Monday, 31 May 2010

A New Title?

A drastic change to the face of my blog.

Thoughts? Out with the old and in with the new?


Out with the new and in with the old?

Amsterdam II: Coach Trip

The coach left Derby at 10pm and was set to arrive in Amsterdam the following morning at 11am. The sensible decision, and what I would have thought would have been the general consensus was to use the coach trip as an oppurtunity to sleep. Afterall we were only in Amsterdam for less than two full days, I didn't want to spend one of those asleep.

Right? Wrong.

Everybody had made a telepathic decision that the coach would be a night club for the duration. I kid you not, Lee and I sat down ready for a good ole sleep when the drunkards pile in. We chose to sit near the back, a bad decision on my behalf, the sensible people, all six of them, sat right at the front. The coach started moving, the loud gangster rap music came on. The dancing started, the squealing started, the arguments started, the chair kicking started. By this point you are probably thinking that this must have been a pretty big coach with a lot of room, no?

Well you'd be wrong. This was your bog standard incredibly small coach with little to no leg room. We were promised reclining seats, they did recline yes, but you had to recline into the person behind's lap. Which for the people in front of us was no issue at all.

It got to about 2am and I thought okay they will settle down soon. We got onto the ferry which was an oppurtunity for all of them to top up their wavering alcohol levels. Rather than getting back onto the coach I had considered jumping off the side of the ferry and swimming back to England for dear life, if it wasn't for this sign, which in my sleep deprived state was hilarious, I think I probably would have done.

Simplistic and childish - but funny none the less.

Before we re-boarded the coach a small group from our coach managed to get into a fight with three different nationalities. Declaring that they speak for all of England, telling everyone that they despise the Germans, the Polish, and the French. Well done guys. Well done.

We sat back on the coach where we were informed not to use the toilet anymore because it was full and would overflow. Of course nobody listened and continued to use it. At about 4am one of the girls went to use the toilet, she opened the door, put her head inside, gagged several times then ran back to tell her friends. They squealed and laughed and found it infinitely hilarious. She went back to the toilet door, opened it, gagged several more times, shouted to her friends and asked them to come smell the toilet.

At this point I was growing incredibly impatient, yes, we've established the toilet doesn't smell very nice, can we grow up now please girls?

Of course not.

Two hours later, they are still running back and fourth from the toilet, opening the door, letting the smell out into the coach, gagging, screaming, running back to their seats, kicking the backs of our chairs, squealing, running back to the toilet door, opening it, gagging. Over and over and over and over again.

You've been doing this for two god-damn hours! I'm trying to sleep. Not to mention everybody else still treating the coach as a night club.

We arrived in Amsterdam at 11am, I hadn't had a wink of sleep. Whilst me and Lee ventured out to explore the city, everybody else went to sleep for the whole day. Seriously, you may as well have just charged them all £115, drove them around Derby in a coach, given them a bed to sleep in and told them all it was Amsterdam. They wouldn't have known any different.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Amsterdam I: Introduction

I packed my bag and headed for the coach to Amsterdam Thursday night, conveniently forgetting my Ian McEwan 'Amsterdam' novel that I had bought with every intention of reading it on the way. Within such a short space of time, I have so much to tell, anecdotes to share, the good, the bad, and the repulsively ugly...

Right now though, I'm tired, in desperate need of a shower and covered in bites, so i'll write first thing in the morning.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Ooh Shiny!

It finally came, five days after my Birthday it arrived. Lee ordered it way back in early April, and told me what it was 2 days later. The excitement disapeared a little after waiting over a month to recieve it, but when it came today and I took it out it's cardboard box and found it beautifully wrapped I got all excited like a 5 year old at Christmas. I sat on the floor for a good five minutes thinking 'Ooh Shiny'. At the risk of sounding like an 82 year old woman, the wrapping is so nice I don't want to unwrap it, and haven't yet. That's not the only reason though, Lee also promised we would continue to celebrate my Birthday until my present arrived and I unwrapped it. So, 5 days later we are still celebrating - sort of. A long time to celebrate a Birthday, no? Well, when it was Lee's birthday, January 20th, I believe we celebrated well into mid February. I declared to one of my friends "He just won't stop celebrating his Birthday!", he had about 3 nights out, one party, two meals, one trip to the sea side, and a handful of other 'Birthday events'.

I'm not quite sure where i'm going with - to be honest I just wanted to show you the wrapping - pretty, is it not?

Sunday, 23 May 2010

All The Lovers

A time to reminisce. A Sunday morning, safe and sound back in Hum-drum Derby, listening to Kylie's All The Lovers. I feel like I've been to another country, it probably sounds odd, especially to those of you who frequent London regularly, or even live there, but it's such a different place. People are far friendlier and there's opportunity as far as you can see. I feel like I have achieved something, aside from all the fun I had, I believe I accomplished something.

"You ought to get away from Derby, I'm not saying those places are bad, I grew up in a place like that, but they're so negative and it impacts you. Don't let anything pin you down, travel, travel, travel, make the world your country. Nothing is that hard if you set your mind to it. You'll go far, I just know it."

"No smoking, no splashing, no getting out of the boat, no picking people up in the boat. No crashing into any other boats, no jumping up and down in the boat. Oh and have fun" -
"Can we capsize the boat?"
"The lady didn't say not too."

"And this Calum is Speakers corner. This is where people come to speak about politics and such."
"But those women are all gagged."

"And what will happen at this party?"
"We stand around, chat, and look at men in pants."

"I was outside this amazing palace like building today! All the guards were wearing those funny hats!"
"Was it Buckingham Palace?"
"Oh yeah! Probably!"

"Do you see what I arranged for you Calum? A choir of 60 school girls singing Happy Birthday."
"They're not singing to me!"
"They are! And now look it's the wet T-shirt contest..."

"Oh my God, that pigeon just touched my foot. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. It actually touched me. I feel sick, i feel sick! I'm going to throw up"

[To the bus driver] "One to Selfridges please"
"You don't come to London much do you."

"We'll go for a picnic since it's your last day."
"Where are we going?"
"To a park around the corner... well.. a graveyard."

As you can tell, I had a great time, a great Birthday, and great work experience. Thank you to all the amazing people I met, thank you to the best boyfriend and friend for travelling down to celebrate with me, thank you to my family for helping fund the whole trip, and thank you to everybody else who sent me supportive messages from afar! It's not something I will be forgetting any time soon.

Next stop, Amsterdam.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Seriously London? I know you're expensive but...

We approached a random vendor at Piccadilly Circus. "Can you help us? We're looking for the Apollo Theatre."
"Ah yes. Picadilly Theatre just up here." he pointed towards, funnily enough, Picadilly Theatre. "No, no, Apollo theatre."
"No need to apologise sir."

For god sake. Usually we wouldn't have minded, but we were in a slight rush. Adam and Lee had picked me up outside work, we'd got the tube straight to our hotel, got changed, and headed straight back out. At this point it was 7:28, we were trying to get to the theatre to see Wicked for 7:30. Chances were looking slim.

Adam pulled out his iPhone and searched for directions. "Got it!" he quickly directed us down some winding back streets and we arrived outside the Apollo. "Why are there no Wicked posters outside?" We looked at the building confused. I looked at the time 7:31. We ran up to the doors and asked the nearest person in a uniform.
"Wicked?" they laughed. "Wrong theatre. You want the other Apollo."
"The other Apollo!?"

We failed. We blamed the iPhone. Instead we went for steak.
"What do you mean you don't want any sides?"
"I just don't want any thanks."
"I don't understand. You don't want any side dishes?"
"No." the woman looked at me like I had just asked if I could eat her first born child. We ate our meal and walked to Soho to start drinking.

We selected a bar and went inside, a male dancer in a speedo was standing on the bar covering his body in oils. At this point I wasn't that interested, I was more interested in the drinks he was blocking. I had gotten rather use to male nudity by now, two weeks working with endless pictures of topless men, and then the Selfridges party, I just wanted a drink. I looked at the ridiculous selection of drinks behind the bar. It was a choice between draught beer, gin, or five hundred different flavours of Absolut vodka. I asked for a G&T - it cost me £7. Seven British Pounds for a SINGLE gin and tonic. Seriously London? I know you're expensive but...

As the night went on we ended up in a gay nightclub, Adam ordered three drinks from the bar, it cost him a crisp £20. We left for the hotel at 2am and drank some more there. We would have had to have taken out a mortage to aford any more.

Result? Two Happy Gays

Imagine heading over to Oxford Street for a spot of late night shopping, popping into Selfridges to get a pair of new underwear and being confronted by twenty five next-to-naked men. That’s exactly what happened to a poor un-expecting middle aged, slightly homophobic, man Thursday night. You see, Lee and I had been given VIP entrance to a Selfridges swimwear fashion show/party by the people I was doing work experience for. We tagged along with them in a small group, all dressed very casually. We arrived at the back of Selfridges, walked past a large queue of smartly dressed people in very expensive clothing and went inside. We found ourselves in a converted in door car park complete with lighting, cat walk and male butlers who’s ‘outfits’ (Speedos, jock straps or tight boxers) left little to the imagination – I was not complaining, my imagination was more than willing to have an evening off. We were handed complimentary champagne and stood around gossiping, watching the cast of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and an entourage of even more next to naked men parading up and down the cat walk. Both mine and Lee’s eyes were fixated on the ‘fashion’ for the duration of the show. The group we were with didn’t seem at all phased by it, this was pretty run of the mill for them. Thinking back now, I can’t remember what a single pair of those pants looked like – oh well.

After they finished parading up and down they pulled out plastic whistles, blew them repeatedly and led us through a series of corridors. Lee and I got wedged between three of the models – we didn’t complain. The whistles got annoying very quickly, but like my imagination, my ears could have the evening off as well – I needed my eyes, that was it.

We eventually busted out of a tiny fire door in the back of the Selfridges underwear department, - Thirty practically naked men, four hundred smartly dressed gay men, a handful of ‘fag-hags’ and a bunch of Priscilla drag queens – the few unexpecting shoppers were terrified. They vacated the area quickly. All of them, except for the aforementioned slightly homophobic middle aged man. He got caught up in the middle of it all, he was not best pleased. He started shouting to his wife several aisles away who was in hysterics laughing. “Where did all these gays come from! I’m surrounded by gays!” he shouted to her. Although I did overhear him use a derogatory comment towards us as he left, he seemed to be able to see it from the funny side. We were given a few cocktails and then mingled in the shop. A free tanning booth was set up – Well I say tanning booth. It was a man and a woman grabbing random party goers, stripping them down to their underwear, pushing them against a large piece of card and spraying them down – Tanning booth, sexual assault. Tomay-toe, tomah-toe.

Towards the end of the night we ended up in a rabble of people trying to get to something. It must have been good, we had no idea what we were now queuing for, but we figured it’d be worth waiting for. After about 20 minutes we managed to get to the front where I had some personalised sandals made for free, we found out after they normally cost £35 – not bad. Lee went after me but was told they were closing – gutted.

So, to sum up – free alcohol, free sandals, free goody bag (which was a bit rubbish –but still free!) and naked men. Result? Two happy gays.


As mentioned in the previous post, I'm taking revenge on my dearest friend 'Grandma', she did the sweetest thing by writing a Birthday blog post about me, but ruined the whole thing with a terrible picture of me.

So, this is my revenge. She doesn't look that bad in this picture, but it is most certainly not one of her best. It wasn't easy to find either, the woman is so god damn pretty, fashionable and downright photogenic.

I knew there was a picture that was used for The Entrepreneur but she quickly got it changed. It looked like her shirt was yellow and unwashed - even though it was - bloody camera.

As, her Birthday gift to me in fact gained me 3 new followers, (btw hi!) I thought i'd slip a little endorcement for her in here too, as it is her Birthday today. - Happy Birthday Grandma!

Laura, arguably the star of The Entrepreneur, Blogger of A Life In The Day Of Me,, and editor of short story anthology What We Wrote, is the best friend anyone could ask for - she'll tell you when your hair is awful, she'll tell you if your being boring, she'll tell you when your making bad decisions - these are meant to be good things... oh, and she's great fun!

- How fake did that sound it? It was meant to be genuine... no really, it was.

Friday, 21 May 2010

The Nicest Thing Anyone Ever Did Do

I've always considered what the best gift, ever, would be - but now I know! I was going to find the time today to tell you about the Selfridges party last night, but that will have to wait! I opened up my emails today to find my dearest friend 'Grandma' had sent me a link to a new blog post. It Happens Once A Year, with a caption beneath reading enjoy. As much as I like a card, a text, a phone call, or even a facebook message saying 'Happy Birthday' from somebody I've not spoken to in over two years, reading a happy birthday blog in my honor is in an entirely different league! I'm in love with my friend Grandma right now, it's the best gift ever! However, I hate her as well, though our friendship is very loving we are quite banter-bitchy to one another, so to top off the blog post she attached a horrific picture of me to it. The picture I am terribly embarrassed of, the picture I hoped I would never, ever see again. The picture which she put on the website until I begged her repeatedly to take it off. Thanks Grandma, I both love and hate you right now. Fortunately though, our Birthdays are not far apart at all, in fact her Birthday is less than 13 hours away. Let's just see if I can find a choice photo or two to mount my blog. Be warned 'Grandma', be warned!

More blogs soon, watch this space!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

In other Kylie news...

Seriously, i wasn't joking in my last Kylie post, the woman is gold dust here, she is number one priority, second to none.
"Kylie's 41?" the girl next to me says amazed.
"Yeah. She looks great for her age" somebody replies.
"Not THAT great. She has to watch what she wears or she looks like mutton dressed as lamb". I watch the gay man opposite's face. His jaw drops, the veins around his eyes swell. He slams his fist down on the table. "I won't have another bad word said about Kylie Minogue in this office!"
"You go girl" somebody replied.

- love it.

Sliding Doors

As the tube train doors slammed shut and I frantically looked for the open doors button, which just didn't exist, Lee and I were separated. I couldn't help but remember Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors. It was no big disaster, i just got off on the next stop and waited for Lee to arrive on the next train, my mind boggled with the possibilities though. How was this little occurrence going to endlessly and drastically change the course of my life from now on. We wandered out of the tube station, looked at tower bridge, which didn't excite either of us very much then got back on the tube to Covent Garden. We wandered around for a while before going to have our picture taken outside Pineapple Dance Studios, which i had previously googled and drawn a map too. We walked down the side street, somewhat giddy and excited, but there was a crowd of dancers outside talking about ballet and such i would imagine. We didn't dare stop for a photo so we just slipped past taking a glimpse inside the door to the reception as we went. We spotted the annoying one, i can't even remember his name, the one who constantly tries it on with girls and fails, him. The one who walked into a girls changing rooms and offered them all environmentally friendly deodorants, the one who spelt everything wrong on a poster. Him. I could easily google it and find out his name, it would take less than the time it takes to write this sentence, but I'm not going to bother. We walked past and diverted back to Covent Garden. We didn't get a picture - the picture that should be sparkling atop this blog post. You'll have to imagine it. Our faces were like this - =D

I can't help but think if the doors had slid shut a few seconds later, Lee and I, would have probably seen, met, and danced with Louie Spence. Imagine that. Damn doors.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Playing it Straight

Controversy has recently risen over the Newsweek article claiming that gay men cannot act straight roles. The article has had an onslaught of negative response from the media and celebrity world alike - as it should. A comment that intolerant and downright preposterous is not only damaging to the gay community but also to gay actors. Whoever wrote such an article has clearly been watching T.V, theatre and film with their eyes closed. The guilty writer clearly hadn't done their research, Sir Ian McKellen is infinitely famous for his countless prosperous work of the immortal bard, not to mention every other big screen role he's graced. Glee has hit us hard in both the US and the UK, was it overlooked that Jonathan Groff plays a heterosexual character? The ever increasingly popular in America Neil Patrick Harris also fills our screens with his straight character role, David Hyde Pierce has been flaunting his faux straight relationships on Frasier every morning for as long as i can remember, and those are just the first that spring to mind. Russell Tovey, Gavin Creel, Rupert Everett, all play straight roles, the list goes on.

So why, dare I ask, has such an outrageous claim been made? Where's the proof, the reasoning? A sweeping generalization like that has no right to be published, in any publication, unless that publication happens to be BNP monthly - if that exists i'll kill myself.

The question that initially creeps into my mind is, if gays can't play straights, why can straights play gays? We've seen the likes of Will Smith, Robin Williams, Al Pacino and the late Heath Ledger all showing their affections for men on the screen. It's called acting Newsweek. If Newsweeks hypothesis is correct, which it blatantly isn't, why would they hire straight actors to act gay roles? The reason is because they fit the part. Actors are chosen to who better fits the part, it's that simple, sexuality has nothing to do with it. We even have men playing women and women playing men in the pantomime, and the Japanese regularly practise this in everyday theatre, so why oh why can a gay man not play a straight man?

I give up.

P.s Newsweek watch the program 'Playing it Straight' i think you'd be mortified to see a woman trying to chose the straight men from a group of men, half gay, half straight. I'm personally delighted that the contestants never get it right. How do they pull the wool of their eyes - Acting. End of.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Kylie! Kylie! Kylie!

Whereas in a lot of ways I do not fit into the typical gay stereotype, a lot of the time I do. Especially when it comes to Kylie Minogue. A friend of mine once said. “Cal, Cal, Cal. Stop being a gay stereotype for five minutes” when I mentioned my love for Kylie for one reason or another. So, to be sat at a desk 9-5 five days a week, in a job that constitutes a lot of Kylie based work, is a job I enjoy very, very much. Yes, I am only on work experience, and yes I only get paid £15 a day for it – which is great - I wasn’t expecting any pay, but compared to the gruelling, boring, mind-numbingly-dull retail work I have done in the past, it’s amazing. I’d take £15 a day of doing this, over £48 a day retail work any day of the week.

You see, not a day has gone by so far where I haven’t used the name Kylie. Whether it’s googling Kylie, looking for pictures of Kylie, writing about Kylie or talking about Kylie there’s always Kylie. When I was surveying the public about which MEN they fancied, Kylie cropped up repeatedly, when transcribing an interview with Gok Wan, there was a 30 second conversation about Kylie, and today, I was even told (not asked if I wanted to, told) to listen to Kylie’s new single ‘All The Lovers’ – Which is amazing. B-T-W.

So, why do gays love Kylie? Well, not all gays do. Today I approached the assistant editor and asked him a question. Within seconds the conversation turned to Kylie. “When I listen to her music, I just get this uncontrollable desire to dance! She makes me a bit crazy.” He told me with a smile. I replied. “Yeah, me too. I think that happens to all gays to be honest.”
“Not me. I don’t like Kylie.” Somebody chirped up behind me, to my disbelief, it was another gay.

Shock horror. A gay man who doesn’t like Kylie? *falls over with utter disbelief*.
Seriously though, why do I love Kylie? Well. My parents have always been big fans of Kylie, whenever my mother has had a few she will always say “Put on some Kylie.” and my father has always pretended to dislike it, but secretly like it. I vaguely remember when I was around ten, my Dad got a Kylie calendar as a gag gift and put it up inside his wardrobe. My Mum feigned jealousy, at least, I think that happened – I’ll have to check. Mother, you read my blog, comment and reiterate this story!

Anyway! I always remember that when I was young a lot of Kylie was played, and I remember my dad use to, and as far as I know still does, listen to Skunk Anansie – which today I found out have a lesbian lead singer – Did you know that Dad?

I digress. Although I’m sure my parents love for Kylie did somehow rub off onto me, that isn’t why I love her. The devastating period when she was diagnosed with cancer is when I became interested in her. I remember watching the documentary “White Diamond” and falling in love with the woman. It is a truly moving documentary, about a truly amazing woman, and it is for this reason she inspires me. Her compassion towards the gay community has always made me feel like I belong to something when I listen to her music. ‘I Believe In You’ famously played as the last song in G.A.Y speaks to all the gay people. I remember a scene in “White Diamond” where she and one of her gay best friends were sat on a bed taking silly photos of each other. It made me smile. I’ve watched several Kylie documentaries since then, and watched several dozen of her music videos. The earlier ones always intrigue me, no, not ‘The Locomotion’, which sadly does irritate me to tears, but everything else. Sadly though, and I blame this on the internet, downloading, and YouTube. I do not own any of her singles or albums. Nothing. I can guarantee I will be buying her new album though; I’ll be first in line at HMV!

So, that, to my friend who called me a gay stereotype for loving Kylie Minogue and also called her a "talentless sponge" is my response. You know who you are.

Back to my original point. I’ve enjoyed my first week of work experience immensely, a job that involves Kylie Minogue, topless men, and most importantly writing, is a dream come true. A job where, today I stumbled upon this homo-erotic censorship art, and instead of quickly clicking away before anyone saw, forwarded it to the assistant editor as a possible image for the Act Art 8 section of the events calendar.

Brilliant, eh’?

The Happiest Woman in The World.

I left work with a smile today. I had, had a good day. I had, had a good week. And it was the weekend; I had a lot to smile about. I went to the underground to get the tube back to my hotel and as I was waiting for my train the tannoy sounded out with the happiest woman I had ever heard. “Good afternoon everyone, it’s Friday, time for the weekend! I hope you all have a lovely weekend and I’ll see you all Monday. Wheeeeeeeeee it’s Friday. Thank goodness it’s Friday.” – I don’t know if this is normal, I don’t know if this happens every Friday on the underground, but it made me happy, and it made me laugh. Other people around me were laughing too, which suggests that perhaps it isn’t a regular occurance. I don’t blame the woman for being so happy, she sounds so pissed off in the mornings. “Southbound train terminating at Morden via Bank will be approaching the platform in one minute.” Having to say that over and over for hours must be painful, I don’t blame her for sounding like she might top herself. On a Friday afternoon she has the right to be the happiest woman in the world.

So I got onto the train and sat down, I usually stand up, but the terrible blisters on the soles of my feet were starting to get a bit too painful. I sit there with a half smile and fall into a day dream. After about five minutes the woman opposite looks at me with disgust. I look at her confused and realise that I have been inadvertently staring at her breasts for five minutes. I don’t know what to do. I could apologise, but I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I could tell her I was gay, but that would be inappropriate. (Though the man next to me was staring at a picture of Elton John surrounded by naked men for a little to long for a straight man). In the end I decided to carry on staring at her breasts with a daydreamy look on my face so that she would realise i was day-dreaming and not staring.. It just seemed to infuriate her more. She was not the happiest woman in the world.

Busy Boy

The oddest of things has happened to me within my short first few days in London. I seem to have developed an extremely camp walk. I’ve been walking very quickly to work, and up and down the streets doing surveys and such, and it seems to have put a slight swing in my hip. Being around gays all day surely hasn’t helped the matter much. I’m not sure whether or not I like my new walk, it certainly turns heads, but I’m not sure they are looking for the right reasons. As I was pondering upon this very thought on the walk back to my hotel a friendly smiling gentleman called out to me. “You walk very fast young man.” It hadn’t occurred to me how fast I was actually walking around. I was practically running. “I walk extremely fast” he continued, “but you, look, you’re practically taking over that cyclist.” I noticed I was tailing a nervous cyclist. I slowed a little. “You should be awarded a gold medal.”
“I’m a busy boy” I replied.
“I bet you are” he winked and I realised he was flirting. I’m not use to coming across gays on an everyday basis, and was quite shocked. “Can I walk with you?” he asked.
“If you can keep up” I replied, trying to walk to fast for him.
“Are you single” he asked with a curious smile that made me rather nervous.
“Nope” I said speeding away. He didn’t say anything after that, I was quite pleased. I got back to the hotel and kicked off my new Primark £5 canvas shoes. Shameful I know, but they’re rather nice (for Primark). As I looked down at them I realised I had worn holes in the soles of them. I’d only worn them twice. Maybe I ought to drop my new walk before it wears a hole in my pocket as well.

We found you an apple!

I learned a valuable lesson on my 4th morning in London. The night before I left my breakfast order hanging on the door so they would bring it up in the morning. Under the drinks section, there were the options.

- Orange Juice
- Tomato Juice
- Grapefruit Juice
- Glass of Milk

Now I know downstairs that they have apple juice as well, so I ticked orange juice and wrote above it. Apple if you have followed by a smiley face. At 7am there is a knock at the door so I answer, a smiling lady stands in the doorway holding a tray with my breakfast. I take the tray and notice they have given me orange juice, which I don’t mind. I start eating my breakfast when about ten minutes later there is another knock at the door. I answer and the same woman stands in the doorway. “We found you an apple!” she exclaims incredibly proud of herself. "We didn’t have any in the kitchen but we tracked one down, you see there is a fruit vendor just around the corner and..."
“Thanks.” I say really bewildered and take the apple. I put it on my breakfast tray and carry on eating my breakfast confused. I look down at my breakfast order and see. “Apple if you have :)”.

Oops. Lessons learned, next time i'll stick to the tick boxes.

I'm Pretty Damn Sure Neither George Clooney or Sean Connery are Israeli.

On my second day at work experience I got sent out to do some vox pops. Usually a job I would somewhat dread but when surveying the gay public, it’s a little more fun. The question I was sent out to ask was “Who is your embarrassing celebrity crush?”.
You would think it was a straight forward question but the amount of people who replied “Brad Pitt”, “I don’t understand” or “I don’t easily embarrass” was ridiculous. I hopped on the tube to Leicester Square and headed over to Soho, once there I paraded up and down Old Crompton street. I approached every other person I came across with my notepad and pen, nipped into a few gays bars, pubs and coffee shops and questioned everyone I could find. Almost everyone I spoke to was friendly, nice and genuine, however there were a few who weren’t that friendly. One person shouted back to me “Hell to the no girlfriend” when I politely asked him if he would mind answering a few questions. He minced away infuriated.

I found it extremely favourable to be overly flirtatious with everyone, and feign extreme shock when I asked for their age and they revealed it. “37? You!? No! 25 at the most. Are you pulling my leg?”. They would respond with a giggle and thank me, and then were more than happy to let me ask them as many questions as my heart desired. I got complimented many times myself too, half a dozen wolf whistles, hundreds of compliments of my ‘cute tie’ and just a few just in ear shot. “Ooh, he’s hot.” As flattering as it was, apart from the odd one or two men, they were all rather scary, ugly, or old. If one of them asked for my number I would have to quote my rude stranger friend and say. “Hell to the no girlfriend.” Luckily that didn’t come up… Well it did… once…

After about an hour and a half of walking up and down the road, an incredibly flamboyant 6’5 black transsexual minced out of a coffee shop and shouted from behind me, in the campest voice I have heard since my short lived trip to NG1. “Cute boy, oh cute boy!” I didn’t turn around, he could have been shouting to anyone. “Cute boy, cute boy in the shirt and tie.” I still didn’t turn around, there were a few boys in shirts and ties floating about. “Cute boy in the shirt and tie, Cute boy with the notepad.” Okay, I thought. He must mean me. I turned around with a smile. He charged over to me, “What are you doing my sweet, me and my friends have been watching your fine ass parading up and down this street for the past hour. Can I help you at all?”
“Oh” I began to explain. “I’m just doing a survey, if you wouldn’t mind answering a few questions that’d be great.”
“Okay” he smiled widely. “What kind of questions?”
“Well embarrassing celebrity crushes. Somebody a bit old, a bit young, someone who you know is ugly but you fancy anyway.”
“Oh lord no darling! Only prime meat for me. I only like the top of the range men. I tell you though, my friend Lorne is a sauce pot.” – he closed the garage door with both hands and threw back his head laughing. I smiled awkwardly. “She has a disgusting taste in men! Disgusting!”
“Oh but I can only survey men you see.” I told him.
“Lorne is a man” he laughed.
“But you said she… oh I see.” He rolled his eyes and grabbed me by the hand.
“Come with me”. He guided me into the coffee shop and dragged me over to a table full of raging queens. “Oh hi cute boy.” They all chorused together as if rehearsed. “Hi guys.” I said in an American accent for some reason.
“This is Lorne.” My new found friend from the street told me pointing to a smiling fellow with an insane diva hair cut. “Hi. Darrrling. Now what can I do for you?”
“Well I’m doing a survey; I need to know your embarrassing celebrity crush, if you have one.” Lorne smiled wickedly.
“Johnny Depp!” he exclaimed slamming his hands down on the table.
“Good, yeah, but a lot of people like Johnny Depp do you have anyone a bit more embarrassing?”
“Waiter, waiter!” he cried out unexpectedly, to which a group of waiters crowded around. “What can we do for you Lorne?”
“Help this boy! Help him!” So they did, they each gave me their embarrassing celebrity crushes and then went back to work. I thanked each of them and then turned back to Lorne. “Thanks for your help, nice to meet all of you.” I said to the whole table. They all smiled. Lorne then asked me for my number. I told him I was taken, not that I would be interested, just no. Seriously. No. He pretended to cry. I put my hand on his back and thanked him again and went to leave. As I opened the coffee shop door he cried out. “Stephen Hawking darling. Stephan Hawking.”
“That’s your crush?”
“Yes! Stephen Hawking!”
“Okay, thanks.” That’s the weirdest one I got. He then got up and dragged me back to their table and offered me a seat. I chatted to them for a few minutes and then Lorne announced his second name to me. “Brreel” he said. B, double R, double E, L.
“Right” I pretended to scribble it down.
“You don’t know what it means do you?”
“No?” I asked puzzled. The whole table laughed.
“Google it honey.” When I got home I did google it, and was really confused. I expected it to be some sort of twisted, disturbing sexual act, or something of that nature, but no, it was a data processing company. – Weird.

Truth be told I got some interesting results, but I could tell a lot of people were lying to me. If I took everything as truth then the result would be that 50% of the gay population of London are 18 year old gay porn stars who fancy Kylie.

One guy when I mentioned the magazine quickly got his card out and handed it to me as if I were important. I considered telling him I was just doing work experience but it was more fun to let him go on and on about his fashion designer career and how he could help me out with my shoots. My shoots? All those photo shoots I do. Tons!

Managed to get myself in a bit of a predicament too, we needed to photograph a few good looking young lads to go in the magazine with the results of the survey. Getting anyone to have there picture taken was a nightmare. One boy protested that his agent would fire him – which made no sense, the agent works for you. He got on the phone to his agent and asked permission. To be honest I think he just pretended to dial a number. He was an actor you see, actors are dramatic, gays are dramatic, what do you expect when you mix the two?

I found another good looking boy to photograph too, but he was sat with an extremely ugly friend. I couldn’t exclude his friend, that’d be incredibly rude. I devised the plan that I would photograph both of them, and delete the ugly person’s photo later. Shallow and a little bit nasty I know, but hey, what else could I do. I approached and my plan quickly back fired. “Hi, I’m looking to photograph a few good looking gay guys, would you be up for that? I also need to ask you a quick question.” The attractive one declined with apologies and told me his boyfriend would be none to happy, however the ugly one shouted up “I’ll do it, I’ll do it, I’ll do it.” To which I pretended to take photos of him. “The flash didn’t go off.”
“Oh sorry I’ll turn it on.” I took a picture of him and then deleted it.
“Can I see?” Oh for God sake. I pretended my phone rang, apologised and left with haste.

I approached one gentleman in a pub and when I asked his age he replied guess. The word I was dreading anyone said. “48?” I said. Clearly lying through my teeth. He chuckled heavily and said “No dear boy. I’m 70!”. To which I used my aforementioned feigned shock. I then went onto ask him the question. He seemed confused. “I don’t really follow celebrity culture. Can it be somebody from my country?”
“Yeah sure.” I answered. “Where are you from?”
“Okay.” He thought for a moment and then announced. “George Clooney. No, Sean Connery!”. I wrote it down and didn’t question it, but I’m pretty damn sure neither George Clooney or Sean Connery are Israeli.

When I asked one guy if he would have his photo taken he replied. “Naked?”
“No” I answered, just as you are.
“Oh, no thanks then” he declined and walked away.
“Could you answer a quick question for me then?” I asked politely.
“Fuck you darling. Fuck you.” He replied and stormed away. As I said, the gays can be over dramatic.

At first I didn’t make any assumptions and after asking for names, I asked if they were straight or gay. They all answered gay, as if it was a stupid question, so I stopped asking. The first person I approached after I stopped asking was straight. “Who’s your secret celebrity crush?” I asked.
“Cilla black.” He answered. I laughed. He remained straight faced. I dropped my laughter quickly at which point his girlfriend approached and kissed him.
“Thanks very much then” I said with a smile, as he walked away I put a big line through his name and wrote STRAIGHT next to it. I’m not discriminating, it’s just, well I suppose I am really. Sorry guys.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The Big Smoke

So, I arrived in The Big Smoke - that's London. My mother calls it The Big Smoke, I'm not sure if that's a real thing but that's what she calls it. I've never heard it called that before, but it fits; I guess. I really wanted to fill my blog day by day of my exciting daily accounts, and although I'm enjoying my time here immensely I cannot think of a button to write. I'm at work at the minute, you see, whilst I don't have a task set, I'm free to do as I wish. So i thought I'd scribble down this post. I'm on an apple mac and have no idea how to use one. I would love to know how to right click on one of these things, I really would. I'm reminded of my friend Grandma's life motto, no, not "Say yes to life", her less famous one. "When in doubt Apple macs".

So I'm here, well. The night before I came I was terribly ill, I hadn't been so ill since my appendicitis scare a week before my GCSEs - No spell checker, not gasses. GCSEs. Bloody thing - . I was violently ill, and didn't sleep AT ALL. Working in an office full of gays, is, as you might expect, every bit as fabulous as you might think. Friendly camp voices and smiles, and topless photo shoots every which way you look.

I'm not sure what else to tell you dear reader, to be honest, I'll be in touch soon.

I promise.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Why I Write

Hello reader - I was going to tell you about getting terrible blisters on my feet, walking home barefoot, and then getting carried up a hill by a rabble of drunken women. But I'm not going to, in fact, I just did. Instead I'm going to tell you why I write. Thinking back to a friend of mine who got up on stage in the SU bar to a room full of people to bear her soul by reciting her piece 'Why I Write' inspired me to not only ask myself that very question, but to try and answer it too. And what better a way to do so, if you would mind lending me your ear, I'm going to gnaw it off for the next few minutes. So. Why do I write? Why do I write my blog? Why do I write fiction? Why do I write articles and reviews? Well...

Everything I write seems premeditated in some way, the long walk to University, waiting somewhere for a friend, or a bus ride to visit a relative, all leave a vast ammount of space for thinking, and writing. I may not have a pen to hand but I'm writing inside my head, in fact, I wrote what I'm telling you now yesterday on the bus. The cogs and tiny spongey mechanisms encased within my skull have an inner working, something I cannot control. They thrive upon the English language, new words excite them and bad grammar infuriate them.

But why bother indulging myself with what you could say is, in the long run, inevitably pointless? Do I hope to make money from it? The simple answer is yes, yes I do. I would love to make money from writing, but that's not why I do it. The thought that somebody may stumble upon a piece of my writing, read it, and enjoy it is like devouring a bar of chocolate to me. The knowledge that I know a piece of my writing might make somebody laugh, cry or simply think "Oh that was interesting" fills me with an ecstasy that is somewhat uncontrolable.

It's nice to hear that friends enjoy my work, but the greatest pleasure is when a stranger reads your work, and then tells you they enjoyed it.

Some time back I had a facebook message, I opened it to find it was from somebody I had never heard of. They were appraising my piece of work in 'What We Wrote', it was a delight to hear. At first I thought that perhaps she was a friend of a friend or some distant relative. Turned out there was no connection, just a girl from Kent. I was extremely pleased to get the message, that may sound pathetic perhaps, but that's just me.

The most tragic of things that can happen is the loss of work, I have been halfway through writing something on my laptop before when it has decided to crash, it's a heartbreaking feeling. You can write it again but it never seems to be the same. Devastation hit me in the early months of this year when my harddrive decided to play the incredibly fun game of, let's make the screen bright blue instead of turning on. In a panicked trauma I paid PC world the hefty sum of £100 to restore all my writing. Hard on the pocket, but I'm glad I got it back - Phew!

One of the greatest pleasures I have endured this past year was a close friend of mine reading one of my short stories, I looked over to her and she had tears running down her cheeks. I asked her what was wrong and she simply replied. "It's just so sad". Is it terrible I'm happy I made my friend cry? Quite possibly.

The sense of ambition I have for writing is... well... to use an overly used cliché I have ambition on tap. I am Anne Hathaway in 'The Devil Wears Prada', I am Reese Witherspoon in 'Legally Blonde', I am Will Smith in 'The Pursuit of Hapiness'. I know what I want, well, for the most part, and I'll do it whatever it takes to get it.

As I write this I am growing overly concerned that it's not an interesting read, so I'm going to shut up now.

I usually end on a humorous comment of some sort but I'm fresh out of those... so.. I'll tell you a joke.

A lawyer and a blonde are sat side by side at the bar. The blonde has had one too many to drink and is falling asleep on the bar. The lawyer turns to her and says "Would you like to play a game?". The blonde looks at him puzzled and declines. The lawyer smiles and orders another drink. After he finishes his drink he turns to her again and says "I've got nothing to do tonight. Are you sure you don't want to play a game?". The blonde rolls her eyes and asks what the game is.
"It's simple. I ask you a question, if you don't know the answer I give you £5. Then you ask me a question and if I don't know the answer I give you £5." The blonde, although heavily drunk, knows better than to play such a game with a lawyer and kindly declines again. The lawyer orders another drink, drinks it, and then again asks the blonde if she would like to play a game. "Are you sure you don't want to play. What if I have to pay £50 and you have to pay only £5?". The blonde decides she will give it a go. She agrees. The lawyer thinks for a moment and then snaps his fingers. "Okay I have one. How many metres in a furlong?" The blonde rolls her eyes, opens her purse and hands the lawyer £5. She thinks about her question for a moment and then asks. "What has three hands in the morning, one hand at midday, and two hands at midnight" The lawyer thinks for a moment then takes out his laptop and begins searching for the answer. The blonde falls asleep. She is awoken an hour later by the lawyer. He hands her £50. She takes it happily. "So." the lawyer says frustrated. "What is the answer?" the blonde looks at him for a moment, takes £5 out of her purse, hands it to him, and falls back to sleep.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Chip and the Magic Key

We all read those incredibly simple books at school that helped us learn to read, the ones with the titles like "Chip and the magic key". Well today I was pondering upon what I would write if I were to try and concoct one of those deliciously exciting (Insert appropriate sarcmark here) stories.

I came up with a little something like this.

"I have a new ball" says Chip.
"It's a nice ball" says Sally.
"Would you like to play with it with me?" Chip asks.
"Yes I would" replies Sally. They see there friend Biff in the distance.
"Hello Biff!" shouts Sally.
"Hello" Biff replies. "I have some cake. Would you like some?"
"Oh yes. That would be nice." replies Sally.
"No thank you Biff, you see i had a brie, aubergine and jalapeño sandwich just five minutes ago." replies Chip.
"Oh I see" Biff answers. "I see you are following the new fad-diet"
"Indeed" replies Chip. "I am over the bulimia now you see."
"Ah, then all is well. I was wondering, just the other day, what your opinion on the proposal for the disetablishment of the Church of England was?"
"Oh well I would deem myself an antidisestablishmentarianismist for sure."
"I thought you might old chum. I thought you might. By the way, this has been bugging me all morning, do you remember the name for that protein, the one with 267 amino acids?"
"Oh yes, you mean MethionylglutaminylarginytyrosylglutamylserylleucylphenylalanylalanylglutaminylleucyllysylglutamylarginyllysylglutamylglycylalanylphenylalanyvalylprolylphenylalanylvalythreonylleucylglycylaspartylprolyglycylisoleucylglutamylglutaminylserylleucyllysylisoleucylaspartylthreonylleucylisoleucylglutamylalanylglycylalanylaspartylalanylleucylglutamylleucylglycylglycylisoleucylprolylphenylalanylserylaspartylprolylleucelalanylaspartyglycylprolythreonylisoleucylglutamiylasparaginylalanylthreonylleucylarginylalanylphenylalanylalanylglycylvalyltheonylprolylalanylglutaminylcysteinylphenylalanygllutamylmethionylleucyalanylleucylisoleucylarginylglutaminyllysylhistidylprolylthreonylisoleucylpriIylisoleucylglycylleucylleucylmethionyltyrosylalanylasparaginylleucylvalyphenylalanylasparaginyllysylgyycylisoleucylaspartylglutamylphenylalanyltyrosylalanylgutaminyllcysteinylglutamyllysylvalylglycylavlylaspartylserylvalylleucylvalylalanylaspartylvalyprolylvalylglutaminylglutamyllserylalanyprolyphenylalanylarginylglutaminylalanylalanylleucylarginylhistidylasparaginylvaylalanylprolylisoleucylphenylalanylisoleucylcysteinylprolylprolylaspartylalanylaspartylaspartylaspartylleucylleucylarginyglutaminylisoleucylalanyylseryltyrosylglycylarginylglycyltyrosylthreonyltyrosylleucylleucylserylarginylalanylglycylvalythreonylglycylalanylglutamylasparaginylarginylanylalanylleucylprolylleucylaspaaginylhistidylleucylvaylalanyllysylleucyllysylglutamyltyrosylasaraginylglycylphenylalanylglycylisoleucylalanylprolylaspartylglutaminylvalyllysylalanylalanylisoleucylaspartylalanylalanyglycylalanylalanyglycylalanylisoleucylserylglycyserylalanylisoleucylbalyllsylisoleucylisoleucylglutamyyylglutaminylhistidylasparaginylisoleucylglutamylprolyglutamyllysylmethionylleucylalanylalanylleucyllysylvalylphenylalabylvalylglutaminlylprolylmethionyllysylalanylalanylthreonylarginylserine"
"Of course! How could i forget."

Mum! Can you help me with my reading homework please!

- Oh and if you're wondering if that is in fact a word, it is, apparantly. The longest word in the English language at 1909 letters. Who knew?