these moments that I've had.

Thursday, July 31, 2003  

It's really laughable, ha ha... ha ha ha ha...ha...

We hate it when our friends become successful
We hate it when our friends become successful
Oh, look at those clothes
Now look at that face, it's so old
And such a video !
Well, it's really laughable
Ha, ha, ha ...

We hate it when our friends become successful
And if they're Northern, that makes it even worse
And if we can destroy them
You bet your life we will
Destroy them
If we can hurt them
Well, we may as well ...
It's really laughable
Ha, ha, ha ...

You see, it should've been me
It could've been me
Everybody knows
Everybody says so

posted by Darren | 9:51 PM

Wednesday, July 30, 2003  


I've asked for the DVD for my birthday.

A Beautiful Motion Picture event.

posted by Darren | 9:56 PM

Tuesday, July 29, 2003  


martin is really the kd lang fan, but i agree she's done some beautiful tracks over the years. the 1997 album 'drag', which contains songs that are all linked to smoking or addictions was not a hit to compare to her earlier albums "ingenue" and "all you can eat", and was at the time, a disappointment. but looking back and re-evaluating, thanks to dave and his love of the film "valley of the dolls", the theme from which is on this album, and thanks to martin for letting me have his spare copy, it really is a quite beautiful album.

"theme from the valley of the dolls" and "the air that i breathe" are standouts.

posted by Darren | 7:59 PM

Monday, July 28, 2003  

Liza's Turned Her Back!

Oh! Oh! Oh! How could I forget this update?!

Less than a week after the sycophantic posturing(of David Gest) on "Ruby Wax Meets... Liza Minnelli (and Husband)", and on the day of London Pride, Liza and Gest split. If it were Judy divorcing again, I'm sure we'd be sympathising, sending condolences, but as its Liza, theres an inevitability that wasn't there with Garland. "At least", you think, "Liza had a reference point in what to avoid in life".

You couldn't make this up.

posted by Darren | 9:00 PM

The Big Lebowski

"Well, they've finally gone and done it,
They've killed my fucking car!"

- The Dude

Finally saw the "The Big Lebowski" last night. One of those films that just continued to pass me by.

One of the funniest scenes ever(above), when our heroes are confronted by the European Nihilist Terrorists, in the Bowling Alley parking lot. Flea, taking the bowling ball in the gut is priceless, as is Walter's(John Goodman) "Anti-Semite", just before he punches the ring leader out.

posted by Darren | 7:09 PM

Sunday, July 27, 2003  

John Schlesinger

One of the greatest British film directors has died, on Friday, aged 77.

John Schlesinger made some of the greatest films of the sixties and seventies. 'Midnight Cowboy' and 'Marathon Man' are stand-outs for me. Laurence Olivier's famous line from 'Marathon Man' - "Is it safe?", still sends chills down my spine. He made some dodgy stuff in the eighties and nineties(his last film was Madonna and Rupert Everett's 'Next Best Thing'), but his body of work contains some classics, capturing Britain in the sixties and an interesting take on US attitudes in the late sixties and early seventies.

Missed. 1926 - 2003.

posted by Darren | 5:42 PM

Wash Out

We came, we got wet, we got semi-drunk(£60 spent on drinks, which worked out at £3 per 330ml bottle, so 10 of those each, so, like, 5-6 pints each for £30. Hhhmmmm...), we met friends, we avoided drunken come-ons(though we were flattered by one of them), we got wetter on the dash under Marble Arch, we got kebabs on the way home, we reflected that in some ways, Stratford last year was better(even though, last year, we had to wait 2 hours to get in because of Fire Brigade safety concerns(water-logged ground) and it was a bit of a trek even for us, and we only live a few miles away), though this was mostly down to the rain. More toilets, bars and tent-cover would have made it a better first Pride in Hyde Park.

See some photos here.

posted by Darren | 5:12 PM

Saturday, July 26, 2003  

Be Loud, Be Proud, but most of all Be

London Pride.

A brand of beer and today's National Pride Parade and Party through central London and in Hyde Park, the first time the event has been allowed to use a Royal Park. Thanks Ken.

The weather is pretty crap. Heatwave for the last two months gives way to 22 degrees and intermittent showers today. Still, the drag queens, bedraggled and wading through puddles, will be worth the entrance fee.

Meeting Rob, Martin and Neil throughout the day. Will spend most of the day taking cover in the 'XXL Bar' and 'The Cock' tent.

posted by Darren | 11:16 AM

Its only Big Brother after all

Cameron wins.

I didn't want Ray to win, and for the faults noted below, I didn't think I wanted Cameron to win either.

It REALLY sticks in my craw, winds me up, annoys me, GETS MY GOAT (as my old nan says), for him to have the views on homosexuality that he has.

But in all other respects, from what we know of him from his 9 or 10 weeks in the house, he seems like a nice guy, and he was the one I thought should win. Until he made those remarks the other night.

What will happen now, is that he will go on to present 'Songs of Praise' and will, generally, be around more faggots than he has ever met before in his life on Orkney (would YOU stay on an isolated island off the north coast of Scotland much past the age of sixten, if you were gay?), and will come to realise that they(we) are just people, the same as him. There are 'good' and there are 'bad'. He'll see the error of his ways.

Anyway, its just Big Brother. Why am I getting so wound up?

posted by Darren | 10:50 AM

Thursday, July 24, 2003  

and the hours after that

''It had seemed like the beginning of happiness, and Clarissa is still sometimes shocked, more than thirty years later, to realize that it was happiness. . . . There is still that singular perfection, and it's perfect in part because it seemed, at the time, so clearly to promise more. Now she knows: That was the moment, right then. There has been no other.''

posted by Darren | 7:18 PM

Wednesday, July 23, 2003  

Big Brother

At last, from this Friday night, it can no longer maintain its grip on my viewing pleasure, which being weak and easily pleased(Television-wise), it has held over me for the last Nine-plus weeks. The Big Brother finale is this Friday night and the next two days are our last chance to do the right thing.

The right thing, in this case, is to vote for the one decent(as in decent human being) person left in the house. It may be an act, but to act it up for ten weeks would be a remarkable feat and one which I don't think any of this years bunch could have achieved. The real self has to shine through at some point, which is what we have seen time and again from all of them.

The one constant throughout has been Scott.

Yes, there was an element of 'fancying him' at the beginning, but his pigeon chest and his inability to tell Nush how he actually feels, when faced with chance after chance after chance, served to infuriate and to diminish any kind of attraction that was there to begin with. This, of course, should have let Cameron in, the bookies favourite going into this final week, after Ray had 'effed and blinded'(calling best mate Scott a "Prick" after a few cans of beer and telling Steph she "can go to hell"...oh, ok, maybe we can let him off this one), and dragged a drunken girl across the floor, once too often(well, Nush was beginning to grate with her high-pitched girly giggling); and after Steph had revealed what a self-centred cow she is(coupled with bigoted views on Homosexuality and masturbation("I feel quite proud that I don't have to rely on defiling myself in this way" and "its a man thing, girls don't need to do it").

'Should have' being the appropriate term here for Cameron.

Then Cameron goes into the Diary Room and is asked his view on Gay Marriage and Gay Adoption.

Now, I'm a gay man, but I don't necessarily believe that marriage is something that should be extended into our 'community', but that's because I don't particularly believe in marriage at all for anyone. I do, though, believe in equality and freedom of expression. Cameron's answers to the questions above showed the ingrained bigotry, hypocrisy and intolerance of the church. He would deny gay people equal rights because of what is written in the Bible.

"The Bible is right", he said.

No, Cameron, the Bible is wrong. When it dictates how society should be, how people should live, thousands of years after it was written, no matter the hurt that it may cause, then it cannot be right.

Organised religion the world over has proven its intolerance to diversity, its ability to stand aside and, indeed, encourage violence against peoples who do not agree with its teachings. Cameron considers himself a Christian, but he is a devout follower of a Christian Religion, not a Christian in the sense that they believe the word. He is an intolerant bigot.

Scott believes that Gay people should be allowed to marry and be allowed to adopt. This shows tolerance, acceptance and kindness, whether you support his view or not.

This is not the only reason to vote for Scott, but it is ANOTHER reason you should vote for him. Like Jonny the Geordie Fireman from last year, he is a decent bloke, a nice guy and sometimes nice guys need to come first, so:

Text 'VOTE SCOTT' to 85444


Phone 09011 21 44 09

or Vote online at (the woefully slow)

It really does make sense.

Alternatively, write a scathing rebuke of my shallow opinions for the above post, in the comments box below; or ignore it and go out & get pissed on Friday, limbering up for Pride in Hyde Park on Saturday afternoon.

posted by Darren | 7:40 PM

Tuesday, July 22, 2003  

Happy Birthday Mum

And on a lighter note, it's my mum's birthday today.

posted by Darren | 9:44 PM

Small Town News

When I was growing up, in the Seventies, in the small community of Skelmersdale, Lancashire, crime was something, that if it happened, it happened in the New Town part of the town. The village my father was born and raised in had been 'annexed' by the government in the early Sixties, for one of its trial communities, to relieve the pressure cookers building up in the slums of inner city Britain. Skelmersdale, at the edge of the Lancashire plain, just where the land starts its rise to encircle Manchester and then rise further to the Pennines and the Lancashire & Yorkshire Moors, an old mining community, small and surrounded by beautiful countryside, was to be the pressure valve for the slums of Liverpool. 10 years of jerry-built construction saw the area transformed, poor-quality housing rising up the slopes of Ashurst's Beacon, covering what was once green and pleasant. The Liverpool accents, though, in the Seventies, were still a rare thing in the old part of the town, and like this connection or not, crime was also rare in the Old Town.

I moved away in 1986. My family still live there. They have seen so little of the wider world. Their attitudes and beliefs are so far removed from mine, that I don't think they recognise me anymore. It's just 'life'. That's another story though.

Crime. That's what I was talking about. I speak with them at least once a week. I get the gossip from the local papers, the stories of the older generations passing on, names they expect me to know, or remember, that I don't. And over the years there have been more and more stories of crime. First it was drug abuse, a hotbed for heroine abuse. But lately there have been a number of accidental deaths, rapes and murders. At first, each one was recited with shock at the way things have gone downhill, and with horror that it is happening in this once peaceful place. Then familiarity crept in, as it always does, and these events did not seem out of the ordinary, were regular occurences, the norm.

I had to call my mum, though, when I saw a story in a national newspaper about the death of a prostititute from the town, whose hacked off limbs have been discovered in an alleyway in Liverpool. This kind of thing is no longer the big news it would have been, but it still holds a strange fascination and shock factor, for a boy who remembers the green fields and long hot summers of his childhood, when we carried on with not a care in the world.

posted by Darren | 7:44 PM

Monday, July 21, 2003  

Wax is Back!

The circus comes to town on BBC1 tonight when Ruby Wax Meets... Liza Minnelli (And Husband). Onto her fourth husband and following another comeback, the 'tragic Liza Minnelli' with that caricature (and not gay) fourth husband, David Gest in tow, takes Ruby on a tour of her favourite London haunts. This includes a north London chippie, where Liza insists on serving behind the counter and talking to customers in a cock-er-ney accent. Dick van Dyke, anyone?

Down to Earth or completely bonkers? You decide.

posted by Darren | 9:46 AM

Sunday, July 20, 2003  

This Weekend I Have Mostly Been...

Quiet evening in on Friday night, after last weeks shenanigans.

Saturday afternoon, Lucio and Michael came over for a couple of hours for lunch and a drink. They left 7 hours later, at which point we were all a little worse for wear! Except Edward, who was just a little tired.

Sunday was spent breakfasting al fresco under our repatched-up gazebo(see August 6th 2002 for details of what happened to the gazebo 4 days after we erected it), watching the British Grand Prix(not a big a fan as I used to be, but still watch the odd one, particularly Britain and Monaco), watching the end of The Open Golf Championship(not really a fan at all, but I was when I was a kid, and it was only the last couple of hours and quite dramatic it was too!), watering the garden and walking Edward.

Continuing an ocassional series...

Top Ten sexiest golfers:

1. Sergio Garcia
2. Sergio Garcia
3. Sergio Garcia
4. Sergio Garcia
5. Sergio Garcia
6. Sergio Garcia
7. Sergio Garcia
8. Sergio Garcia
9. Sergio Garcia
10.Sergio Garcia

posted by Darren | 9:09 PM

Thursday, July 17, 2003  

This week I am mostly listening to the Cardigans new single.

posted by Darren | 10:21 PM

Wednesday, July 16, 2003  

Edward just ate a bug.

We DO feed him enough, really we do, but as Rob can testify, he might have put on a pound or two since coming to live with us, so meals are down to not-as-big-a-handful-as-previously. But really, bugs?

posted by Darren | 7:24 PM

Tuesday, July 15, 2003  

Me and two colleagues at work today:

Well, thats what it felt like, and yes, thats me on the RIGHT of the picture, thank you very much.

Air Con will alledgedly be fixed tomorrow, after being out of action for over a week. It was 90 degrees today for chrissakes!

(NB: I AM aware of that being the temperature OVERNIGHT in some areas of the US at the moment, so don't go reminding me (Bruce)).

posted by Darren | 8:45 PM

Monday, July 14, 2003  

Why Are We Here?

According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 50's, 60's, 70's and early 80's probably shouldn't have survived, because...

Our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint which was promptly chewed and licked.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, or latches on doors or cabinets and it was fine to play with pans.

When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip flops and fluorescent 'clackers' on our wheels.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags - riding in the passenger seat was a treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle and it tasted the same.

We drank fizzy pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.

We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle or can and no-one actually died from this.

We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then went top speed down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us all day and no one minded.

We did not have Play stations or X-Boxes, no video games at all. No 99 channels on TV, no videotape movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet chat rooms. We had friends - we went outside and found them.

We played elastics and street rounders, and sometimes that ball really hurt.

We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits. They were accidents. We learnt not to do the same thing again.

We had fights, punched each other hard and got black and blue we learned to get over it.

We walked to friend's homes.

We also, believe it or not, WALKED to school, we didn't rely on mummy or daddy to drive us to school, which was just round the corner.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate live stuff, and althogh we were told it would happen, we did not have very many eyes out, nor did the live stuff live inside us forever.

We rode bikes in packs of 7 and wore our coats by only the hood.

Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. Imagine that!

posted by Darren | 7:41 PM

Sunday, July 13, 2003  

Friday Night

Saturday Morning

Saturday Afternoon

Saturday Night

Sunday Morning

Sunday Afternoon


Sunday Night

posted by Darren | 9:18 PM

Thursday, July 10, 2003  


It looks like there has been a murder, or at the very least a serious assault and robbery, at a house on my route to the Tube station. Two sexy dark-haired policemen in a car this morning were replaced by one skinny, red-haired policeman leaning against the wall, behind the cordon, this evening.

Nearly asked him what was going on.

But didn't.

Will have to wait for the local paper to come out... next week.

posted by Darren | 9:34 PM

Wednesday, July 09, 2003  

Todays topic of discussion (or not) is:

corrugated-cardboard coffee-cup holders.

posted by Darren | 8:28 PM

Tuesday, July 08, 2003  

Top Ten Liverpudlian contributions to Culture

1. The Beatles
2. Willy Russell
3. Paul O'Grady
4. Alan Bleasdale
5. Kim Cattral
6. Ken Dodd
7. Cilla Black
8. Atomic Kitten
9. Craig from Big Brother 1
10.Scott from Big Brother 4

It goes down'ill pretty fast, doesn't it, are lah ?

posted by Darren | 9:41 PM

Monday, July 07, 2003  

Weird coincidences

Sam came back from a weeks holiday. We walked to the Tube together at 5.30pm. She told me about what she'd got up to, including watching 'The Man Who Wasn't There' at the weekend. Genius.

I got on the Piccadilly Line and got a seat at Kings Cross. The man next to me was reading a PR Magazine (Media Guardian or Benchmark).

The page he was reading had the headline:

'The Man Who Wasn't There'.

posted by Darren | 8:35 PM

Sunday, July 06, 2003  

Switzerland 1 - 0 Australia

posted by Darren | 9:27 PM

Saturday, July 05, 2003  

'Get him!'

"It was early in the third set of this Wimbledon semifinal today. Roger Federer was on the service line preparing to keep a very good thing going when suddenly an insect buzzed near his bandanna-wrapped forehead.

As the normally graceful Federer swatted awkwardly at the intruder, Andy Roddick yelled across the net to the bug: "Get him!"

It was perhaps Roddick's only chance in view of the way Federer, of Switzerland, was carving volleys and cracking serves and forehands.

But Roddick's last chance soon buzzed off into the summer sky, and Federer resumed proving that his time had come, closing out a 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-3 victory that transformed the Fourth of July into a Swiss celebration and earned Federer a lengthy standing ovation from the crowd on Centre Court."

Thats another bet of mine lost. Do you think me posting him at the top of Thursday's List had an effect on his concentration?

Maybe he'll call.


Serena muscles(literally) her way to a second successive Wimbledon Singles crown. John McEnroe said today he wished he had some of her leg muscles.

Poor Venus. Poor to the tune of £267,500. I'd have to slave away for about 10 years to 'earn' that much.

posted by Darren | 6:49 PM

Friday, July 04, 2003  

posted by Darren | 6:52 AM

Thursday, July 03, 2003  

Sexiest Tennis Players

In no particular order..... they can line up outside my bedroom in any damn order they please...!

Andy Roddick

Marat Safin

Mark Philippoussis

Olivier Rochus

Lleyton Hewitt

Andre Agassi

Pete Sampras

Jan-Michael Gambill

And for the older man:

Jimmy Connors

Pat Cash

And the heroines...

Martina and Chris


posted by Darren | 9:49 PM

Wednesday, July 02, 2003  

Serial Cat Killer on the loose in the US Senate

US Senate majority leader Bill Frist thinks gay marriage is unholy.

He also used to trap and dissect stray kittens.

posted by Darren | 7:41 PM

Tuesday, July 01, 2003  

ded cosmo, me

Just the other day I saw Seb Coe and that bloke who played Edward II in Derek Jarman's film of the same name, within 50 yards of each other on Piccadilly.

I'm right cosmopolitan, me.

posted by Darren | 8:29 PM