Sunday, 15 May 2005

Failure

Click on the pic to see it properly.


Saturday, 14 May 2005

Ruminations of an Ageing Queen

I find myself in a strange, mildly depressive but also angry mood at the moment without even really knowing what triggered it. Some would say: typical attitude from a homosexual: enjoyment without responsibility!
My guess is this mood is due to a compound of an underachiever's complex and the fact that my body keeps on reminding me of my age.

The underachiever's complex is nothing new and is of course driven by some deluded (and apparently wide-spread) impression that life owes one something; which of course it doesn't (I blame the parents!). I am almost 31 and nothing to show for it. I have a Master's degree level of education and yet find myself being paid way below the average London salary (which is £30,984 according to the Guardian while Visit London breaks it down to about £21k pa for manual jobs and £42k pa for non manual jobs). This would be sort of ok if I liked what I do but I have one of the most boring jobs on earth (the sort where you are asked to leave you brain at home in the morning. No! I am not in the army any more.) and am therefore starved of intellectual nourishment. All of this is not, to say the least, conducive of a feeling of self worth and achievement. The worst point in all this, is that whatever I do, I don't seem to be able to take myself out of this mire. Extremely frustrating. Makes you want to wield the handbag sometimes!

As for the age thing, in my mind's eye, I still see myself as the strapping 22 or so year old I once was while my body is now over 30 and keeps bringing me back to a more realistic outlook. I have aches I never used to have, I am constantly tired, and I generally feel I am slowly starting to fall to pieces (which, in a way, I suppose I am). Hence a feeling of loss of control not suited to the piece of mind of the anal control freak that I am.

Yesterday, listening to Radio 4's Any Questions, I heard something about pensions and how people should start to realise that the onus is on them to provide for themselves once they have received their legendary gold watch. Due to the situation I describe in the paragraph above, I have of course no pension scheme other (even though I do have few savings). the future looks therefore rather bleak. Since then I find myself pondering quite coldly and rationally how to end my life when the times comes with as little trouble and pain as possible. My conclusion is that a drug overdose is probably the best way to proceed. Might even prove enjoyable.... The problem then is to procure the thing. I can see myself thirty years from now, balding and arthritic, donning my hoody and baseball cap (or whatever it is young poofs will be wearing in those days), avoiding Bluewater Shopping Centre of course, and dragging myself to the nearest club to try and score some dope... The thought!

Euthanasia (let's call the thing by its proper name) is not exactly a new concept for me, I have to say. Since my late teens I have more or less settled that I did not want to grow too old and waste away into vegetative decrepitude. Of course, humans being what they are, one usually get used to much more than one expected and I will probably be still there to enjoy the strong arms of that cute male nurse (I should be so lucky!!!) when nappy changing time comes at the Home in 60 year's time....



Friday, 13 May 2005

Saint John Paul II ?

This is simply outrageous! The Catholic Church, this self-appointed pillar of morality against the so-called "culture of death" pandering to the celebrity worship culture. Beatification and Canonisation are normally very lengthy processes, which can take decades. Miracles are required. At a time when the catholic Church is finally starting to be called into account and has this huge image crisis, they suddenly decided to yield to public demand (John Paul II actually said that the Church was/is not a democracy!!!) and give this already highly mediatic pope the highest proof of stardom they can come up with. In my mind they are simply trying to capitalise on the wave of sympathy created by the death of the previous pope before it cools off. Petty!



Squid or the Broken Mechanics of Brief Encounters

My Friend the Designer (I will call him MFD from now on, I think) is not happy. He read yesterday's post and he thinks I should not describe myself as having a "lanky frame and eagle-like physiognomy". He says I should go for "squid-like" instead! Private joke apart, he believes I am too hard on myself and that I am neither lanky or burdened with an aquiline noise. I say he needs glasses!

We discussed all this yesterday evening and we quickly launched into a discussion on the mechanics of brief encounters. It is very much springtime for MFD at the moment and he is feeling full power of that vivifying sap flowing through his veins. In short he has been a bit of a tart (with a bike, not with a cart. Sorry, another private joke) for that past month or so (and he won't thank me for this...). Now, it is all very well to be feeling this way but it takes (at least) two to alleviate the itch. My theory (which I explained to him) is that there are three basic criteria for an "itch-scratching session" to happen. First you need to meet like-(one track)-minded people; ie guys who are into sex with other guys. Second, you need to fancy the guys you meet and third they need to fancy you back.

Now I understand that you might be able to schoomze your way in the third part of the deal and that perhaps one might close one’s eyes and think of England as regards the second but it seems to me that the first stage is completely independent of one's volition. I have already hinted at this in a previous post: I personally don't even manage the first criteria. MFD and I agreed that we meet approximately the same number of people in our daily lives but none of those I meet seem particularly homosexual to me. How come it is happening so often for MFD?

Then there is the fact that I am so picky. Although I do manage to find some strangers I see in the street attractive, I can safely say that there is no one in the people I know I could see myself yearning for.

Finally, the third point. Any one who knows me a little will testify that I have radars for eyes: when I am in a public space, I keep on watching people, men to be specific. If anyone did look back at me I would be pretty certain to notice them doing so. That very rarely happens.

In the end, as ever, my questions remain unanswered. MFD will happily carry on his prurient life and I will miserably carry on my spinstery life….


Thursday, 12 May 2005

Hot Stud Moi

This morning I had an email in my inbox from someone who saw my Gaydar profile and apparently liked what they saw.

I have had this profile for about four years now and in all that time have met only a couple of people through it. In all cases nothing that went much further than an initial rendez-vous and a few emails. And although the profile is active, I have not used it for ages. On the profile visitors can find a picture of a giant frog sculpture taken at Sydney airport and a couple of pictures of Super Dupont with the caption: "Ugly toad or French super hero?".

The sheer amount of members on the site coupled with the fact that I hardly ever log in, mean that nobody usually looks at my profile. It was therefore rather a surprise to receive this email, especially when it contained such undying line as:
"I vote sexy french super hero.You are one hot stud."

Ok, I admit, this does feel rather nice. BUT! "Sexy" I have been called before (although I am not sure with what degree of irony), however "hot stud" is not the sort of phrase that come to mind when one thinks of my lanky frame and eagle-like physiognomy. I have also been contacted in the past from such sites by people who had obviously not read my profile and therefore were barking up the wrong tree or by, well, let's put it bluntly: mingers!

Access to Gaydar is blocked at work for reasons which will be obvious to anyone who has ever visited the site, so I have no clue as to what my admirer looks like; let alone where his interests lie and what his personality is like. He will probably be another one of those 50 year olds I seem to attract so much; probably out of shape, hairy and with fading tatoos, into clothes pins, spanking and rubber boots or something like that... I know this is the idea of bliss for some people but I am unfortunately not one of those.

Life would be so much more enjoyable for me!!!

---Update---
I sent a friend who has access to Gaydar on the trail and here is the preliminary report. (doesn't sound too bad, except perhaps for the English...)

"no pic, but he's apparently muscular, black. is 33.
But only 5ft.7 and has problems with written English by the looks of it:

"Blk male always horney lokking for good times with other horneyguys masculine versatile guys into having fun""


Mmmmmmm...



Wednesday, 11 May 2005

International Day Against Homophobia

I have just received the following email from my Reading Group's website.


Please support the International Day Against Homophobia by signing the petition on www.petitiononline.com/idaho.

Please pass this information to anyone you think may be interested.

Thank you,
Derek Lennard.
International Day Against Homophobia.

I have to admit I am a little weary of the fact that they have decide to go for something negative (ie against homophobia) rather than in support of something positive but since every little helps and since my point of view is probably only that of a Londoner who is lucky enough to have very little contact with homophobic behavour, I would like to invite to both sign the petition and pass the link to your contacts.

Thanks.



Monday, 9 May 2005

Thoughts From Under The Sea.

Read the first part of this post.

Saturday 07 May (afternoon)

I am in the Tunnel, on the Eurostar again, on the journey back to London. The week has gone quite quickly but I am eager to be home. It will be five years in July that I have left France and I am starting to feel really disconnected with France. I was more interested with the results of the general elections than with what was happening on the news in France. In my first few years in the UK, I tended to try and dissociate myself as much as possible from all things French; this trip has shown me that I have perhaps grown more relax in this respect. Perhaps this is due to my being actually more remote than I have ever been. On the whole I am quite pleased to have been there during the past week and I enjoyed Dijon particularly, which (as I was well aware but perhaps refused to acknowledge too loudly) is a charming little city. Of course it will never compete with London for me and I am more sure than ever that I would not be able to go back and bury myself there again.

The first few days I spent working on a brochure I am producing on the history of a local church. The research and writing up have been done years ago but this week I took pictures of the church and put together a new lay out for the whole thing. I am quite chuffed with the final result although My Friend the designer will probably want to change it all…

On Wednesday, I went to Dijon to do some shopping and I had a walk around; taking a few touristy pictures and noting the changes both in the town where I was born and later I lived for almost seven years and in me. It does not seem to have changed much and the then slowly flourishing gay scene has shrunk back to one bar tucked away in a quite street behind closed doors. I think the major interests of those trips to where one has grown up is to take stock of how much one has grown and how far one is gone. Always a gladdening experience for me, as I tend to forget how much my life as improved in recent years, bogged that I am in daily monotony and frustrating immobility.

On Thursday, although I am more and more uneasy with Catholic Church and its teachings, I did my duty as a godfather and attended my god-daughter’s communion. I had not seen her since she was two or three. She is now eleven. A bright young girl, sometimes really forth coming, at other times, shy and reserved as if under the weight of her mother’s domination. I was surprised how keen she seemed to meet and know me (although we did not make much progress in this department). If somehow we manage to get in touch regularly, the next few years might prove interesting…

On Friday, I spend the day at my former best friend’s home, in a tiny village lost in the middle of nowhere (I even got lost trying to get there), where she lives with her husband and two young kids. One of our common friends with whom I seem to reconnect directly each time, however long it has been, was there too. It was good to catch up although as usual when several people are there, it is not as thorough as it could be otherwise. Once again I was surprised at how forth coming and unafraid kids can be.

As I was leaving my parent’s home for the station, I went to say goodbye to my own godmother (my father’s sister who lives across the street) and she regaled me with one of her sermons on how I should not do like my parents, and try and meet a nice girl soon and start a family. I think she is genuinely worried that I will end up my life alone (which I probably will) and, more to the point, actually waste it by not fulfilling every man’s dream and ambition to procreate and leave kids behind him. Yuk!

I am in the Tunnel. I am tempted to say that this could also be a metaphor for my life. Hopefully the light is not too far away. There is a whole as yet unfinished post in my Drafts telling of my frustrations with life and how useless I feel, and how little I have achieved. I might finish and publish it one day; for the moment I want to bask for a while longer into the glow of the feelings brought on by this journey. Although I am not at the point I was the first time I came back from a visit to France (feeling like skipping and whistling on my way to buy lunch the day after my return), I am certainly in a jubilatory mood.

Update
I have been told that I have gone native again after a week in France. Apparently my accent has come back much more strongly. I did find it a bit difficult to write the post above too and to be honest I am not exactly satisfied with it. Hopefully things will come back to normal soon.



Sunday, 8 May 2005

Didn't You Think He Looked Familiar?



Home From Home?

It is all shrunk! Or have I grown again? It wasn’t like that last year. When I walked into my parent’s kitchen, back in France, last Sunday afternoon, it was not the right size; not the size I remembered it anyway. The rest of the house seemed more or less fine though. I felt like Gulliver in Lilliput. And a rather strange journey it had been too.


The train journey to Paris had gone fine and is not really worth dwelling upon. Soon after departure, I had open my laptop and switching on I-tunes had started to read the script of the next Chorus’ show in details. I am now (since the elections) in charge of promoting the thing and I have worries about its content and the appeal it will have to the wider audience we need to fill the venue three times (that’s 2400 people to attract). Anyway, I felt really chuffed to be able to use my laptop on the train and to be able to listen to my music. I-tune, by turning my PC into this jukebox, has given me new appreciation of my music. Sounding like a kid talking about his new toy, I would say it is like a radio but better. You do not have to worry about changing CD and what you will be listening to next (and considering my eclectic tastes in music, the next think could be almost anything!), just as wonderfully, this radio channel has no advertising breaks in its schedules and plays only music you like… what more can one ask?

Why is this bag so heavy?

The transfer from Gare du Nord to Gare du Lyon was also quite painless. I managed not to take the metro in the wrong direction this time, as I have been known to do on previous occasions, ending up in banlieue (the suburbs) before I new it because the train was a fast one with fewer stops. I had an hour and a half between the two trains and I had to sit in the station for a while, feeling exotic munching on a packet of Walkers salt and vinegar crisps (a flavour no one would dare to dream up in France) and watching the men walk by. The weather is having one of its now frequent mood swings and it feels like summer in France at the moment, everyone dressing accordingly of course…. Nice!

Perhaps my gaydar is out of order or in need of tuning but I must say I spotted disconcertingly few of my fellow poofs. It was nice to think, however, that, in another part of town, some of the members of the Chorus were already there, ready to take part in Various Voices in a few days time.

How easy must life be for a pigeon trapped in a train station. You just have to look to find all sorts of food on the floor. Like it grows there or something.

The second leg of my journey (Paris to Dijon), proved more awkward than the first. When I got on the train, the only available baggage rack was already full. The other one had been replaced by a huge, and probably much more profitable, vending machine. My seat was on the first row after the door. As I was checking my ticket, I notice that the guy in the row in front was reading a magazine with an ad showing a male torso with that extra something telling me it was not directed at your average straight guy or even girl. Sure enough: heads turned to see what was that tall dark presence looming. Target locked!

At first glance I thought that my neighbour was one of us too. Dressed with a crisp pink shirt, tanned, and with a gold ear ring, he would not have looked out of place in a gay bar. His “I would have preferred a girl” as I sat next too him, proved once again that my gaydar needed tuning. I tried to make a good humoured answer to this. As I was going to discover during the hour and forty minutes of the journey, it turned out that the guy was straight (“I have a girlfriend and she would not like me saying that I would have preferred a girl.”). During the course of a rather intermittent and confused (as well as confusing) logoreah, I also found out the guy worked for one the cités universitaires on the Campus, had just attended a “dame” world championships in Brussels, had done several marathon all over the world (which gave him a runner’s mental strength to face life) and that he had a problem with the way girls dressed these days. Although I was trying to discourage him but making very short answers and even by taking out a book, he insisted on telling that he had actually been, wrongly, accused of rape by one of the students where he worked. Although he “didn’t know me”, he told me how he had been convicted and had gone to jail and how his “directrice” had supported him together with his mum and his running mates. Followed a few considerations on the cruelty of life and the unfairness of the justice system. I must say I was rather relieved when the train arrived and I exchanged a meaningful look with one of the guys in front who had obviously had the benefit of the whole conversation, together with a good number of the other passengers, I should think.