Friday, 29 February 2008

A & E

Those Accident and Emergency (A & E) shows on television always make a visit there look so glamorous and exciting. The staff are telegenic and they always know the answers to a problem in the end. Even the loonier patients seem thrilling.
Well, I spent hours in one of those departments last night when my mother was rushed to hospital and more hours again today waiting for her to be moved to a bed on the wards for follow up treatment. I didn't find the environment in the least glamorous nor did I fall in lust with any of the hard working, put-upon staff. One male nurse stirred my loins slightly and an Irish doctor might have done it for me too if only I'd understood his thick Irish brogue better.
However I can't fault the efforts of the staff who gave their all in trying conditions.
My mother has advanced dementia and lives in a nursing home and after falling ill was found at the hospital to have a cocktail of conditions which I imagined would leave most people at death's door. But my mother has always shown astonishing recuperative powers and is responding well to the medication she has been given.
I don't know yet how much longer she will remain in hospital but further visits will give me time to locate a George Clooney like gem amongst the staff.
(PS - it pisses me off how blogster fails to format posts the way I want from time time. Why do the editing and save function play up like that?)

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Dan's real and oh so cute life

Today's movie is Dan In Real Life.

This comedy/drama moves to its predictable outcome without shocking the natives or threatening unpleasantness. It is predicated on the somewhat unlikely notion that the screen presence that is Juliette Binoche would be interested in a romantic relationship with the screen presence represented by Dane Cook.

Unsurprisingly, Binoche never seems comfortable in any of her scenes with Cook and they always appear ill matched to me. Conveniently this works for the movie because of the storyline which requires Binoche to be ill at ease facing Cook's large family for the first time and being surprised by who she meets amongst them.

Steve Carell is an actor I have previously seen in Little Miss Sunshine which I liked and that stinker Bewitched which I didn't but who I have tried to avoid. I have been put off by what I saw of him in the trailers for other movies such as The 40 Year Old Virgin and Evan Almighty.

In this movie, Carell plays it sad and sensitive and I found him a generally sympathetic if occasionally irritating character. I thought he and Binoche were a better coupling of characters than I expected.

There are a host of side characters representing siblings, in-laws, children, nieces and nephews; the majority of whom are not clearly identified. This makes little difference to a storyline that requires them only to be endlessly cute, family oriented, supportive and sickly sweet.

For a movie which pushes a strong line in family goodness one scene where they all make fun of the looks of a yet to be seen character jarred badly with me. That part is played by actor-de-jour, Emily Blunt in an eccentric cameo.

Despite the negatives I noted above, I did enjoy this low-key movie which is likeable. I think it is for romantic souls and those hoping to be.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Stormy weather

(Photo: Fergus Woolveridge &

Sydney's cool and wet summer continued yesterday with a severe storm described as a one in twenty years storm. This photo shows the storm approaching the CBD yesterday. Summer ends officially this Friday and so far in Sydney we have had only two 30c days whereas our summer average is nine.

Storms are forecast for Saturday, the first day of Autumn and Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade day.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Loo talk

Here I sit brokenhearted.....

No, No, No! Not at the moment, anyway.

Last night I awoke with a thought in my head. I had a recollection of this rhyme that I first came across over 45 years ago. A mildly bawdy rhyme, it appeared on public toilet walls at the time and I suspect still does on older toilet blocks.

Why was a 12 years old gay boy familiar with bawdy rhymes found on the walls of euphemistically named public conveniences? Well, let's not go there, sufficient to say I was responding to strong feelings arising from puberty that at the time I little understood.

But that rhyme intrigued and shocked the naive boy I was then.

There was no shortage of public conveniences in Sydney in those days. Every main street shopping centre, beach, public park, railway station and the like had it's conveniences. They were often left open 24 hours a day.

At the time, not only was homosexual activity illegal but it was also illegal to loiter or even to solicit for a consenting partner. There were no sex on premises venues in those days either nor, of course, the internet with it's dating services. So public conveniences were a meeting location for men seeking men. Their walls were the noticeboard for bawdy messages as well as for messages of availability for sex.

This led inevitably to complaints from those innocently using the conveniences for their intended purposes only to be exposed to men in various stages of sexual innuendo or behaviour. Operators of the conveniences responded by closing the conveniences, firstly in the evenings and eventually altogether. They made public conveniences inconvenient.

In subsequent years, homosexual activity was decriminalised, sex on venue premises legalised and other avenues for meeting same sex partners evolved. Those inconvenient public conveniences began to reappear but not in their old form. Now they appear as sterile, stainless steel futuristic time machines designed to discourage sexual and multiple use.

The walls no longer accept the bawdy rhyme and invitation but graffiti artists manage to overcome impediments to leave their distinctive marks.

Now, when one needs to spend a penny, this is what confronts you.

And for those who don't know the bawdy rhyme, here it is. Skip the next paragraph if you are of sensitive disposition.
Here I sit brokenhearted,
Paid a penny and only farted.
And why did all this come into my sleepy mind at four o'clock this morning? I have not a clue.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Oscar got it right

In years past I think the Academy made a few perplexing selections for the Oscars but this year I think they got it just about right for the major awards.Best Film: No Country For Old Men
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood.
Best Actress: Marion Cotilliard, La Vie En Rose
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men
Best Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Sunday, 24 February 2008

No more flower arrangements

Last month I posted about the flower arrangements a generous resident has provided for my building's foyer but sadly these have come to an end. Although the last one which featured a clear plastic tube like a garden hose was not to my liking many of the previous arrangements were beautiful.

The arrangements were provided by Mm but she was distraught that this latest one was vandalised in a severe manner. This follows minor tampering with earlier arrangements. It is a pity that people show such little regard for the generous contributions of others.

Nn, who seems to know everything going on in the building - but not who the vandal was - tells me Mm was a Professor of Ikebana in Hong Kong. I know that Mm hails from Hong Kong but I wonder how it is she became involved in this Japanese skill.

Other scenes from this morning's walk

Apartments by the harbour at Woolloomooloo Bay; residents include Russell Crowe.
Andrew 'Boy' Charlton Pool at Woolloomooloo Bay, popular swimming and tanning location for gay men. Charlton was a good looking young swimmer who won a Gold Medal for Australia at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games. ('Russell Crowe' apartment building to the left.)
Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge as seen from Mrs Macquaries Chair the point on the harbour around from the Andrew 'Boy' Charlton Pool.
Sign on scaffolding around from Mrs Macquarie's Chair blocking off part of the Royal Botanic Gardens the site for tonight's Mardi Gras Dance Party by the harbour.
A section of the gardens being prepared for tonight's Mardi Gras Dance Party.
Inside the Royal Botanic Gardens looking across at the Mardi Gras Dance Party venue.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge seen from the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House from the adjacent Royal Botanic Gardens.
Crowds at Circular Quay near the Overseas Terminal berth for Queen Victoria (right).
Queen Victoria, crowds, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.

Two Queens visit Sydney

This is not exactly an unusual thought in gay friendly Sydney especially in February during the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival but the two Queens attracting so much attention are Cunard's vessels Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth 11. Queen Victoria (above) is berthed at Circular Quay at the foot of the CBD and is on it's maiden voyage. It is attracting lots of interest (below) with sightseers enjoying the summery weather and backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (left) and Sydney Opera House (right).

Queen Victoria will depart for Brisbane tonight and as it does so it will pass by Queen Elizabeth 11 which will replace it at it's berth in Circluar Quay. QE11 arrived in Sydney this morning and is temporarily berthed at Garden Island (below) which is two bays to the east of Circular Quay.

The two Queens will pass each at other Pinchgut, a small island in the harbour off the Sydney Opera House. Pinchgut (or Fort Denison as it is better known now) was a convict prison in the early days of Sydney when 'Sydney Town' was a penal colony for the felons of England. No doubt this meeting of the Queens will be a photo opportunity shown around the world as it will be the only time the two Queens will pass each other on the water. QE11 is on it's last visit to Sydney and makes it final voyage in November.

After a long walk around the harbour to see the Queens this morning I returned home to enjoy a brilliantly sunny Sunday afternoon as viewed from my apartment today.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Summer tinged with grey

This has been our wettest summer in many years and our coolest in fifty years so it was a pleasure today to have a brilliantly sunny and warm day albeit one with a cooling breeze. Picnickers were out in Centennial Park (above) and amateur footballers were sweating their way through a game of soccer (below). I think the footballers were mainly expats as I heard thick Scottish brogues amongst them. I had a leisurely hour walk through the trees and around some of the lakes.

I also took two hours out of the sun to see Margot at the Wedding one of the movies recommended this morning on Radio National.

Nicole Kidman has appeared in many quirky movies and this is yet another. The film begins and ends in motion, a moving train to start with and a moving bus to conclude. In between is mostly static. People sitting and talking, people standing and talking and occasionally people walking and talking. Lots of talking.

That is not necessarily a bad thing but in this movie all that talking bored me witless. I didn't stay long enough during the end credits to learn if this movie was based on a play but it wouldn't surprise me.

The characters are mostly unpleasant and mostly disturbed and frankly I couldn't care less about their problems. The characters talked about people we never see and not very much happens. An apparently gay mature couple appeared in one scene but I have no idea who they were meant to be or what they brought to the story other than as the butt of the other characters' comments.

Most of the scenes were filmed in dull grey light so that the few sunny moments came as a stark contrast.

A movie for insomniacs only in my view.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Couch potato

I have to own up. I am a couch potato and spend far too much time watching television when I should be outdoors in the fresh air walking off my excess weight.

There are programs I enjoy and try not to miss either watching them at broadcast time or recorded through my Foxtel IQ (a misnomer if ever I knew one).

Thinking about my favourite programs I realise that they spring a red flag that screams out GAY. My sexuality is defined by my television viewing. Just think about it. The following are my current favourite programs with favourite features listed too;

Brothers and Sisters - cute guys and gay themes
Desperate Housewives - cute guys and gay themes
Huff - cute guy (the schizophrenic brother who appeared impressively full frontal in one episode)
The Tudors - cute guys and loads of sexual themes
Skins - cute guys and gay themes
Unit One - cute Danish guys, occasional sexual themes
Dalziel and Pascoe - cute sidekick (Pascoe)
Gossip Girl - despite puerile storylines, cute guys
SBS Friday night documentary - sexual themes and nudity
SBS Friday night movie - sexual themes often with nudity
Out and About - GLBT travel show
The L Word - will even watch an hour of Lesbian angst to glimpse the occasional cute guy extra

How lowbrow gay am I?

Thursday, 21 February 2008

My day off

Thursday is my day off and I usually follow up any chores, appointments and the like on this day. First thing today was a dentist appointment. I try to get the first appointment of the morning so that I don't have to spend the day with the dentist visit in the back of my mind.

It was my six monthly checkup and there was little for the dentist to do but to scale and polish my teeth. He took x-rays to check for cavities and thankfully all was fine. I often gag when he x-rays my teeth which makes me wonder how it is that I can engage in a certain other oral entertainment without gagging.

Following the dentist I went to the CBD for my next chore. The next photo is a clue.

Those who think this is a photo of Monsieur Poirot's 'egghead' are close but incorrect. It is my egghead just after my zero haircut this morning. I like my hair cut short. My hair tends to grow thick and wiry and I don't like the feel of it that way. Straight after my hair is cut I look like Yul Brynner in The King and I but for the next few days I rather like the bristly feel of my head as my hair grows back. Whilst I like that bristly feel on my head I don't enjoy it elsewhere!
From the barber I took my self to Bondi Junction for breakfast in the mall. This is a regular Thursday indulgence as my breakfasts at home consist of rather boring weetbix and milk. This morning it was scrambled eggs, bacon, tomato and toast.

As you can see, a lot of bacon this morning. No wonder my weight keeps ballooning. The orange juice is fresh and healthy though. My weekly celebrity magazine is on display too. I like perving the magazine for the cute guys they photograph although those photos generally are greatly outnumbered by photos of Britney, Lindsay, Paris and the like.

Then to bridge. I play a noon time game every second Thursday as a favour to a friend. I'd rather be out in the fresh air and maybe even cruising but friends come first. Our bridge club tables are not as tidy as the one depicted in this image which I downloaded from Google. And we certainly don't have a medicinal whiskey with our cards!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008


There was a large turnout for RK's funeral this morning. Rt had flown down from the Gold Coast and I also saw By and An.

The eulogy was a fitting statement of RK's life and interests mentioning his enjoyment of the Arts, Cinema and Theatre as well as his sporting interests. I didn't realise that he played rugby and was amused to hear that his nickname on the field was 'Bomber'. I'm sure that he would have been tickled pink to be given that label.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

It takes all sorts

It was a busy day at the hospital with over 70 admissions, an above average number of pre-admission appointments and a flurry of discharges mid morning. There were some delightful incoming patients.

Our hospital attracts it's share of celebrity patients, many of them easy going, and every now again one or other who should I put it....unnecessarily aware of their status. One internationally known film actor was in the lobby today casually chatting with his son who appeared to be an inpatient and evidently not concerned to be amongst the general public nor demanding of special attention.

Another equally internationally renowned entertainer was listed for admission today and Ta told me quietly that he is one of the most difficult people she has had the displeasure to deal with. This is quite at odds with his image and I was surprised to hear her experience with him. I have previously encountered him in the hospital when he sought directions from me and he seemed quite civil so I was interested to see how he behaved today but he had not arrived when I completed my duty.
(Sorry but I won't reveal the name of either person; can't divulge the confidence but it definitely is NOT Brad Pitt.)

Monday, 18 February 2008

I want to be a swimmer

(Photo: Sydney Morning Herald)

If there is reincarnation then I want to come back to my next life as a champion male swimmer. They have to work hard but they are gorgeous looking. This is Eamon Sullivan, Australian swimmer, who last night set a new world record for the 50m Freestyle. I'll be watching out for him at the Beijing Olympics.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Tropfest (more)

The media enclosure in it's best state - without media! No doubt it will be packed tonight.
Against the background of part of the CBD skyline a closer view of one side of the three sided screens structure which will display the short films tonight.

Sunday in the park

Today is a Sunday in the park kind of day in Sydney.

It is the Mardi Gras Fair Day at Victoria Park on the southern edge of the Sydney CBD and later today Tropfest, the world's largest short film festival, is being held in the Sydney Domain on the eastern edge of Sydney's CBD.

But I decided to bypass both and go to the NSW Art Gallery, adjacent to the Domain, to see Art Express the artwork of High School students. The work I enjoyed most was the time lapse video by Lochlan Macpherson who produced interesting black and white images all to a catchy soundtrack.

A series of blurred photographs taken at a Sydney underground railway station also caught my eye as did two simple but effective spheres constructed with corks and plastic cups respectively.

After viewing the Art Express display I wandered through several adjacent galleries where, as usual, anything containing nude images immediately attracted my attention.

Walking back through the Domain I took some snaps of the preparations for tonight's Tropfest. It usually attracts an attendance of up to 100,000 and as I passed through six hours or so before it was to get underway early arrivals were setting up in their preferred positions.

The short films are displayed on three screens set up in a triangle formation in the middle of the Domain with the crowd viewing them from all sides. You can see one side of the three sided screen in the distance.

The old Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf sits on Sydney Harbour down the other side of the hill from the Art Gallery. It has been turned into a hotel, restaurants and apartments. The apartments are at the far left end of the old wharf and are the Sydney home of a number of local celebrities the most internationally famous being the actor Russell Crowe.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Shocking news

Rt called this afternoon to tell me that RK had died. By rang the police after RK hadn't turned up for work on Wednesday and Thursday and they found him dead in his chair in front of a turned-off television. There is to be an autopsy but the police said it looked like he suffered a heart attack. He was only one year older than Rt and I and we had known each other since university days.

Truly shocking news.

Love thy neighbour

I daydream sometimes about meeting my perfect partner and the ways in which I meet him in those dreams seem limitless.

One daydream that recurs is where the perfect partner moves into my building. I have lived in my apartment building for 18 years. You would think the law of averages would ensure that over a period of 18 years a 36 apartment building would contain more than one gay resident. But unless my gaydar has failed me spectacularly it seems that I am the only one. Well there may have been one gay couple in the building for several months about a year ago but I was never entirely sure about them.

There are two other apartments on my floor. In all the time that I have lived here, the apartment immediately next to mine has never been occupied by anyone younger than 80 and all those occupants have been hetero couples.

The other apartment, conversely, has only ever been occupied by women living alone. Two were widows in their 80s and the other two, including the current occupant, single women in their 30s/40s. The first of these single women had a friend who was a Qantas pilot but he was around rarely and wasn't ever in contention for man of my dreams. The current woman has a male acquaintance who I have heard several times and who I have seen only from the back. Nothing there for me.

Now an apartment on a higher floor is on the market and on display. I've wondered whether this time a gay owner/occupant might snap it up. That would be good but I'm not holding my breath in hope.

When I arrived home this afternoon at 12.30 I noticed four '50 year somethings' inspecting the outside of the building this afternoon just after today's display period. I assume they are interested in the apartment. When I happened to look out my window at about 2.30 they were there again (or was it still) inspecting the building. Two men and two women but neither of the men had looks or character to stir my loins.

I must dream on.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Oh dear....

I have mentioned previously that I volunteer at a hospital. But I am not a medical professional.

I saw a patient admitted today whose condition for admission was stated as necrotic testes. I wondered what that condition was and thought I should look that up when I get home. I have just checked Google and I find that necrotic is defined as synonymous with dead.

I know that it is dangerous to draw conclusions from the internet but does that mean that the poor man, albeit elderly, has dead balls?

Oh dear.

What is unacceptable?

Jane Fonda upsets viewers in the USA.

Seeing this video makes me wonder whether there is any word relating to the male anatomy that is regarded as unacceptable to be heard on television?

Thursday, 14 February 2008

From sauna to blood....

In the absence of any Valentine's Day presents or cards coming my way I took myself off to the sauna for a bit of nooky. I suppose I visit a sauna three or four times a year and it's been many months since my last one.

I started off in the lounge watching the movie they were screening rather than the many porn videos on show around the place. The movie was a curious Italian language piece about two brothers whose impoverished aristocratic father has passed away. The older brother has come to Rome to check on his younger brother and has learned for the first time that he is a gay porn star. I watched for about an hour without seeing either the beginning or the end of it. It was B grade nonsense without any hardcore in it.

I wasn't too bothered to see it through to the end and when I'd seen enough I moved on to prowling the club stopping to take in bits of the porn videos and eyeing one of the few younger men around as a possible encounter. He seemed interested without making any moves on me. A while later we found ourselves together in the wet sauna and he proved to be my Valentine's Day present. Twenty minutes of nooky and we were both satisfied.

After showering, then resting and dressing I took myself off to the movies to see There Will Be Blood. Yes I know, my third movie in less than a week but I enjoy them and there are plenty of good ones about.

This movie was not exactly what I was expecting. I had thought it was a straight out story but in fact it is a morality/metaphoric tale dominated, as I had read, by a towering performance from Daniel Day-Lewis. He is riveting and just as well because he appears in virtually every scene. All the performances are effective and the cast is expertly made up to be reminiscent of the folk we see in those sepia photographs of old. The photography presents many striking images and I really enjoyed the soundtrack which ranges from classical through the sounds of machinery to the muffled world of a deaf child.

This movie would not be to everyone's taste but I found it fascinating.

My Funny Valentine

Today is Valentine's Day.

That great song My Funny Valentine will probably get an airing today. It was written by Lorenz Hart (above), a closeted gay man, who was full of self-loathing over his sexuality, small stature, looks and drinking problems. That is a tragedy as he was a brilliant lyricist and is famous for his extensive work in collaboration with Richard Rodgers.

Although My Funny Valentine is always sung as a heterosexual lament in reality Hart secretly wrote it as a gay love song. In that light it's lyrics are especially poignant.

I hope my readers have the day that they wish for themselves.

"My funny valentine
Sweet comic valentine
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable
Yet youre my favourite work of art

Is your figure less than greek
Is your mouth a little weak
When you open it to speak
Are you smart?

But dont change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little valentine stay
Each day is valentines day

Is your figure less than greek
Is your mouth a little weak
When you open it to speak
Are you smart?

But dont you change one hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little valentine stay
Each day is valentines day"

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Personal housekeeping!

Thanks to for a funny video.

It's done

(Photo: Sydney Morning Herald)

This morning the Australian Prime Minister delivered the long debated 'sorry statement' in the form of a motion put to Parliament. The motion stated

"I move:

That today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

We reflect on their past mistreatment. We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were Stolen Generations - this blemished chapter in our nation's history. The time has now
come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia's history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future. We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.

We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country. For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.

To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry. And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.

We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation. For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.

We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians. A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again. A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity.

A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed. A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility. A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia."

I'm glad that it's done regardless of whether, as the doomsayers worry, compensation claims come rushing in. The sky hasn't fallen in following the statement and hopefully we all can move on for the betterment of the country and all its inhabitants. Listening to the Parliamentary Network on my way home this afternoon I heard part of Question Time and the politicians were back to what they do most naturally, political point scoring.

What is it they say about the more things change?......


Once again the little weather man on this page is signalling rain and indeed as I set off now for work in the Day Centre it is again raining. That is good and bad news. This is our wettest summer in years.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Cyberdating again

I had another instant message chat with the man but I can't see anything good coming from a relationship with him.

It was a brief chat. He seems very keen on a relationship and flattered me with comments about how attractive I am but this type of compliment has always embarrassed me.

Anyway, my interest in him started to wane from the moment he told me his marital status. I don't want to be his bit of fluff on the side.

Sorry about that

I tuned in to Channel 10's main news bulletin tonight expecting today's historic opening of Parliament to be the main item and was disappointed to see it only ranked third in the network's opinion.

When they finally did cover the opening it was heartwarming to see bits of the Aboriginal welcoming ceremony and hear excerpts from speeches by Kevin Rudd and Brendan Nelson.

I'm hoping this new spirit continues and builds.

The long discussed 'sorry' statement is on the agenda for Parliament tomorrow and according to 10's report the Opposition has decided to endorse the motion. It will be good if the motion is passed unanimously.

Would you like fries with that?.....

Completely out of the blue today I was reminded of something I experienced eons ago when I was working in London.

It was 1975 and a cold and wet Sunday morning in Leicester Square. I was sitting in a Wimpy Bar (I think that was the name) eating a Wimpy Burger, food that was as unsavoury as the name. Sitting across from me was a man who I suppose was aged in his 60s. He looked like a lost soul not in the best of health. But what drew my attention was that he quite unashamedly had his penis out and was masturbating in a mechanical way as though he was in a trance.

This man was not attempting to conceal what he was doing and it must have been obvious to others at the restaurant including the staff. Noone spoke to him about it. At the time I thought to myself 'I hope when I am his age that I'm not in that sad state'.

I can't think what triggered the memory. Thirty-three years later I am closing in on 60 myself and thankfully I am in a reasonable mental state. But the image of this sad man lingers and makes me feel for those who battle mental health issues, especially if they are homeless to boot.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Making a point...badly

We seemed to be quite a few volunteers short today and only five of us lunched together.

Cs seemed to be in a good mood until he decided to get stuck into Ca for not yet having arranged a replacement for when he is away the next two weeks. He was quite rude to Ca, a fact not missed by Ge. I tried quietly to calm him down but he wouldn't let it drop. Not suprisingly Ca didn't hang around with us at lunch and left fairly quickly.

I suspect Cs realised what he had done as he later told me Ai had spoken to him previously urging restraint in his communication.

Sunday, 10 February 2008


It seemed when I awoke this morning that we were in for a second unusually cool and bleak February day. The temperature was only 16c and conditions looked dark and rainy.

So it was off to Bondi Junction again to the movies, this time to see Juno. Being the 10am session the audience was small (eleven people) the majority looking barely older then the sixteen year olds' depicted in the movie. But it was an appreciative audience with the younger members sniggering at the sexual innuendo and laughing heartily at the genuinely amusing moments.

I enjoyed the movie. The Juno character is both streetwise and naive as well as being irritating at times; all of which I imagine is typical of today's sixteen year olds. I particularly liked that almost all the characters looked so ordinary and normal and that they all had their strengths and weaknesses. This was not a film populated entirely with impossibly good looking folk a la the current television sensation Gossip Girl.

After the movie, I again purchased a sandwich from the deli counter in the food court but learning from last week had one made up that was a more manageable amount to eat.

By the time I left the centre the weather had cleared completely and I was far too warm in my jumper and jeans. Feeling a bit frisky I drove down to Centennial Park in the hope of meeting another cruiser but the leisure areas adjacent to the cruising area were too populated with straight picnickers and social cricketers for there to be any obvious action. Two good lookers, both wearing lycra bicycle shorts and displaying tempting bulges, wandered by but they seemed more interested in each other than in collecting a third.

So after hanging around only a few minutes I drove home alone picking up lamingtons on the way for afternoon tea thereby completely undoing whatever benefits I derived from my healthy lunch sandwich.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Austen for dummies

Today's visit to the movies was to see The Jane Austen Fan Club which attempts to provide the synopses of her six books through the meetings of the club and the story lines of the film's characters. It is a pleasant enough film without breaking any new ground. Maria Bello and Emily Blunt appealed to me most of the mainly female actors with Hugh Dancy, Kevin Zegers and Marc Blucas providing a pleasing range of eye candy for the gay viewer. Jimmy Smits has gained weight and it seems is past his best looks.

Zorba the Aboriginal

Next week the Australian Parliament is expected to express sorrow to Indigenous Australians regarding what is referred to as 'the stolen generation'. This video shows our original Australians having a lot of fun with a western favourite.

Naked Gay Ted

There's always one in the workplace!

Friday, 8 February 2008

Ginger Meggs

I grew up enjoying the cartoon Ginger Meggs which relates the life of a 12 year old red headed Aussie boy; hence the nickname Ginger.

I read where Ginger Meggs has been a cartoon tradition since 1921 and he has been 12 years old for all those 87 years. The fourth cartoonist to draw him was James Kemsley who drew the cartoon from 1984 but he died last December. The replacement is Jason Chatfield and at 23 years he is by far the youngest to draw Ginger. Jason's first Ginger Meggs cartoon will appear tomorrow. Looks like Ginger will be moving into the 21st century.

Park and shop

When I lived in Hong Kong decades ago there was a supermarket called something like Park and Shop. The supermarket was pretty small by today's standards and the available parking was ludicrous; about three parking spots from memory. But it all seemed so futuristic in those days.

For some reason I was reminded of that store today when I drove into my local shopping centre in Edgecliff (underground in the picture above). I was on my way home from work and wanted to buy a loaf of bread. The centre is a modestly sized affair compared to some but still has this cavernous underground parking station that holds hundreds of cars.

Parking there can be a very irritating business. Cars can only progress single file through the station. At every point you are delayed whilst other drivers block the passage as they wait for that perfect parking space which is about to become vacant for them even though already vacant spaces are clearly visible further down the station.
Before that perfect space does become available for the driver blocking your way Madame Hausfrau has to empty three trolley loads of shopping into the departing car, fiddle with her purse, get into her car, adjust her makeup, switch on the ignition and check her rear view mirror six times. Then she slowly moves out of the space in a manner that suggests she is carrying a beating heart for a transplant operation that must under no circumstances be moved at faster than 10kms per hour.

If not the arriving/departing car tango then it is the trolley man who is blocking everyone's way. He slowly drives his trolley carrying vehicle around the car park stopping, as at The Stations of the Cross, to collect numerous abandoned trolleys.

Why do I fall for this stress inducing treatment so often? I would be much calmer and healthier if I walked to and from the centre.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Play it again Sam

In the first episode the music was playing again as I embarked on my latest cyberdating.

I noticed 'the man' logged into Yahoo messenger so I messaged him to say hello and as it was within business hours I enquired if he was busy.

The music playing - lah de dah de dah.

The man: "Just a minute, I'm finishing chatting with a mate"
Me: "That's OK"

lah de dah de dah.

The man: "Sorry about that, how are you?"
Me: "Fine thanks, and you?"

lah de dah de dah - pleasantries exchanged.

The man: "Do you have webcam?"
Me: "Yes"
The man: "Would you like to go to that?"
Me: (thinks - are we moving to cybersex already? says "ok")

lah de dah de dah - webcams connected and viewing.

The man is in a bare room evidently fully dressed, I'm at home in my underwear....well that's what I had on at the time. I wasn't expecting webcam company!

More pleasantries exchanged. The man, it turns out, is in his office.

The man's webcam freezes.
Me: (thinks has he switched his cam off, does he not like what he sees?)
Me: "your cam has frozen" (echoes of Puccini, "your tiny hand is frozen")
The man: "Sorry, let me reconnect"
Me: (thinks - OK so my image hasn't scared him off yet)

lah de dah de dah - cams reconnected.

More pleasantries exchanged before his cam fails again.
Me: "your cam has frozen again"
The man: "do you have MSN?"
Me: "yes"
The man: "Can we move there?"
Me: "OK"

lah de dah de dah - we connect to MSN and cam through it.

Pleasantries turn to exploration of each other.
The man: "Have you always been gay?"
Me: "Yes....and you?"
The man: "Yes.....but I sublimated my feelings and married the first woman who came along....and we have three children aged 17, 15 and 13....and when I turned 45 my sexuality came to the fore....but my wife and kids don't know"

THUD - the music stops.

Me: (thinks WHOA! - says nothing)
The man: "Is that a problem for you?"
Me: (still thinks WHOA and then thinks that little detail wasn't in your profile.) Says lamely "well that's not my preference"
The man: "I'm not looking for a long term relationship and if we're not into each other sexually well at least we can be good friends"

THUD, THUD, THUD - music starts again lah de dah de dah only this time I recognise the tune as 'Play it again Sam'.

Yes, the same old same old - a married man and my dreams of growing old with my gay partner in a loving and sexual heaven have drained away.

We chat on very pleasantly for another 15 minutes. Then being the softy that I am when it is time to end our chat I agree to chat with him again.

He may become a new friend in time but in reality he is the latest cyber and real dating non-goer.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Cyberdating update.....

I'll provide an update on cyberdating in a later post. Suffice to preview that posting by saying the dance music turned out to be 'Play It Again Sam' and that the story hasn't ended.

Out Games

Kn is back from Melbourne where he took part in the Out Games and he is thrilled he (and his team) won a gold medal in rowing. They are the only members of their club to return with gold.

Haven't yet heard whether he medalled (terrible verb) in sex games as well but no doubt he'll tell me when he is ready. Knowing Kn's 'pulling' power, I have little doubt he scored more than a medal.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Drama Queen Devil

I told Cs at lunch about the devil and he was thrilled to be compared with Stanley Tucci who he admires as an actor. He demonstrated his pleasure with a drama queen size sweep of his arms.


I've had a home computer for about five years. In that time I have joined numerous gay sites, deposited my profile and then sat back waiting for the invitations to pour in. Of course they didn't pour in. To say that I received a trickle would also be overstating it. But some invitations came and a few of these led to the occasional real date. Each time an invitation arrived my imagination ran wild seeing myself settling down with the love of my life, the two of us living the rest of our days together in bliss and sexual heaven. Each time the reality was stark and I landed with a thud. I have gained some new friends from the Internet but not yet the close really loving relationship I still hope to enjoy.

I have danced the dance numerous times.

Well, I can hear the music again. I no longer routinely visit those sites hoping for a message but once in a while my email account tells me one has been received. And so it was yesterday. I cautiously checked the intray half expecting some generic promotional material of no interest. Instead I found a real person expressing an interest in my profile. His message was short but to my liking. Next step was to check out his profile. Mmmmm, not bad - some similarities of interest (social and sexual). What about his photo? Mmmmm, not bad either. Must be something to worry about. Checked his height and weight, maybe we are completely out of kilter there. Amazingly very similar stats to mine, so can't complain there.

Ok, took a deep breath and sent him a reply. Maybe he won't respond to that.......I've had non responses before from guys who had initiated the approach in the first place. But he did reply, fairly promptly too and with a bit more detail that also pushed the right buttons for me.

So next step in the modern courting ritual, we added each other as contacts on Yahoo messenger. Now we are in the "lets chat and see what develops" phase. The music is louder and the dance is about to begin.

Naturally there is one teeny weeny hurdle. I live in Sydney and he lives in Townsville. For those who are unfamiliar with Australian geography that's a distance of, let's say, about 2100kms. A 26 hours' drive! He says he visits Sydney 6 times a year.

Maybe I have nothing to gain but I have nothing to lose either. Let's dance.

I'll keep you informed.

Monday, 4 February 2008

What the devil.....

It's strange how you can notice something in a movie at a later viewing that you didn't notice the first time.

With nothing appealing on televison last night and the rain falling I decided to view a recording of The Devil Wears Prada. I'm sure I enjoyed it more last night than when I saw it in it's release at the movies. What struck me when I watched last night, that I never noticed the first time, is how much Stanley Tucci's portrayal of the gay Art Editor resembles Cs at the hospital. I meant to mention this to Cs at lunch today but forgot and will try to remember to tell him tomorrow. I'm sure Cs won't be offended as he is quite the drama queen and he knows it.