Received an email a while ago from my ex-flatmate Toby who travelled down the African continent before heading home to New Zealand. In it he mentioned he was a little under the weather. Then yesterday, this -
"That not so good
I was feeling did turn out to be malaria. Got out of hospital just before Christmas Eve. Have been taking lots of drugs since and feel much better now.”
That’s the spirit Toby!
I’m reading The Orton Diaries
and Troublesome Words by Bill Bryson. I should be reading about the Detox that Will and I are starting in a few days but I keep misplacing the book (the detox is his idea btw. Cold showers and no pasta. Hooray.)
This is my last post for 2003. I summed up the year on mayfly
After much trial & error I realised that to attempt perfection is the the paragon of conceit.
What are my New Years Resolutions? To use my digital camera more. As Joe Orton remarked about a polaroid camera "No negatives. Most useful for taking pornagraphic pictures, I'd say."
See you through the Looking Glass...
I'm in an Easy Everything Internet Cafe and the keyboard is greasy so I'll be brief. Christmas was lovely - successfully charmed the family using my waif/stray card so even the huge pink slabs of quorn Turkey couldn't damper my mood.
Tried ringing the whanua in NZ a kazillion times but some snotty sounding lady kept telling me that the numbers weren't in use anymore. Hope this doesn't mean my sisters are on the run from the law again.
Managed to get through to my Dad in Ireland who was thrilled to hear from me (as I hadn't forwarded my new address to him) and with the pangs of guilt repressed briefly I went downstairs and ate some more chocolate.
After a good three days of vegetating, Will and I were ready to get back to London. On Saturday we went to Olly and Lornas for dinner. At some point before we arrived they must have realised that there wasn't as much food leftover as they'd hoped. So instead of buying more they just tactifully ignored the problem and we all got very drunk instead. Not that I needed the meal. Let's just say that if I was in a plane crash in the Andes the survivors would have Drew drumsticks to spare, and then some.
It’s Christmas in New Zealand and the stores are bursting with silver tinsel and images of jolly Santas in Winter Wonderlands. Windows are laced with fake snow and choirs reveal that “though the snow lay round about” it was “deep and crisp and even”. Indeed the only incongruity to this merry scene is that it’s the middle of summer outside and sticky hot. On the big day itself people go swimming at the beach or sit in the shade after gorging themselves on traditional mince pies and Turkey - before settling down to watch perennial favourites like “the Snowman.” And I never realised how cute it all must seem to an outsider until I left for colder climes.
This year I’m staying with Will’s folks. I’m nervous. He’s never brought anyone home before and Will’s Granddad doesn’t know that he licks the other side of the stamp
. Factor in the sodomy reflex
(the natural disposition of parents to evoke the disturbing image of their son being bummed by the alien homosexual) & it’s going to be a fun fun fun family Christmas.
Welcome, you’re guest #62!
Wa-hey! You come back from the weekend ready to write a slightly amusing shtick about late night TV and suddenly everything’s gone a bit radio rental.
To date, my Mother has been NEDITW’s biggest enthusiast (hi Ma!) but when I checked my email this morning I was pleasantly surprised to have a letter from a fan. Great, I thinks. Fun.
During my morning ritual (coffee, coffee, coffee) I casually sat back to see how many people had inadvertently stumbled upon my blog over the weekend. And after mopping uselessly at the scalding coffee that I’d inadvertently spat on my arm I sat back down to figure out how the bejesus I’d picked up the extra million or so visitors.
Three words. Belle. De. Jour. The lovely lady
had not only kindly linked to me but had only just gone and won the Guardian’s “best blog in the Universe
” competition. Wicked Belle, you do us proud.
So, with a brand new audience hungry for salacious revelations about my life I better get to it...
So anyone read any good books lately?
Oh dear. Christmas work do.
I’m a vegetarian but I try really not to be the fussy type. When it was announced we were having a Xmas dinner I sent a courtesy email to my boss explaining what I can eat and apologising in advance for being difficult. Now, short of an Angus Steak House
I can pretty much eat anywhere (when pushed I may even be goaded into a leafy salad at said steak house - in the name of diplomacy.) I never make cow noises while people are eating. I hardly even bring up CJD anymore.
We arrive at the restaurant. It’s Japanese. OK, ok, I can handle that. I love wasabi and cucumber sushi. I’ll just order a whole lot of it while they tuck into their sashimi. We move to the table and walk past two or three Japanesesque (i.e. Korean) chefs doing crazy things with flames and seafood in front of bemused diners. Fuck, I think, there ain’t going to be no sushi. I have a kvetch about my meal being cooked in the body fat of a dead animal. Call me crazy. Luckily they make my meal first - fried tofu and bean sprouts. Everyone turns their nose up at the tofu, me included - it’s not my favourite thing in the world but it's the universal vegetarian default food. I’ve had to smile bravely and eat piles of the stuff because “we cooked it especially”. This tofu was completely tasteless except for a thick crust of salt but as everyone was watching I bravely tucked in with my chop sticks, turning the Soya cube back into a sickly curd within seconds.
I finally finished my meal and had to sit as the chef flicked first prawns and then bloody slabs of steak onto the hot griddle directly in front of me. Searing pieces of fat hit me with each crazy flick of his wrist. Oh and there were flames! There’s nothing I enjoy more than an eating experience where only the lucky leave with their eyebrows!
This weekend I ask, nay, implore you at some point to find a vegetarian, look him/her in the eye and say “I understand your pain” before giving them a firm and sympathetic hug.
Will calls me.
“Where are you?”
“I’m in the WH Smith reading magazines because I can’t afford them.”
“I’m just outside”
We have a coffee. The Scooby annual Christmas dinner is in Clapham Junction and I’m on a strange nostalgia kick even though it’s only a five weeks since I moved oop narth.
“I have to finish my play before the end of January so an agent can read it. They’re interested at the Hampstead Theatre too.”
I make pleased sounding noises although there’s that little bit of me that hates anyone else doing well, especially when it’s something I want to be best in.
Joe glides past the window and does his best grrrr
eyes at me.
“You’ll never guess what I did after I saw you on Monday night.”
“You went to Heaven and got drunker with all the other gayers?”
Love Joe. He has even less self control than I do.
I drop into the old flat to pick up mail and discover my National Insurance number has arrived. Three years in London and I finally have a NI number. My ability to procrastinate knows no bounds.
I arrive at the Banana Leaf Canteen
and think for the umpteenth time how proud I am of my group of friends. They have charisma to spare and (oi!) so pretty. They look winter crisp in smart black shirts or red tops. Colour co-ordinated too - how thoughtful.
Dinner turns into a heated debate about New Years celebrations. Sam, Joe, Gavin & Wayne are working on the big night. Olly and I are broke. The girls don’t want to do a house party because it’s “depressing”. So after an hour of discussion we provisionally decide on Puscha. Then there’s Beyond and DTPM on New Years Day. I’m going to start drinking a lot of water now to prepare if you know what I mean.
On the walk back to the station I notice that the windows of my old flat are all wide open as if they’re trying to get rid of a very bad smell.
I’m getting more and more involved in blogs. I read four everyday religiously and spend about half an hour searching for new blogs to add to my batch. And sometimes I find that they are, quite literally, talking to me…
“But in terms of my name, it has been a real pain being a 'Drew' in Europe these last few years, ever since Drew Barrymore flashed on the scene.
Isn't that a female name?!?
This whole name thing was spurred by another guy named Drew, who I randomly discovered on the left side of blogger.
Other than being a Virgo, we may not have much in common, as I usually don't allow anyone to shave the hair on my chest.” – Drew, Continental Drift
He should try it. Removing body hair can be quite liberating but I’d suggest doing it in the warmer months. (NB never re-trimmed my chest but it’s grown a bit now and is not as noticeable)
Belle is a call girl and a writer and avoids the entire hooker with a heart shtick by being brutal and funny with her life. Oh, and poignant, did I mention poignant?
“At university, I studied a wholly academic humanities subject useless to the world at large. Given the choice of prostitution, temping or copywriting - the occupations in London which seem to be constantly hiring - I opted for this. Eventually.”
- Belle de Jour
A couple of times this year I contemplated (in a purely theoretical sense Ma) becoming a high class male escort – the type, I imagined, that would accompany lonely, wealthy and closeted business men on dinner dates, to laugh at their jokes and make them feel young again. When the Pretty Woman haze lifted I realised that you actually have to put out and it was back to copywriting I go.
I have smoked and my lungs feel like someone kicked them. I have requested the return of The Easy Way to Give Up Smoking
which helped me to quit in the first place (I leant it to Len and his sister has borrowed it) and I’m going to read it for the third time. It terrifies me that I might start again. It’s an ugly addiction.
Just Another Statistic.
I recently met my first divorced gay couple. How trendy.
Last night was my first gig for my new modeling agency. 5 boys and about 50 uniformly thin blonde girls had the massive task of greeting guests to the ritzy Dolce Vita Charity Ball in a huge Marquee in Moorgate. It was the easiest money I’ve ever made. The other guys were surprisingly all straight but came prepared with lip balms. We had fun working together - helping people past the 15 or so paparazzi that were there to shoot the few (very) minor celebs and get some pics of Liberty X & Blue, both groups performing later that night (I discovered that the photographers often aren’t sure themselves if the person stepping out of the cab is famous but if one person snaps they all do. And they make mistakes. There were quite a few bewildered guests who were given a full dose of celeb treatment because one of the photographers was a bit trigger happy and set everyone else off).
After dinner (Gordon Ramsey did the catering but we were only given sandwiches. Cheek) we helped out with the charity auction, waving down the auctioneer when someone wanted to make a bid (up to £25,000! these people were loaded with a capital LOAD!) and drinking champagne. That was it. We were finished at 10.30pm (started at 8) and got about 100 quid and a free bar all night. Needless to say we took full advantage. There’s nothing more rowdy than a lot of really drunk pretty people. The girls were fun, all extremely smart and slightly ruthless. As for Liberty X, they went through the motions but it was Blue that knew how to work a room. They definitely have some of that old fashioned charisma – and from all the hip thrusting could probably impregnate a girl at thirty paces. Randy!
Suddenly Drew's day job didn't seem so fulfilling.
Hot Times in the Steam Room
Last night at the gym I had my humanity reaffirmed (and I worked on my deltoids!) I was grumbling to myself on the walk from my office to Holmes Place Gym because it was so cold and my legs hadn’t really warmed up all day, even though I’d wrapped my frickkin’ jacket round them at my desk. Anyways, so it’s misty and there are Christmas lights flickering on and off but I’m grumpy so I decide they look sinister
At the gym I do a bit of cardio and some weights, glaring at the small patch of psoriasis on the side of my face in the mirror whenever I have a drink from the water fountain. I’m on a tight schedule because I’m meeting Len in Soho for a coffee and to give back the thirty quid I owe him, but after my workout I decide to go for a steam to warm up my legs.
I walk in and there’s no steam. There’s a young man sitting by himself. He’s hairy and fat and wearing black shorts. I sit down opposite him. I have to turn away because I still haven’t trimmed my chest hair yet and I don’t want him to see.
We sit there for a few minutes in a moist and slightly humid (but definitely not steamy) room.
“Is it supposed to be steamier than this?” I finally ask.
“Yes, I think so”
I lean over and take a wet flannel that someone has helpfully placed over the thermometer and suddenly the steam machine kicks in with brio. We both say something banal like “here we go!” and since we’d broken the taboo of chatting in a confined space with semi naked strangers who have crop circles shaved into their chest - we continue to talk. I find out his name is Sam and he’s from Israel. He’s just come back from two years in the Army (he went home for a two week holiday and was enlisted). I give my gym shtick (how I like working out near old people so I can change the weights after they’ve been on a machine and feel more macho) and we both laugh so much that someone pauses at the Steam Room door but doesn’t come in.
Then, when the steam is almost too intense to breathe - I get up, shake Sam’s hand and have a nice cool shower.
Ever wondered why I have “roller skater” in my character breakdown in the top right hand corner of this here blog? Well wonder no more…
This Summer I spent up to 6 hours a day in roller boots while promoting the London club ‘Carwash’ at Eden
in Ibiza. It gave me strange inner thigh muscles and the nickname roller boy
(or “that guy in them skates”). Here are the photos to prove it.
LJ, Kate, Karen & I. And yes, it's supposed to kitsch & camp, OK?
What you can't see in this picture is that we are actually standing on a platform a few inches away from a sheer drop onto rocks & sea. And we're on wheels. So that's why I'm not smiling.
These were taken towards the end of our 3 month stint on the Devil’s Island. Things weren’t going so well. San Antonio was quieter than everyone had expected (Faliraki in Rhodes being the “it” place for drunken UK louts instead this summer) and everyone was feeling the pinch. With too many clubs and not enough punters we had an uphill battle to fill a 3000+ capacity venue, especially when we were the new kids on the block. I have to say we made a valiant effort - after each set back we picked ourselves up, brushed the dirt of our knees and skated on. As you can imagine the sight of a lanky young man gliding towards you in tiny white 70’s shorts, a hand full of flyers and little else was quite something. Ah, memories.
Badly Shaved Boy
“Well finally after 40 hours of hard labour Harri was finally born and what a beautiful baby he is. Holly was very tired and more than a little shell shocked but otherwise came through it very well. Ryan was amazing through the entire 40 hours and Holly will love him forever because of it.”
Well thank God for that. I should go out and buy little booties or something. And maybe something for the baby.
On Saturday night all the Scoobies arrived at Sam’s house to celebrate 24 years since his birth. I was in particularly good spirits due to, well, spirits and can’t remember when Jordan decided it would be funny to shave off part of my chest hair while I was (slightly) unconscious. Let’s just say there were a few strange looks at the gym today.
I think I have brain damage from too much cororporate jargon. It has sucked my will to write.
p.s. sister in labour! Baby Harri imminent.
My sister has still not given birth. I might need to fly over NZ and pull it out myself.
Sometimes I type faster than I think.
Seeing Double Dutch
Will and I went to our first ‘A Gay’ party together on Saturday night. Richard (tall, works in marketing) was celebrating his 30th with his boyfriend Paulo (Italian, tiny, reminds me of Asterix). The theme was “Milk Tray Black” so the place looked like someone’s upbeat funeral. Richard was (some might say predictably) wearing white.
I had three drinks and needed to go home (due to the fact that Will was spiking my drinks with a new date rape drug - the fiend - and not because I’m a light weight who gets intoxicated when walking downwind past a Texaco) but still managed to steal two posters advertising the new Missy Elliott album from somewhere outside King’s Cross station. Her album dropped today to number 49 in the charts. I’m sorry Missy.