. Haha. By the time Robin reads this it'll be in the Edinburgh Evening News anyway. Hehe. There are no secrets. None.
Went into Boots the Chemist for my supplements. Glucosamine Sulphate plus Chondroitin for the joints - and Cod Liver Oil plus Calcium also for the joints. So I got really smooth joints - not bad for fifty-nine. Not bad at all. But Boots had a Cadbury chocolate display right beside the till, and I told the woman that was disgusting. "A wee bit chocolate is good for you," she said, but I could tell she was struggling to justify. "No it's not," I replied, " - and I bet that'll be in the papers before the week is over. Boots flogging Cadbury's Caramel."
Chocolate. In a pharmacists. I ask you.
Zoe has put on weight. I was looking at her back yesterday and thought, "Honey - either you're pregnant or we're gonna have to start counting kitty calories." Checked the cat book. Sixty-nine days max for a pregnancy. So unless she's been doing it through the letterbox, or there's been an Archangel Kitty Gabriel event, she's becoming a real fat cat full stop.
Thank you for reading thus far, if indeed you have. This is what Naked Blog does. Occasionally we branch into topics, views and opinions, but not so often that it matters. Leave that to others. Those things are generally best done in the press and on the telly anyway. Naked Blog does not appear in any press or television. That is its unique strength.
"Hello Peter. Big Brother has noticed you haven't been updating lately. Is there a problem with the housemates?"
"Everybody's talking about me. But nobody seems to genuinely care. They're all just after what they can get. I feel like a dried up husk, as Pete Best described Rula Lenska - to her face. 'I love you too,' she replied. I can't decide whether Pete is my worst nightmare, or what I really should have done to myself, if only I'd had the cojones. He's forty-six."
"Any housemate grab your romantic interest?"
"Well - there's not exactly a huge choice, is there? More like the shelves in Lidl after New Year. I suppose Preston would be the only conceivable possibility, more by elimination than anything else. But oh that chain-smoking. Yeucch. And so thick. The big black man is repellent, by the way. Interesting to see George and Rula getting it together, but I'm fairly sure Chantelle or Jodi would be more his type - just he'd never admit it, even to himself. I wonder if he's ever paid for it."
"Are you enjoying your stay in the Big Brother House?"
"It's OK. But I'm pissed at missing the final of Lost tonight. Last time it was tons more fun with Jackie Stallone and John McCririck, by the way. There was a great Mozart show on last night, even better by dint of not having Charles Hazlewood on it. Couldn't see it, of course, what with being in here. Invasion also, but they say it's just like the movies, except you don't know who's "changed" and who hasn't. Brokeback Mountain is one mother of a title for a gay cowboy movie, but I don't suppose you'll understand why. There've been gay cowboy books before, you know. I'm thinking Song of Aaron, and Song of The Loon, both from the sixties. Great one-hand reads. 'You ever had a cowpoke in your saddle, Aaron?' There's nothing new, is there? Nothing except Naked Blog."
"Thank you Peter. You may leave the diary room."
"Thank you, Big Brother. I hope you're looking after zoe properly. She loves Iceland chicken strips. And make sure you wash her blanket, or she won't sleep on it. Much cleaner than I am."
"Just before you leave, any tips for the eventual winner?"
"Well - it should be me of course, but as I say, everybody hates me. I'd reckon Maggot is in with a good chance. Keeping his cards to his chest right now."
It's mea culpa I haven't been around for a while - too much real life encroaching. This has the result that instead of you learning about every cup of coffee I drink, and meal I eat, and hill I climb, there are whole swathes of Naked Bloggityness going unreported.
Some of it you can catch up on here. Alan writes about guesting on my radio show this week (plus cool photo of us both), and almost certainly about our meeting last night in the Port o Leith Bar. In which he met Mary the landlady, Little Alex, Wee Robert, Robin (don't call me bisexual, I'm a screaming queen now), and so on and so forth.
Shock Update: In a burst of industry worthy of a Bloggie (later) in itself, Alan already has our radio interview hosted from his site.
One person he could have well done without in the bar is the very old and very rude woman who materialised out of the shadows and told him to keep his voice down, because she was watching the telly. The correct response would have been, "Fuck off and watch the telly at home," but Alan, unlike the old biddy, has manners.
Some people think being old is a licence to be rude, but it isn't. And the dotty old alkie role is more than well served by Norma, thank you very much. More about alkies further down the post.
I told the woman that that was Alan's first visit to the pub, and because of her rudeness would probably be his last. However, Alan would insist in saying it was all right, so the legs were rather shot from under me. He's clearly too nice for Leith.
Mary wouldn't let Alan buy a drink, and gave him a replacement for his Port O Leith t-shirt which had lost some of its motto, thus becoming just any old t-shirt, if you think about it. She let me buy plenty drink though, so that's OK.
Drink seems to be in the news today. As is Celebrity Big Brother. What a hoot! I was hooked the moment I saw "Gorgeous" George Galloway. "I'm so glad you're here," he said to the once-gorgeous Rula Lenska.
Almost everyone smokes his or her head off, so you wouldn't want to be there.
In kind of descending order of noteworthiness, there's also
a man dressed as a woman who's had his face and mouth turned into a freak show.
a taciturn American baseball player who's already trying to shag...
a blonde Essex Girl (literally), who didn't know what a gynaecologist was, which was how...
not-guilty Michael Barrymore described himself in his opening speech, plus
a couple of male "singers" from bands I've never heard of, and
a sensible-sounding dark-skinned former Baywatch actress, along with
another woman who's not said anything much yet on camera
another woman with very white teeth who resents the press calling her a slag, but trout-mouth told her not to worry, and...
doubtless more than that.
It's un-put-downable of course, especially now I've got E4 for blanket coverage. But oh those cigs. Can they not find a dozen non-smokers for a show? Smoking is so last century. Celebrity Big Brother.
So Charles Kennedy comes out of the lounge bar at last, and confirms what everyone knew already anyway. He says he hasn't had a drink for two months. Yet if there's one thing addicts do with abandon it's lie. All of them.
Factual point. Alcoholism, like any addiction, is not an "illness". This is a euphemism started by addicts themselves, to gain sympathy and hopefully avoid rejection. Diabetes is an illness. Breast cancer is an illness. But being a jaikie or a junkie isn't. Do me a favour. (And darling - I've got so many ticks on my t-shirt there's barely room for a nicotine patch. So dinnae gie's it. I'm stating a medical opinion, not being judgemental.)
Should Kennedy continue as leader of the Lib Dems? Wtf cares? The next battle will be between Brown and Cameron, and minor parties are once again irrelevant. It's a generation game now, and there are big stakes. "You were the future, once," is how Cameron transcendentally polished off Blair - a situation Russell T Davies worked brilliantly into his Christmas Day Doctor Who. "Don't you think she's looking tired?"
Drunks can be quite good company though, even if you wouldn't desperately want one piloting your jumbo. I'm thinking Evergreen Norma and Gerry Not Guilty. Plus I've done a bit of boozing myself, in my day. Had three rum and cokes with Alan last night. Yo Ho Ho.
Yes - it's that time of the year again. Awards season. A time when NB gets on various long lists, but never makes the final cut. Passed over more times than a back street in Jerusalem when Herod was in his prime, darling.
So get over there, and get nominating. It's payback time. Umpteen categories spring to mind, you know, which modesty almost prevents me suggesting...
Best British or Irish
And this year, for the first time ever - Lifetime Achievement is available too
"Weblog of The Year" might be pushing things a bit. Wait till I get a new design.
Yes - it's time to give the old girl her first gong. I'll be sixty next time and going doolally.
Good morning world! Today is the last day of my radio career. It's been so short, yet so glorious, like a sub-atomic particle which bursts into life and after a nanosecond disappears up its fundament never to be seen or heard from again.
Something like that.
Today my very special guest is Alan, who is (hopefully) going to talk about his recent Himalayan (ad)venture. I specially haven't read his blog on purpose, so I can ask genuine questions. I specially haven't read any of your blogs recently in fact, as I'm completely self-centred. But I know you still love me. For now.
Did you see all that sitcom stuff last night? Acres of it. Gratifying to realise that mainly because of our frequent endorsement of the programme, it was Frasier wot came top, beating Fawlty Towers into second place. But David Hyde Pierce (Dr Niles Crane) was kind enough to say that Fawlty Towers was the most amazing thing ever to have been on television.
Naked Blog. So much influence, from such modest design.
After I've hung up me headphones for the last time, it's off up Arthur's Seat with Sandra and Johnny and Cherry the black part-Labrador. She's got a stiff back leg, poor thing. Today I saw a squirrel run up a huge tree across the road, and chase all the birds out of their nest. Rats with bushy tails, if you ask me. You can see them clearly due to lack of leaves. Seasonal Affective Squirrels.
I should go now and see if Stewart wants me to guest on his hour from 12 to 1. I've kinda neglected the poor thing since I learned how to do it myself. There's clearly no room for friendliness when you're on your way to the top. Be ruthless or be nobody.
Or, rather, being 10.30 GMT, it's 2006 in all but the most left-hand part of Alaska.
In New Zealand and other odd islands it's almost January 2nd. How mundane, how very ordinary is that?
So how was it for you? Last night.
Zoe the cat and I watched it on telly, which was a bit odd, as it was all happening in reality just at the other end of the street. You could hear the fireworks on TV a moment before they shook your house. Zoe loved the fireworks. Tom the actor next door was having a party, middle class and theatrical, but I wasn't invited. Never am. I think there was one at the radio station too, but I really, really don't like being outdoors so late at night.
Nicola Benedetti was on TV. The young violinist. She played a duet with some folk fiddler or other - him doing the easy bit, the tune, while she played variations way up high.
Good, but not very good, as you could tell she was trying not to look "slumming it". I wonder where her career will go. There's really only scope for one or two concert violinists at any one time, and I don't think she's quite ready for the stratosphere yet or even ever. Nigel Kennedy with his drug talk, and Vanessa Mae with her plastic violins have all got a bit twee now. I kinda sense she'll make a few records of the standards then sort of melt away.
It wasn't really that good a show, as they kept cutting to the Princes Street Gardens outdoor concert, where the sound man should be taken out and shot. Unforgiveable. Unbelievable, to make those poor artists sound like a shellac 78. Worse than that. I'm talking Katie Tunstall (is that her name?), and some people called Texas. Shite music all of them, but at least they should be technically good.
(Ooh - get her - Norma Desmond of the 8 Watt radio waves.)
I hereby resolve
"So what's your New Year resolution Peter?" a girl at work asked me yesterday.
"To reach sixty," I said.
(But I know I'll never do it. I fail at everything I attempt. The best can be said is "sixty next birthday", which of course is now the case. It has a wonderful ring to it. Wonderful.) (And this from the man who pretended to be 42 until I was 50 at least. How people change.)
If you want to put your own resolutions in the comment box below then feel free. There's no charge. Hundreds of people will read them, and then you'll have to do it.
Have a lovely 2006. And yes - it would be cruel to feed live mice to a cat. It's only natural if they catch them themselves. (Post below.)