Saturday, 30 July 2005

Curiosity Will Probably Kill The Cat

When I look at the statistics for who visits my blog (note, I am not using the word "read"), I am being told that I get about 40 visitors per week. Half of this will be me check that everything looks ok after a post. I am aware of a handful of persons who regularly come to this blog mostly, I suspect, out of politeness because I asked them to. The rest is a mystery to me.
When I lie awake at night a maelstrom of questions whirls dizzyingly in my heated mind: Why do people read this blog? How did they find out about it? What makes them come back to it? What is their the interest in this mish-mash of random cerebral dribble? Are they really that bored at work? Can they blame their star sign for coming here? Who should be Dennis's best man? Is the Earth really round? I mean: really. And finally, quel est l'age du capitaine?

I am expecting answers from you lot, and that includes the people I know about. Please reply not on a postcard but by hitting comments. If you only fancy saying hello, it is fine with me too...

Thanks in advance in case their is no-one to thank, after.



Friday, 29 July 2005

From One Conflict to the Next

I have just read this about the IRA's declaration to stop their armed campaign. Yes, it is great news. Yes, it is probably a historical move. Yes it is something we should all rejoyce in and support.

A couple of years ago, I had the privilege of performing with the Chorus in Belfast's Waterfront Studio. It was part of our tour of the Bristish Isles. We had performed to a sold out National Concert Hall in Dublin the night before. The venue was smallish and almost half-empty. What made all the difference and makes this gig one of my strongest memories with the Chorus (stronger than singing at the Sydney Opera House with 500 other chorists or at the QEH several times) was that outside the venue, there was a bunch of 20 or so demonstrators calling themselves Christians Against Sodomy (I have actually blogged about this before).

Those people or their friends were after Belfast's Pride Parade recently; calling for it to be banned. Last year they had created a website which URL mirrored closely the offical one for the parade.
An email was circulated recently asking people to email the Parade Commission in support of Pride and thankfully sense seems to have prevailed: Pride will now go ahead.

The worrying thing here is that since the inter-religious conflict has lost momentum in the past few years, belligerent instincts in the province seem to have shifted onto minority groups: ethnic minorities (which are truly minorities over there) are not in a happy position at the moment. And of course Gay people are under attack too with homophobia reaching an
all time high
. Attacks on people and their homes are happening more and more frequently something the main stream media do not seem very eager to report or the politicians to tackle. As ever, should we add...



Thursday, 28 July 2005

Still Relevant!

"[...] Religion is a sublime and glorious thing, the bonds of society on earth, and the connector of humanity with the Divine nature; but there is nothing so dangerous to man as the wresting of any of its principles, or forcing them beyond their due bounds: this is of all others the readiest way to destruction. Neither is there anything so easily done. There is not an error into which a man can fall which he may not press Scripture into his service as proof of the probity of [...]"

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of A Justified Sinner, (1824), James Hogg, The Cresset Press, 1947, pp 119-120.

I am the proud owner of the 1947 edition of this book which has an introduction by André Gide. This is what, together with the title, I must confess, originally attracted me to the book when I saw it in my favorite second hand bookshop. It turns out to be a good hunch on several levels. I bought my copy for £3. Abebooks shows some people are ready to pay as much as £45 for one.

More importantly, I am rather enjoying the book. It seems all rather serious but the hints of the gothic that pepper the novel and its light hearted tone make it is a surprisingly good read for an early 19c novel which, let's face it, can often be a bit dour. The style, although slightly archaic, is also very powerful and energetic. It has a very contemporary feel to it, strangely enough. Just as contemporary, in view of the recent bombings in London, is the criticism made by the book of religious extremism and of how religion can so easily get out of hand. Something should also be said about its unusual structure. The book is divided in two parts. First what is called The Editor's Narrative which basically tells us the big picture from an outside perspective. The second part are The Private Memoirs and Confessions themselves where we get into the protagonist's head.

Having just read Under The Skin by Michael Faber, having just seen Morven Callar and thinking about Ian Banks' Wasp Factory, I have been wondering what it is with Scottish writers and by extension the Scotts that make them come up with sucweirdrnarrativeses. The lack of sunlight? What I took for a modern, slightly trendy streak seems to be part of much longer tradition than I expected. This books telling the story of a religious extremist who thinks he can sin in all impunity because he is amongst God'chosenen, a forefather of the above mentioned, doesn't do much talleviatete my concern for the Caledonian psyche.
A very unusual piece of work even by modern standards; worth checking out if only for curiosity's sake.

Full text available here.


Tuesday, 26 July 2005

Done For Now

Yesterday was my birthday. I am now 31! And to celebrate I decided I would be ill!

It had been a very busy week-end with the three performances of You'll Do For Now finally taking place after five months of hard work. This all went fantastically well and I am inclined to say that this was probably the best performance the Chorus has ever put on! The feedback from the audience was tremendous with (like after every big show) some very moving stories which remind us that we are more than just entertainment and give even more value to what we do. I will only quote from what our signer sent us about what happened to him on Sunday:


"After the interval [...] a woman approached the stage and asked me in Sign Langauge what my name was [...]. She was in her 70's and had come along with her friend and her husband, both the same age. I asked her who she knew in the chorus and she replied that they knew nobody. I asked her if she had a gay son or friend who had brought them and she responded by telling me that she didn't know anyone gay and that she had seen the concert advertised on the "deaf" page of teletext as being BSL interpreted and they had nothing to do and thought they may come. Her friend's husband, she said, had NEVER been to the theatre before. This was the first time he had been to the theatre to see any kind of show (the truth is, that is rather a common experience for many older deaf people, it is only relatively recently that theatres have thought about access and put on signed performances). They were blown away and she said that her friend's husband was (and i have to search for the nearest spoken English equivalent word here) "spellbound." She said she didn't know anything about gay people before the show."


This, along with the other (more usual) stories of gay people finding a new pride in being who and what they are thanks to seeing us, makes me very proud indeed to be part of the London Gay Men's Chorus.

Read more about the show from another Chorus blogger:
Show Minus One Day
It's Show Time
Show no2
You'll Do For Now

After Sunday's show and before the Chorus goes on holiday for a month, a party had been organised for the members at Barcode. This was both and enjoyable and quite interesting event. Everybody had a great time and the DJ (probably on request) played some of the songs we had been performing in the show with got eveybody singing along. One of the Tenor 1s had his boyfriend over for the States to see the show. At some point the boyfriend gathered the Tenor 1 section in one corner and thanked us for the support we had been giving to Scott, saying how important we had become for him. Then he proceded to say that although the theme of the moment was "you'll do for now", Scott would do for ever for him before whipping out a ring and presenting it to Scott under the screams and applause of all witnesses.

There were also several couplings between members, some of them rather unexpected. One of the readers of this blog also got (quite literally) whisked off his feet. It was funny to see him who describes himself as uptighly British being manhandled by his new beau. I hope it all goes well for the two of them. As I have told you already, I am very pleased for you, R. ... ;O)

The party finished at 12 and I was soon home, drunking lots of water to compensate all that dance induced sweating I had subjected myself to. This did not seem to prove enough as I woke up the next morning at about 6 feeling feverish and with a bad headache. A serious case of dehydration, which despite the 6 litters of water I drank, kept me under the weather all day. I am still feeling a bit rough as I write. I spent most of the day vegging and drowsing on my bed only going out for my weekly cultural outing to Tesco and later in the evening to meet up with MFD. We went to Lorelei where I was given two presents. Just before getting to the restaurant, I saw TCS who had obviously been on a shopping trip. I don't think he saw me however.

During the day I also received a few emails wishing me a happy birthday or a joyeux anniversaire as the case may be. I had a few more this morning. Including one from someone I don't know but who somehow get linked to my plaxo address book. Probably a friend of a friend... who knows! There was also an e-card from DH which gave me great pleasure. I have known him for about 8/9 years I guess. he was the first true friend I made online. I was spending hours on the net at the time, mostly chatting with strangers on ICQ. We became great friends and he even made it once from Brussels where he lives to Dijon where I lived at the time (that must have been in 1999). This is the only time we actually met. Soon after we started to loose contact for some reason which is a great shame. In his e-card, DH tells me he has just subscribed to this blog. Here is to you DH:

Thanks you very much for the card. I hope things are well with you and I really wish we could get back in touch properly... xxx



Wednesday, 20 July 2005

YOU WILL FAIL....

...because of things like this:





Thursday, 14 July 2005

Born Gay

An interesting article from Tuesday's Times on how people are born with their sexual orientation and nothing can therefore be done about it.

Born Gay


London united in defiance of terrorist attacks

A press release from the Mayor of London forwarded to me by a friend. Am not feeling to well at the mo but I might be there tonight...



Mayor of London

news release

Office hours: 020 7983 4070
Out of hours and weekends: 020 7983 4000
www.london.gov.uk

GLA/2005/331

Monday 11 July 2005

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LONDON UINTED IN DEFIANCE OF TERRORIST ATTACKS

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, said: 'On Thursday 14 July London will remember all of those who died last Thursday and show its defiance of those who try to change the character of our city through terror.

'At noon millions of Londoners will observe two minutes silence. Every bus in the city will stop, businesses will stop and I want everyone who can to come out of their workplaces and homes onto the streets of London to remember those who died and to show their complete defiance of the terrorists.

'At 1pm books of condolences will be opened in Trafalgar Square for all Londoners and visitors to the city to sign throughout the day.

'At 6pm Londoners are invited to a vigil in Trafalgar Square to remember those who died, to show that London will not be moved from our goal of building an open, tolerant, multi-racial and multi-cultural society showing the world its future and to thank the heroes of the transport and emergency services who saved so many lives last Thursday.

'The vigil is organised by my office with the Trades Union Congress and representatives of London’ s different faiths and communities. There will be readings and poems by prominent Londoners, different communities and from London's representatives of the city's transport and emergency services.' ENDS

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Press information is available from Ben McKnight on 020 7983 4071

GENERAL PUBLIC/NON-MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Call the Public Liaison Unit at the Greater London Authority on 020 7983 4100

DUTY PRESS OFFICER: For out-of-hours media enquiries, please call 020 7983 4000



------------------------------------------------
Benjamin McKnight
Senior Press Officer - Community & Culture

Mayor's Press Office
Greater London Authority
City Hall
The Queen's Walk
London SE1 2AA

t: 020 7983 4071
m: 07881 501 920

www.london.gov.uk



Tuesday, 12 July 2005

All Quiet on the West End Front

Since last Thursday, londoners have a new excuse in their extensive arsenal to give when they are late at a meeting or an appointment of some sort: "The roads were block because of a security alert."

Everywhere you hear about how londoners are resilient and resolute in carrying on with their lives (some people even attribute this to Britishness (I think I did just that myself on here at some point), which is probably not quite true considering how unbritish/ cosmopolitan London actually is). On Friday as if nothing had happened, I met up with MFD in Charing Cross and we had one of our usual evenings on the town. The two police vans waiting outside the station and the helicopter hovering over our heads were an obvious reminder of what had happened. Another reminder is the very frequent sound of sirens although their fequency seemed to have diminshed already in the last two days. Apart from that Trafalgar Square looked very much how it usually does. Pigeons milling and tourists flocking.

Still there was something odd about it all. I discussed this with MFD who agreed but neither of us could really pin point what it was. MFD said it was the same atmosphere as during the IRA bombings. I wasn't there, so wouldn't know. My feeling as far as I could discribe it was that London felt unreal, that the city was the same without being the same. I can't say either if this was coming from me or if there was really something different in the air. With hind-sight I think it was probably me as the feeling soon disappeared. We had our usual walk around and ended up in a lovely, kitsch, little italian restaurant we had noticed the week before: Lorelei on Bateman Street in Soho. Things are back to normal.

Almost. On saturday I had a meeting with the Chorus' Steering Committee in Stoke Newington, which meant crossing central London northward (I live near Elephant and Castle). Transport for London's journey planner had informed me I had basically two bus routes to get where I wanted to go. I very rarely use the tube thanks to the very good bus services to and from where I live. One option was through Waterloo and Aldwich, the other through London Bridge. As the second one looked to be the most direct one, I took a bus in that direction. 5 min up the road, the bus was stopped. There was a security alert in London Bridge Station and the bridge was closed even to pedestrians. So much for the direct route. To top it all, I had forgotten my mobile, so had to walk back home (15/20 min walk) and then embark on the other route. Thankfully thinks went smoothly on this one but I was about 30 min late.

Last night, like every monday evening, was rehearsal night for the Chorus. Like every monday, I made my way across town to Camden Town where our rehearsal venue is. Once again I did not go very far without trouble. As the bus rounded the Imax cinema outside Waterloo station, we discovered that Waterloo Bridge was closed to traffic (although, interestingly not to pedestrians coming for the north bank). My bus embarked on a free tour of London, from Blackfriars Bridge all the way to King's Cross, nowhere near its usual route until we reached Euston Station. Discussing this by text message with MFD, I learnt that there had been a security alert in Whitehall. Once again I was late.

This particular trip allowed me to have a quick look at the places where the bombings happened. King's Cross looks pretty much as it usually does, lots of traffic and lots of people going about the business. The two major differences, as far as I could see from my bus are the TV crews doted about the area and the small memorial garden on the side of the entrance to the station where people have left flowers, flags and other mementos. There seems to be book of condolences too.

The street where the bus exploded and which my bus to rehearsal normal uses is still closed. It is blocked by a big white screen behind which the forensics seems to be working none stop helped by the glare of spot lights at night. Security checks restrict access to the screen.

Other than those minor inconveniences, more annoying than anything else, all is quiet on the west end front.



Finally a small dish of food for thought (in the first page of the article anyway).



Friday, 8 July 2005

The Cute Steward - Update

Yesterday's events should of course put all this into perspective but human beings are made in such a way that their small problems will always be more portentous than others' big miseries. Today I am not feeling the usual dejection. I am simply feeling very sad and like I don't want to be either at work, nor at home, nor anywhere else.

You may remember that last Saturday, at Pride, I met this rather cute guy who caused some strange stirrings within me.

On Monday I texted him and got no reply. This made it pretty clear to me that he was not interested but I got talked into calling him by MFD. I did so on Tuesday evening. His phone must have been switched off because I got to his voicemail directly where I left a rather pityful message along the lines of: "Hi, this is Zeforg, wondering if you are ok. I'll talk to you later... maybe". This, of course, did not occasion any more reaction on his part than my earlier text so that I now know for sure that despite what I imagined to be some sort of connection, he is not interested at all, not even in a friendship. My reaction, since I like clear situations and possibly to have the last word was to come up with another (final) text message which would go: "Am sorry you are not interested :O( would have liked to know you better as I think we'd get on well. Good luck in what you do... Nx". I haven't send that...yet.

Last night I had a long conversation with MFD who, from what I can gather, was playing devil's advocate and tried to lure me into deciding to ring TCS again next week. He did not seem to understand my point of view that having asked for his number, texted him and rung him, I thought it was TCS's turn to make a step in my direction and evince some sort of interest. I am interested in him but not to the point that I would start stalking him without the slightest inkling of receprocity.

The situation now is that I have decided to give up on TCS (not that there is anything to give up on). I have deleted his details from my phone's address book although I still have the above "seperation" text at the ready in my draft folder. I now know that nothing is going to happen in that department but that doesn't stop me from being very disappointed. As mentioned above, I am feeling very much out of sorts today and have been for most of the week. The difficult part of this whole episode for me is the fact that I do not understand why nothing happened, that there is no rational explanation to this rejection. Of course the obvious reason is that he did not feel about me the way I felt about him. This is not the sense of the vibes I seem to have caught on that half day we spent together however but there you go.

Whatever it is that happened (or didn't happen rather) here, and as explained in an earlier post on this, hopes were awakened to no avail and I now have to sooth them back to sleep. There are also my old issues of social inadequacy and lack of appeal which needs to be dealt with... yet again.

Is it my fault? Am I doing something wrong? If so what is it and how can I correct this? Most importantly: Why bother? To quote the lyrics of Men, Horrible Men, a song from Calamity Jane, the musical, which I sang with the Chorus a couple of years ago: "You can call off the minister, I'll be a spinister!"



Thursday, 7 July 2005

London Bombings - My Tuppence's Worth

I wasn't going to blog about this but on the bus, on the way home from work, looking outside the window, I slowly got thinking about the events of this extraordinary day.

I first heard that something unusual had happened through one of the BBC's news alert emails I receive from time to time. I did not pay much attention to it to be honest as it mention that the "bangs" in the Tube were due to a power surge. A bit later MFD emailed me saying that a bus had been "ripped appart"! Now, no power surge on the Tube can do that!

Very quickly the story started to enfold and I sent an email to all users at work telling them of what I knew before going to another office and discuss things. They already had a radio on when I got there and we quickly decided to go to the conference room to watch the news on TV. As can be expected so early after the event, they weren't saying much and were basically repeating the same thing over and over between interviews with people who had not got a clue and would have been better inspired to have refused the interview.

I decided to go back to my desk and, despite the recent interdiction in the office, switched my phone's radio on. All morning, events reached me through the airwaves, the internet and emails. Although I could recognise on the tv footages the street where the bus had been blown up (I use it at least ones a week), the "incident", as internal emails kept calling the blasts, could have been happening in a different dimension.

At lunch time, the weather tuned itself to the general mood and it is under a fine drizzle that I made my way to get some lunch. I took a bus as usual. Although my place of work is fairly far south of Central London and the locations of the attacks, the buses, which are usually packed, offered free seats. Even the supermarket was not as busy as usual with cashiers waiting for punters where one usually have to queue. There were also slightly more sirens rushing past than usual but on the whole nothing so dramatically different that someone ignorant of the situation would have noticed that something unusual had happened.

Finally it was time to go home. By then the buses which had been cancelled in Zone1 were working again and I had an uneventful journey. Squeaky clean mormon prozelites with their crisp white shirts were chatting to people as if nothing had happened. The smelly old black men and the young hoodies and teenage mothers were there too. Again, the only difference was slightly more space than usual.

Of course the Tubes are still not working and many people will have to take buses or even walk to get home tonight and those people who are usually underground at this point will be greeted on this day of destruction and death by possibly the nicest, most lively face London can offer.

This brought to my mind the thought that however despicable today's attack was, it was more significantly useless.

The whole business feels strangely disorganised and amateurish with a stricking lack of ambition in the result sought. Considering that the attacks took place in one of the biggest capital cities in Europe, at rush hour, the damages could have been much greater than one bus blown up, and three trains damaged. As I write, 37 people have been reported dead. There again, it could have been much worse!

As I was nearing home, I was thinking, probably in my usual callous misanthropist way, that had the terrorist gone for something symbolic, like a landmark building, the wound would probably have been deeper as londoners (I) would have resented the city being damaged more.

In the end, I don't think today's events are going to have much of a strong lasting impact. Certainly not the one the terrorists were hoping for.

As MFD writes, London has seen much worse than that over the years and if anything is going to result of all this, it is a rallying of the famous British spirit against adversity.

Already things are going back to normal. People at work were exchanging emails to give each other lifts home. Friendships might/will spring out of this. I am sure that similar situations are happening all over London.

Despite their bragging, the terrorists have not only missed their goal, their action has clearly been counter-productive from their point of view (it is incidentally interesting to note the language used in the first paragraph of the statement, which, ironically, speaks of peace and compassion... ).



Tuesday, 5 July 2005

Misery Cocktail

When I am tired I often feel mildly depressed. The good thing about today is that I can blame this feeling of depression to something else than just low sugars. First there is what happened this week-end (see previous post).

Taking part in the Pride parade is always a very empowering thing for me. The knowledge of a job well done as a steward helps that feeling. This year was no exception. In addition to the fact that I had been "promoted" and managed to pull it off reasonably well, I hope. Due to my social inadequacies, I was slightly worried as to how to relate to my team. The other problem I was anticipating was using of the radio used by the stewards to communicate between themselves. I am not very good at processing sounds (there is a name for that I think) and sometimes have problems understanding what I am told as a result. The quality of transmission on those radios is truely appalling and is made worst by the fact that people generally talk very quickly and without articulating much. Still despite moments where I could not concentrate on listening any longer, I pulled it off. After that there was the Chorus' stall where things went resonably well, considering that I had never organised a stall before! To crown the day, there was the meeting with The Cute Steward (TCS) which was nice in itself but also opened the flood-gates of hope. Hope that the stirrings I felt towards him were shared and would perhaps make something happen. Hope that, through this, I could finally break this vicious circle of solitude in my life. Hope of normality when relating to people.

Unfortunately, as we all know, where there is a flood, there is usually devastation too.

To top it all, people in the Chorus are getting worried that tickets for the show are not selling fast enough (which to be honest, they aren't) and are starting to send emails to the whole group making uninformed suggestions and virtually saying that I don't know what I am doing. The "best" email I received was thankfully send privately and ran as follows:

"Dear Zefrog

I hate to say I told you so - but I did!

The lack of flyers and posters not yet out are making people very fearful of us not selling the seats. Including myself.

Your lack of experience in the marketing area is obvious, but if you docontinue as marketing Chair try to listen to others with experience.

I would attend steering meetings to raise my concerns but I am working Tuesday eveings. However I will take your advice and put it in writing after the show.

I hope this is not too costly for the LGMC
"

This was my reply:

"I have to say I find your email below both patronising and offensive, coming from someone who has not had the smallest imput in this matter. In my eyes, it only serves to illustrate the point I made in my earlier email to the Chorus about people talking without knowing the whole story.

I would point out that this show has had more press coverage than any show we have done before (and is set get more), and that my "lack of experience in marketing" has led us to print about 7000 more flyers than usual, which will be (as well as our posters) professionally distributed. This guarantees us more visibility than the usual pre-show quick flyering sessions. And this is only highlighting the main points of the promotional campaign which, as far as I am aware, brings together several other steps not previously taken by the Chorus to promote a show.

I would like also to bring to your attention that this was done with about a quarter of the budget that this sort of show usually enjoys.

If you would like to point out where this is showing a 'lack of experience' and how you would have done things better, you are very welcome to do so.

I look forward to reading your email."

I should add that I already had a short conversation with this person a few days ago during a meeting where I was told repeatedly that doing more than we usually do to sell a show would not be enough...

The combination of the rejection from TCS, those stupid emails from people who don't know what they are talking about, the low sugars, is a wonderful and potent cocktail and a perfect receipe for misery. I recommand it!




Pride and (No) Joy

Last week-end was a very busy one for me. On Friday evening I went along with the Chorus to a posh hotel on Piccadilly to sing at the GPA's ball. The funny thing was that we usually get about only 30 people for those types of gig but the lure of the uniform was so strong that there was about 70 of us that night!

I have to say it was probably the toughest audience I have had in my three years with the Chorus. Let's just say that the circumstances were not ideal. They were at the end of a several days long conference, were at the end of (hopefully) a nice meal (with enough to drink!) and had just been through a series of speeches of varied level of interest when we suddenly appeared on stage (they did not know we would be there) and launched into a rather downbeat 30 min performance. The choice of repertoire was, I think, the mistake.

The reception was polite but the tables at the back quickly lost interest and the level of applause diminished in direct proportion to the rekindling of conversations. Our rendition of YMCA at the end saved us of a total flop, I believe. We were invited to stay for the dance afterwards but I did not enjoy the sight of the cute men who were there for very long (no, not all of them were cute) and I quickly went home and to bed to try and rest a bit before what I knew would be a long and tiring day, the next day.

I might have been easier perhaps for me to pitch my tent in Hyde Park that night. On saturday morning I found myself getting up earlier than on a work day and making my way back to Park Lane to join the queue to register as a steward for Pride. I have enjoyed doing this for the past 3 year now and planned to volunteer to become a senior steward this year. I needed not bother. Almost as soon as I got there, the top man (who is a former Chorus member) came up to me and volunteered me for the position. I was immediately introduced to my team of four. One of those was also a former Chorus member. There is just no escaping them. A bit like French people in London, if you ask me. There were also a girl and an older guy. The fourth member of the team was the one who grabbed my attention, and my feeling was that I grabbed his too. Just slightly shorter than me, he seemed well built. He was wearing earrings in both ears, had a dark skin, very short hair, dark eyes and a lovely warm smile.

Our assignment for the day was not exactly the most interesting (my experience is that stewarding with the floats is the best thing you can be asked to do, as you get to do the march). We spent most of the morning in the middle of Park Lane surveilling a closed off crossing before being reassigned to do the "sweeping" which is walking at the end of the parade. The team had been divided between several positions and I found myself on my own with the cute steward (TCS) for most of the morning. We got talking and joking and, I thought, got on really well. I learnt that he was from Malaysia (mixed race, I suspect) and a trainee director in a renowned theatre in Greater London (he was assistant director in a play I saw recently). This was his first ever Pride (jokes about deflowering were indeed uttered!).

The really unusual think for me was that at certain points we found ourselves looking at each other and while I don't know what he feelings were on those occasions, I, each time, was stirred to move closer to him, hold him in my arms and kiss him. Nothing I have felt towards some else before, especially someone I had only just met. Based on my impressions and the fact that we seemed to get on well, I took the unprecedented step of asking him if he wanted to keep in touch as we were saying good bye at the end of our service. We exchanged phone numbers and went our seperate ways. We met again briefly by chance a few minutes later in a packed Trafalgar Square, as I was looking for the Chorus' stall where the second part of my day was going to take place.

The afternoon was fairly uneventful. I saw the Chorus performing on the main stage, which was I think the first time I heard them sing in public.

Possibly because of the location of the stall, in an off the track part of the square, people did not really queue to the stall but the 2 to 3 hours I spent there went fairly quickly. By 6, I was the only one left at the stall, so I just packed up and pulled the little trolley with the merchandising to the nearest bus stop and back home where I collapsed, out of exhaustion.

In the morning I had received a phone call from MFD, who told me about his exploits from the previous night and I was quite pleased to be able to report that I had met someone of interest myself (a very rare occasion). I was even more pleased to be able to report in the evening that I had actually got to ask for a phone number and had indeed got one. We discussed the wait-two-days-before-calling rule (not sure who came up with that one) and MFD urged to indeed get in touch, which I would have done even without his advice.

I managed to wait until Monday before sending a text which went like this:
Have you recovered from Pride? Still a bit tired but having a long and busy day :O( hope you are well followed by my email address.
Nothing very inspiring, I know and that is probably why I am still waiting for a reply...

And this is how, while every one in the blogosphere around me seem to be playing happy couple, I missed the bus, once again. And I don't know why...