51:32:35 l0:03:22

TGI Paul

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Rest of Tuesday Evening....

The chance encounters of Tuesday evening, below, were just part of an altogether more bizarre evening, but I felt the need though to blog that as a chapter in itself. Here goes for the rest of it...

Whilst in Comptons, I had a voicemail come through on my phone. It was my Sister but the line was very bad and I could only make out bits of her message; ".... had an accident....car....alright...." and the likes. Oh shit!

I went out of the pub and called her straight back naturally. There had been an accident; a car had pulled out of a side turning onto the A3 and straight into the side of my Sister who was going at about 50mph. Luckily, there was no-one behind her or she would have been concertina'd. As it was there was just some whiplash, and the onset of shock. Her car was written off. I recommended brandy, hot water & sugar and a hot deep bubble bath... it works for me every time!

Then another voicemail; from a friend in Nottingham. Did I have any personal contact details for Argey; next of kin etc? Another SHIT! He also had been in a traffic accident, but I won't go into details as I have every faith that he will be well enough soon to tell us all about it himself. Needless to say I was totally panicked though! I don't know any of his family contacts so felt totally useless and unable to help at all.

After the 'Surbiton Set' had all dispersed I decided to go and grab something to eat, and I crossed over Shaftesbury Avenue and into one of my favourite Chinese restaurants, The Chinese Experience. As well as having great food and very friendly staff, I also have a 20% VIP discount card!

Halfway through my meal, I had a call from a guy I've been talking to on Gaydar for a while. He's a porn director and I've mentioned to him before that it's often been a fantasy of mine to take part in a porn movie.

He had been filming that day, but one of his models had no-showed and he had concerns that this guy would no-show again for the second part of the shoot the following day. He wondered if I might be interested in stepping in.

Well, I'd had a few beers by then so the dutch courage within me blurted out the reply "Of course! I'd love to!"

Then sense took over, "What kind of scene is it?"

"Nothing heavy, pretty vanilla stuff. Young guys, mainly duos, one threesome scene. I normally like to audition guys but I guess we won't be able to fix that before tomorrow will we?"

As it turned out, he lives in Soho. I was just round the corner from his flat. So I finished my meal, paid up and headed off.

He came to the door and I was immediately taken with his looks. Tall and slim with dark, floppy hair, like Keanu Reeves, and a lovely smile. Underneath his loose t-shirt I could make out a fit, toned torso. He poured me a beer and we chatted for a while, him asking me questions about what I liked doing and the experiences I've had. We went into his office where he showed me some rushes from the first days filming. The guys in the movie looked really hot! I was feeling very comfortable with him now, and his comments on my looks increased my confidence, so I started to undress. He liked the look of my body. He sat on the sofa and just observed as I stripped for him, he didn't touch me or himself.

Needless to say, I ended up doing a 'full' audition, his observation increasing my arousal. He liked what he saw, saying he would really be interested in using me in the movie if this guy didn't show up again. He said would put me on stand by.

It was late now and I was tired so I asked if I could stay over. He offered to get me a duvet so I could stay on the sofa, a true gent. I slept well, slipping off with a smile on my face, proud that I'd just broken another personal barrier; I'd actually auditioned and jacked off for a porn director!

The next day he called me at about 1 in the afternoon. The 'model' had turned up and so he wouldn't be needing me, but he said he definitely wants to use me at some point. I don't know if I will now, that decision was so spur of the moment that I'm not sure I'll have the same confidence if left to consider it for a while. We'll see.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Accidental Reunion

I grew up in a part of Surrey called Surbiton. You may know it from a fairly well known programme called The Good Life, (a 70's classic!) and my formative years there were fairly typical of the Surbiton this programme portrayed; all hostess trolleys and perfect lawns.

Come the early 90's and I started to discover a whole new side to the area; the local gays. I moved in as a lodger with a guy I had got to know and was slowly introduced to the local group, some of whom it turned out I already knew from various random 'encounters' in town. My landlord had a fabulous Victorian flat, full of antiques and heavy ornate furniture. I think he figured himself as the local Margot (the character on the right of the photo above)

We stayed fairly tight for a few years with various parties, nights out and occassional affairs amongst members of the group. In fact, I think most of us probabaly shagged most of the others at one time or another, but hey, we were all a lot younger then!

Coming forward to 2004; I had lived in Nottingham for a few years and, following a horrible relationship split, a house burglary and worsening health, I moved back to London. One afternoon, I went back to one of my favourite pubs, Comptons (I've spoken of it before). As I walked in I was amazed at the transformation from when I had last seen it. A daring 'dragons blood red' had become the main interior colour scheme, the same colour as the old flat in Surbiton. As I looked around at the newly installed 'elegant clutter' I started recognising various pieces.... "I'm sure we had that portrait of Elizabeth Bowes Lyons in our lounge" etc...

Just at that point my old landlord came walking down the stairs, now the landlord of my favourite pub! Hence why I drink there so frequently; it's like a home from home!

Anyway, last night I was in there having a beer after a particularly boring training course I'd been on, and in comes one of the 'old' crowd, Steve. Steve had moved to SW France a few years ago to buy a run down hotel, refurb it and re-open as a restaurant/hotel. All had been going well until he suffered a heart attack last year. He's back in London for some treatment just for a couple of weeks, so it was lucky to bump into him.

He'd made arrangements to meet up last night with another old friend, an ex-shag of mine (on a totally amicable basis), so I had another person to catch up with! I hadn't sat and chatted to this guy for at least 10 years.

Then in walked J & I, the central couple of the 'Surbiton Set'. 23 years they've been together now and recently 'civil partnershipped' I'm proud to say. They were always the leaders of the set really and have continued their climb up the ladder and now live in Chelsea Harbour.

So there we were, 15-plus years older and hopefully a little wiser. The banter and bitchiness still flowed as did the dirty comments, but we all just picked up wherever it was we last left off.


Argy Bargey...

Get well soon, love you lots & thinking of you!

P xx

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Seamen Wanted!

Which one's your favourite?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Night Listener

"I know how it sounds when I call him my son. There's something a little precious about it, a little too wishful to be taken seriously. I've noticed the looks on people's faces, those dim, indulgent smiles that vanish in a heartbeat. It's easy enough to see how they've pegged me: an unfulfilled man on the shady side of fifty, making a last grasp at fatherhood with somebody else's child.

That's not the way it is. Frankly, I've never wanted a kid. Never once believed that nature's whim had robbed me of my manly destiny. Pete and I were an accident, pure and simple, a collision of kindred spirits that had nothing to do with paternal urges, latent or otherwise. That much I can tell you for sure.

Son isn't the right word, of course.

Just the only one big enough to describe what happened."

As I mentioned in a recent post, I've been a HUGE fan of Armistead Maupin for well over 20 years now, so I was really looking forward to this movie! I even have a first edition hardback signed by the author! The book was a real departure for him, moving away from the frivolity of the 'Tales..' series and the bittersweet humour of 'Maybe The Moon', and as an Executive Producer along with his partner Terry Anderson I knew he would get the movie just as he wanted it.
If you don't know the story here's a brief intro...
Gabriel Noone, (played superbly by Robin Williams), late night radio broadcaster, currently 'having some space' in his relationship at his boyfriend Jesse's request, receives a manuscript written by a 14 year old boy; a boy dying of AIDS following a childhood of unbelievable abuse. The boy is a fan, a regular listener to 'Noone at Night', and the two soon start a telephone friendship which leads Gabriel away from home and into a journey of doubts and twists.
The movie builds up the tension excellently, as Jesse (Bobby Cannavale) injects more and more doubt as to the boys real identity once he hears the similarity in his voice to his carer, Donna (Toni Collette, suitably manic!).
There are a couple of things that let this movie down for me; firstly, why move it to New York? Maupin is a chronicler of San Francisco and has always been associated with that beautiful city. Was it easier to sell NY to the American movie goers? Secondly, Gabriel never sees the boy, no-one does in fact except Donna and thats where the tension comes from. Does she have a multi personality syndrom? Is it munchausen by proxy? So why show him? I didn't want to 'know' him.
The only answer I can think is this; we're seeing the boy the way Gabriel imagines him, it's just his imagination. As someone who regularly 'jewels the elephant', his ability to fictionalise fills in the gaps. Once you get used to that it kind of works.
In all, I enjoyed it and will go and see it again, if only because I didn't spot Maupin make his Hitchcock-esque cameo! I'm not sure how it'll appeal to people who don't know the book or Maupin as I think there's a lot of stuff in here that only his fans will get; the semi-autobiographical aspect of the movie makes it very interesting for a diehard like me!

Excerpt ©2001 Literary Bent, LLC. All rights reserved

"Jewelling The Elephant"

'My friend, whose name was Boyd, joined the Peace Corps in the late sixties. He was sent to a village in India where he fell in love with a local girl and eventually proposed to her. But Boyd's blue-blooded parents back in South Carolina were so aghast at the prospect of dusky grandchildren that they refused to attend the wedding in New Delhi.
So Boyd sent them photographs. The bride turned out to be an aristocrat of the highest caste, better bred by far than any member of Boyd's family. The couple had been wed in regal splendor, perched atop a pair of jewelled elephants. Boyd's parents, imprisoned in their middle-class snobbery, had managed to miss the social event of a lifetime.
I had told that story so often that Jess knew it by heart. So when Boyd came to town on business and met Jess for the first time, Jess was sure he had the perfect opener. "Well," he said brightly, "Gabriel tells me you got married on an elephant."
Boyd just blinked at him in confusion.
I could already feel myself reddening. "You weren't?"
"No," Boyd said with an uncomfortable laugh. "We were married in a Presbyterian church."
Jess said nothing, but he gave me a heavylidded stare whose meaning I had long before learned to decipher: You are never to be trusted with the facts.'

Extract from "The Night Listener"
by Armistead Maupin
©2001 Literary Bent, LLC. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Thorpe Park pics

I kind of slated our day at Thorpe Park last week, but I just wanted to add that it was a Gaydar issue really, the park itself is great! If you're ever in that part of the world, check it out and I dare you to ride 'Stealth!" Here are some pics...

Vic (left) and Gary

Stealth accelerates like a bullet, just to plunge you down a vertical 205ft drop!!

This shot, above, was taken at quite a distance... it was the only way I could fit it into one picture!

Video of 'Stealth'

Friday, September 15, 2006


Monday evening saw Gary, Vic and I head off to Apollo Victoria to see 'Wicked!', and it really was something!

Every now and then a show is just 'right' & everything comes together; the music, set, costumes and cast are all fantastic, and the result is pure magic. It happens rarely in these days of rehashed pop music shows and revivals of old musicals, but 'Wicked!' really does have something original and genius about it.

The cast, headed by Idina Menzel are superb, and also includes Miriam Margolyes and Nigel Planer (Neil from the 'Young Ones' if you go back as far as I do!). Idina performed the role role of the Wicked Witch on Broadway, winning her a Tony Award, and she is an oustanding talent! She is on stage for the majority of the show, and song after song she literally brings the house down, if you'll excuse the pun!

If you haven't read the book or heard the story yet, 'Wicked!" takes the tale from 'The Wizard of Oz' and looks at the two Witches, telling their personal histories. The Wicked Witch, here called Elphaba (it's from L.Frank Baums' intitials) is explained in full; why is she green? What made her wicked? Why is she only friends with flying monkeys? Why were those slipper so goddam important? With some great comic lines in there too ("What kind of a girl takes a dead womans slippers?"), the show zips along at a great pace, charting the friendship of the two through college, as room mates, and beyond.

The music, by Stephen Schwartz of 'Godspell' fame, is virtually non-stop with very little dialogue in between and provides some really memorable numbers. 'Defying Gravity' was definitely my favourite, with Elphaba levitating for the first time, it was quite spectacular!

A slight technical hitch towards the end of the first act held up proceedings for a short while, but hey, that's what you expect when you go to a preview eh?

All in all, I can't recommend this show enough! Book soon though, tickets will be flying out!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I feel I'm running behind with my blogs.

Obviously yesterdays entry about the "Great Gay Rip Off" at Thorpe Park (I'm gonna keep mentioning it because of the amount of google hits it gets... and I want to give it as much bad press as possible) should really have gone out on Monday, but to be honest I didn't think it proper or sensitive to moan about my crap day at a theme park on the anniversary of 9/11.

I was working in an American 'theme' restaurant then (look at my name... now you know where this nickname comes from), so we were inundated that day with tourists from the States to watch our tv screens, and try to absorb what was unfolding live on the other side of the Big Pond. But nothing I could say on my memories of 'that day' would have matched those of the people that were there.

I read some great posts on Monday, all WAY more relevant than mine would've been. As usual,Joe.My.God provided a great account with fantastic pictures. Read it here

As for Monday night at 'Wicked!'... well, I'll blog about that when I have a little more time ;o)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Gaydar Day @ Thorpe Park

As you know from a previous post, I was really looking forward to this day out. It was a birthday gift from G & V, so we started the day early at theirs with champagne and a smoked salmon breakfast before heading off to Waterloo station.

On the way there we were discussing ideas of how we thought the day would go. The website (which has now been changed!*) had originally stated that the park would be exclusively gay, but we knew that was highly unlikely at a park this size on a Saturday. In fact, there had already been rumours it would be open to all. That was ok, I felt, so long as they stuck to the 'Strictly Over 18's' rule that was printed on our tickets; lets face it, half the fun of the day was that it would be kid free, no stupid teens arseing about and no tiny ones crying and screaming! More personally though, 'exclusivity' gives gay men and women the freedom to hold hands and kiss if they want to without feeling stared at or fearful of abuse.

How wrong we were! That was EXACTLY what we got for our pink pound... a park full of straight teenagers and families! It was hardly any different to a normal day EXCEPT we were given a nice little wristband that would not only get us into the 'exclusive**' areas, but it would also let all the baseball capped lads know exactly who they could hurl abuse at. Inspired!

Apparently there was a Gaydar VIP Tent, with a buffet, DJ's and private loo's. We could use that at an additional cost of £50 per head ("WHAT!?!?!"); that must have been where all the Gaydar staff were... we didn't see any all day. In fact, I don't recall even seeing the tent!

If Gaydar could not sell enough tickets to fill the park as they originally had hoped, I understand they may need to come to a compromise with the park so as not to lose a fortune. However, we SHOULD have been told and offered a refund, or at least some bloody free queue jump tickets as compensation, (which we actually paid £7 extra for!)

In fact, seeing as there were so few poofs there, why not give us all access to the VIP tent?!

The Salvation 'tent' took place in the Dome, but not until 6pm, and up until 10pm. If you've been tramping round a theme park for 7 hours, you're knackered by then and fairly close to just wanting to get home, especially as there was no special shuttle bus to get us all back to the train station for the rides back to London.

To add insult to injury, we found out that regular tickets were being sold on the day for £33.50 for TWO, when we had paid £32 EACH!!

As it happened, I quite enjoyed my day anyway, as I was out with my mates doing something we don't often do together, but the feeling of being ripped off totally ruined it. We didn't get anythin extra for our cash, it was poorly organised, and when they knew things weren't going to be as they promised they did bugger all to compensate or even to communicate to us!

If you have tickets for the other event at Alton Towers personally I'd ask for a refund, but if you do go along don't expect the special 'Pride'-type day that I was looking forward to!

*changed to say: "(is) open to gay men and women and anyone else who is friendly and accepting of the gay and lesbian community." Now tell me this; a group of kids, 'lads' and 'ladettes', arrive at Thorpe Park, they're handed a leaflet saying that there is a gay event on. Is this going to make them turn on their heels and flee? Or, just give them all a good laugh?!

**exclusive area; A cafe with a DJ in it, but no Gaydar reps or hosts. Can also be accessed by anyone else for an extra £5.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Would You Watch It?

Crocodile hunter Steve Irwin's final moments were captured on camera.
But should that film ever be broadcast to the watching public?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

5th Sept 1997

Diana's funeral. Following a crazy week which followed a shock end to my birthday celebration in the year I was diagnosed HIV+.

I really should blog about that night, 30th August 1997. I'll get round to it soon, I guess I just wasn't in the mood to reflect on that particular birthday/anniversary this year.

So instead, here's someone elses account;

Rainbow Network

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Septembers getting even better!!

On top of the stuff going on that I've written about below, I can now add to my month the following;

Dinner at
Gordon Ramsey's at Claridges last Saturday evening as a belated birthday treat from Jay, who obviously is now very 'let off the hook' after what happened before, and I have to say, this was probably one of the most beautiful restaurants I have ever been in.

We had a late evening booking, not arriving until half past ten. The doorman, complete with long overcoat and top hat, came to meet us at the taxi with an umbrella to keep us dry from the September drizzle.

"Good evening, Gentlemen," he said, "Welcome back."

Of course he didn't know us from Adam, but it made us feel extremely welcome... and important! Stepping into the large foyer we were greeted by portraits of the Queen at various ages, as well as Prime Ministers from throughout the years adorning the walls like a Claridges 'Hall of Fame'

We had our coats taken by a porter and made our way through to the lounge area.

The decor was luxurious; huge Art Deco chandeliers and picture frames, and mirrors covering every wall and column. .

We were early for our table so took a table in the bar area. As Jay was
ordering the champagne, Catherine Zeta Jones and a few colleagues came out of the restaurant and took the table next to us for after dinner coffees. And yes... she is as beautiful in real life and very charming. Jay was amazed I managed to restrain myself from asking for a photo, but even I can see how tacky it would be to do it in there!!

Once inside the dining room, we were waited on my a multitude of attentive, young, perfectly groomed hosts, waiters and a very sweet Sommelier, as you would expect! The menu was small (but perfectly formed, as they say). For a starter, I had the 'Blue Fin Tuna Cooked Two Ways' (it was divine!), and for a main course I opted for more seafood with the Lemon Seabass. The mousses in between courses helped keep the palate cleansed.

The sommelier recommended a different wine for each dish, so after the half bottle of champagne I'd had, I was now feeing VERY relaxed!

At the end of the meal, four waiters came over with a small plate, hands cupped around the glow of a single candle. As the plate was presented to me, they started to sing 'Happy Birthday' and I looked down to see the words written in chocolate sauce next to a small scoop of what proved to be the most delicious vanilla ice-cream I've ever tasted!

All in all, it was an amazing evening, one I shall remember for a long, long time, and the perfect end to a birthday week! Thanks Jay!