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Sunday, 30 December 2012

So, that was 2012

30 December 2012 – Okay, if you want to be pedantic. Yes, I know that there’s still a day and a few more hours until 2012 is officially put to bed. But this is my blog and if I want to do my review now I will. Stamps foot in a petulant manner Winking smile.

Very little has happened regarding my living arrangements, I’m still displaced with a third of my possessions in the UK another third in Italy and thanks to two break-ins at our place out there the remaining third has been either sold-on or sit in the home of the thieving scum, that saw fit to take them. We are hoping our situation is resolved in January 2013, so that progress can be made and I can continue to pursue my dreams.

I’ve had a good year regarding work and writing, I completed Willow and the Motorway Horses, had some more published features in magazines and in September I started my ‘grown up’ novel entitled 52. I’ve had  good year at my writers’ group Renegade Writers there’s been encouragement, honest critiques and much mirth and merriment.

The iPod has done its job splendidly this year, with the top three most shuffled songs of 2012 being. Israel - Siouxsie and the Banshees. La Differenza Tra Me E Te - Tiziano Ferro and Memory Lane – McFly. (That’s a surprise"). Talking about McFly,I’ve always thought that Harry was bit fit, but having seen them all grown-up on their Christmas special, I don’t think I’d say no to any of them should they knock on my bedroom door. – TMI saucy.

I ended the year with a nomination from another author in the Next Big Thing blog project, which has inspired me to continue tapping at those laptop keys, and I then added my thoughts to the project too. Next Big Thing (Barry)


Sadly in 2012 we lost the disco diva Donna Summer, another Gibb brother and comedy legend Eric Sykes. Actor Clive Dunn gave up his fight against ‘the fuzzy-wuzzies’ and author Maeve Binchey put down her pen.

However I personally believe the saddest loss of the year was that of Winnie Johnson, who passed away without knowing where Ian Brady buried her beloved son, Keith Bennett. I hope the hunt for Keith continues.

A diminutive singer from S. Korea achieved the most viewed accolade on YouTube. Emmerdale celebrated its 40 years on TV with an advert that reprised the classic Untrue Unfaithful (that was you) by Nita Rossi and Girls Aloud celebrated ten years in the music business with another greatest hits album imaginatively titled Ten.

The world watched as we staged the Olympics and the Paralympics, successfully in my opinion. The only downside of the Olympics was the repeated TV appearances of Louis Smith and being subjected to Victoria Pendleton’s attempts at dancing on Strictly.

The apocalypse didn’t set the world on fire, to coin a phrase. The world failed to end as predicted so it looks like I’ll now have to return my library book and pay the 15p fine.

Before I publish my last blog entry for the year I must leave you with another spelling mistake in a sign I spotted inside the window of an estate agent.


If you notice on the eighth line they have used the American spelling modernization with a ‘z’ then two words later they use the English modernise with an ‘s’ – I wonder if this was a deliberate case of someone trying to confuse a spell checking program?

I hope that every one of you that will be attending New Year celebrations have a good time and arrive home safely. Here’s to an exciting 2013 for us all.

And finally, this sign made me smile, for obvious reasons. I wonder how many prank calls they’ve received since the twins were on the X-Factor?


The final song to shuffle forward as I complete this posting is The Man with the Golden Gun by Lulu which is ironic really considering 2012 saw Skyfall, what is hailed to be the best ‘Bond’ movie ever, and as another year ebbs away, I’ve still not watched one.


Take care, see you all on the other side. Baz x

Monday, 24 December 2012

Gifts at Christmas

Monday 24 December 2012 – Well here we are, Christmas Eve, just one more day and we’ll all be opening lovingly wrapped gifts. No doubt there’ll be a few new pairs of socks and maybe the odd bottle of gin waiting for me in my pile of presents, not to mention that odd gift that for some reason seems to sneak in and leaves me wondering why anyone would consider giving me something so strange. I’ll refrain from pointing out what odd ones I’ve received in the past for fear of upsetting the gift giver, although I still have no idea why someone gave me a Polish phrase book.

I think as the years stack up, it becomes increasingly difficult to find interesting gifts for people. Young people and kids are so easy to buy for, but what do you get fifty-something's who already seem to have everything?

Last week however, I received a simple gift that was both personal and interesting. My friend Tim, handed out at our last Renegade Writers’ meeting the modern Timequivalent of the 80’s mix-tape. He put together a compilation of tracks on a CD of songs that he had discovered and listened to throughout 2012. Obviously a CD cannot contain all the tracks listened to in the year, but it does contain twenty-one hand-picked gems and an amusing photo-shopped cover.

Tim’s website which includes some of his writing and films can be found at the following link: Tim's Website


Speaking of interesting gifts, what do you give a sophisticated gay writer with OCD and pencil fetish issues?Cuffs

Answer: These amazing pencil cufflinks which I was given by my young, talented friend Josh.

For some of Josh’s musings take a look at his site here: Josh's Website

This will be my last posting this side of Christmas, I’ll be back around the beginning of January with my thoughts on 2012. Until then enjoy the festive season and stay safe.

Oh, and finally the song on shuffle as I type this entry is, Manners by Icona Pop.

Baz x

Friday, 21 December 2012

Contains Adult Theme and Sweary words

Thursday 20 December 2012 - You know you’ve reached the depths of despair when you’d be willing to give a trampy old bloke oral sex, just for a mouthful of White Lightning cider.

I make no apologies for today’s lewd opening, as I was shocked, nay flabbergasted when I had the following experience.

I was walking through the edge of town, on the periphery where the populace tends to be at its lowest ebb and the niceties of social intercourse are neglected. Where grass gives way to dog shit and shop-fronts have bars. I was walking along, iPod turned off and hidden in pocket. Well you can’t be too careful here, I feel like Will Smith in I Am Legend, furtively scouring the shadows for trouble, the only trouble is I don’t have a German Shepherd. (Which reminds me of a Dave Spikey joke)

Every morning this week when I’ve got up there’s been a German shepherd having a shit on my front lawn. Today the dirty bastard brought his dog.

But I digress. I was walking past a derelict bus shelter where there was four dishevelled men sitting, all of varying ages but the ravages of alcohol had given them all a wizened look. Two men drank from cans and an older man was drinking from a bottle of cheap white cider, when the younger of the group asked him for a swig. The conversation went something like this:

Man 1:Give us a swig.

Man 2: Fuck off.

Man 1: Come on you mean bastard.

Man 2: Fuck off

Man 1: I’d give you some if I had a bottle.

Man 2: If you want some, suck my cock.

Man 1: Fuck off.

Man 2: Then you can’t have any.

Man 3: You’re not going to make him do that again are you?

Man 2: If he wants a drink he’s got to earn it.



I scuttled away for fear of seeing the desperate man earn his mouthful (no pun intended) of cheap cider.

On a lighter note, it looks like the Mayan’s got it wrong, 11.00 am passed without the annihilation of the world. I did wait before posting today’s piece, as I didn’t want you all to go into oblivion with the thought of a trampy old bloke getting oral relief bouncing around inside your head.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Everything Must Go!

Wednesday 19 December 2012 – It’s sad that so close to Christmas the electrical retailer Comet has gone into administration leaving its workers with nothing but a bleak outlook and a new year of benefits and form-filling.

I saw the adverts on TV urging people to act fast if they want to secure a bargain, so like so many others I popped to our local store. Outside was a huge yellow sign that read: Everything Must Go!!! – Yes it had three exclamation marks, a tad excessive I know, but who cares about grammar when there’s the possibility of getting a blu-ray player for peanuts?

We strolled through the doors and it wasn’t a case of everything must go, but, everything has gone. When I say everything, I kid you not, the shelves had gone, the tills had all gone, bar one and they were reduced to selling what was left of the shops interior..

On a display stand was a box of electric plugs, 20p for five. A box full of random remote controls, £3.00 for the lot and a box of the stores lever arch files, for sale for the princely sum of £4.00. I strolled over and the label's on the files’ spines read things like, Absence Records, Orders and Delivery Notes. I had to secretly get a snap of the box, and here it is, apologies for the poor quality. I had to be quick as security was watching.


I’m just wondering who would want to purchase a box of files from an electrical retailer?

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Surreptitious Sniffing

Tuesday 18 December 2012 – I am about to own up to doing something today that I have never done before. It’s an odd furtive thing and I urge you not to judge me too harshly. Today I was out shopping. It was a usual shopping trip that consisted of queuing for parking spaces, queuing at tills and queuing at ATM machines. It was whilst I was queuing at a till; my goods moving slowly down the conveyor belt towards the bored looking boy at the end, who’s name badge told me he was called Jamie, that I committed myself to this bizarre act of absurdity.

Just before my goods reached Jamie, a woman in a purple sweater passed me, there was nothing peculiar about the woman that made her stand out Chanel-Perfume_1292338857visually, but she smelled lovely – obviously a very expensive perfume had been liberally applied. I was captivated by the scent that wafted across my nostrils as she passed by, so I grabbed my items off the conveyor, which made Jamie look up disdainfully and followed the woman down the aisle. Every time she stopped, so did I, just hanging back enough not to look like a weirdo stalker. I was surreptitiously sniffing this exquisite scent as she carried on shopping, non-the-wiser.

As we turned a corner it suddenly struck me that what I was doing was odd and as I broke away and made my way back to the till and Jamie, my OH asked me what I’d been doing. The look of horror on his face said it all and Jamie looked up as a bloke with curly hair called another one with sticky-up hair a blood weird freak.7067

On the plus-side, when I got home the postman had delivered my new bottle of man spray: Narciso Rodriguez, so if you want to follow me and sniff at it please form an orderly queue.


Now for something more serious – later this evening, it was dark outside and the streets were deserted when a feeble knock came on my front-door. I opened the door and looked down at two very small, very young girls who held out an open sweet tin that contained coins. Two pairs of eyes gazed up at me, two mouths parted and they began to sing We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas, etc. I gave my stock response – “Bugger off.” and closed the door. Then I thought, bloody hell anything could happen to the little mites, how irresponsible to allow two small children at this time of night to go knocking on strangers’ doors.

I mean anything could happen – they could run into a supermarket sniffing stalker or worse.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Conclusive Proof

Monday 17 December 2012 – I sit at my laptop as the iPod shuffles and Sylvester, the king, (or queen of disco, depending on how you remember Mr James) begins to belt out Over and Over. His falsetto fills my front-room-cum-office coupled with the talented backing vocals of Two Tons of Fun: who will later become known as the Weather Girls, so I’m happy.
At the weekend I spotted a couple of signs that caught my attention, the first one is conclusive proof that there is a problem locally. It’s not drugs – although last week we did see police officers dismantling a cannabis factory that had been set up in a nearby street. It’s not truancy – although during term time the streets here are still full of kids, and it’s not car crime – although around the corner from me there’s a lady who owns a tangerine coloured Fiat, and that is criminal.
The problem is the inability to spell Wednesday correctly. My previous blog posting: featured what I thought was just a random act of mid-week misspelling, however I’ve spotted yet another one, again in the guise of a publicly posted sign. CAM00013
Whilst I’m on the subject of signs and misspelling, I was walking past a building that houses a solicitors and legal claims company – you know the kind: Have you had an accident that wasn’t your fault, and do you want to sue somebody for an inordinate amount of money, of which we shall claw back at least twelve per cent in commission?
I spotted this grammatical error in their range of services advertised in the front window of their office. Needless to say, it wouldn’t fill me with confidence should I ever need to sue my neighbour for leaving out an old stair-rod which I inadvertently  tripped over.
I think I’ll go elsewhere should I have an accident.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Did I Just Say That Out Loud?

Wednesday12 December 2012 – You know when you’re distracted and a thought pops into your head, and you have that feeling that it wasn’t an internal comment but a verbal one, well that happened to me this evening.

On my way to my Wednesday writing group meeting, I stopped off at a cash machine in town. I was standing behind a small queue and as usual my iPod was playing. Morrissey was singing I Knew I Was Next, from the Swords album. A sort of off-cuts collection of tracks that never made the final cuts of studio albums.

Anyway I’m standing waiting my turn when the man at the front of the line completes his transaction and turns to leave. He’s about five-feet eleven, slender with a mop of dark hair. He’s dressed in a fitted checked jacket twinned with a pair of black skinny-jeans. As he starts to walk away, I think to myself,F*** me, he’s fit.

He falters and looks directly at me, as do several others in the queue and I think - internally this time. Oops, did I just say that out loud?


Mind you, when you think about it, back in the day, Morrissey was a bit fit too.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

A Never To Be Repeated Revelation

Tuesday 04 December 2012 – Today, I did something that is out of character. Something that’s just alien to me. Something that anyone close to me would know is so at odds with my make-up that they’d be shocked.

So what did I do, I didn’t commit a heinous crime. I wasn’t responsible for the hacking of a government mainframe and I didn’t swear my unwavering  allegiance to an African despot… Worse.

I wore a pair of trainers – Worse? I hear you say.

Okay so it’s not in the same league as the recent Jimmy Saville revelations. And I’m well aware that It’s nowhere near as bad as the televised, live episode of TOWIE or even as hard to swallow as the possibility that Jahmene Douglas the singing shelf stacker may win the X-Factor.

But, trainers are just not me. I’m a proper boot or shoe kind-of-guy, leaving the afore mentioned footwear to hip-hop artistes, athletes and burglars. So alien is the thought that I’d wear these, is no more a revelation to many than, that Christopher Maloney loves his nan.

Luckily, I’d only slipped them on to pop to the shop, just five-hundred or so yards away, so no real credibility damage has been sustained – that said, the lad three doors away who is always dressed in a tiger onesy did say hello as I walked back home. I just smiled and turned the volume up on my iPod and as Stooshe sang ‘Black Heart’ I shuffled away, hoping he didn’t notice what I had on my feet.
Stooshe–Black Heart

Monday, 3 December 2012

Belated News about Bert and a Box of Fufu

Monday 03 December 2012 – Okay, so I’ve been away for a while due to work commitments and the need to concentrate on my novel ‘52’, but today, so far has been so eventful I can’t help but share it with you all.

The first event occurred whilst I was walking past the local church. I was nipping into town to post some Christmas cards to friends in Italy and buy some of the incredible tasty naan breads that Abdul sells. As I walked past the church, which is on a main thoroughfare, I spotted an elderly gentleman, he sort of popped up from nowhere, and proceeded to undo his flies and pee up a tree. He was in full view of the passing traffic and myself, and suffice to say nothing was left hidden. A passing car horn honked, he waved then turned to me and said, “I was bostin’ for a pee.”

So I stood in a queue that wouldn’t have looked out of place in an Italian post office, endless elderly people had flocked with cards to withdraw their pension, and all I wanted was an airmail sticker, postage to Abruzzo and five second class stamps. This wait however gave me the perfect opportunity to do some people watching. A woman not far away spotted someone she knew and waved and said hello. Her friend asked how she was, she told her she was well, apart from some problems with her feet -  she didn’t go into detail. The friend then said, “I haven’t seen your Bert for a while.” her friend replied, “You wouldn’t, he’s been dead twelve years.”

“Oh,” was the reply, “Pointless asking how he is then?”

After purchasing my stamps and paying overseas postage costs, I’m walking back when I see a board outside the pub advertising something, on closer inspection I 100_5358noticed that they do midweek bingo at a reasonable price, sadly I cannot find this day on my calendar – or does Wednesday now have a new spelling?


I decided that today would be a good day to use up yesterdays roast chicken left-overs and so popped into get some ingredients for a curry from Abduls. His supermarket is an olfactory spectacle, the aroma of spice permeates the air, and there’s always some funky smell around the section where strange looking vegetables lurk. I’m Fufu-Plantainwandering around, when I spot a product that makes me smile, it’s the name… and I’m aware it’s a tad immature but this product brought a smile to my face today… When I was growing up, I know what I was told a Fufu was, and it wasn’t flour.

So I’ll sign off from this, my first blog post in many months, and tell you that the tune that’s just shuffled to the fore is a Radio Shack Hi-Energy classic by Barbara Pennington called, ‘On a Crowded Street’… If you close your eyes, you can almost smell the mix of leather, poppers and Breaker.