// February 2007
Now, my love of hating Eurovision is something which many people are surprised by. It is assumed that as a card-carrying gay man – and one with a fervent love of pop music – I must adore it, but I don’t.
It’s like drinking gin. Somehow it’s one of those aspects of being a gay that doesn’t appeal.
Generally the songs don’t move me because I find them just a little bit too trite (classics such as Gina G, ABBA and Bucks Fizz aside). And I refuse to sit through the tedium of the performances and scoring just to hear the genius that is Terry Wogan being rightly disdainful of the whole misplaced purpose of the thing.
I think I also bridle at the assumption that “you’re gay, you like pop, therefore you must like this or be a bad gay”.
Well… if so I’m a bad gay. No biscuit. (You can hit me on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper if it would make you any happier).
I do, however, have a vague interest on a national pride level of how well we do. And I’d quite like us as a country to do something un-self-consciously poppy, bright, breezy and produced in a way which doesn’t suggest a quick sequencing job in the back of a mini on the way to the studio.
So people… who’s in the running this year then?
Ah. It’s that oddball who used to be in the Darkness, some thug who used to be in East 17, some bint who used to be in Atomic Kitten and… hang on a second… bloody Scooch!
Now, as someone with a lot of fondness for Scooch (they had some great singles and their cover of the Littlest Hobo theme is amazing) a part of me is really glad to see them back.
But from the tiny clip available on the “Making Your Mind Up” site I can only assume that the studio was in the middle of nowhere and the mini had a fair bit of off-road to do to get there.
Still, I suppose there’s no danger we’ll bankrupt the UK by hosting the contest next year…
This one somehow sneaked out on release in the UK last week without me noticing. (I tried to buy it on iTunes last year but because it was only on the US Store I couldn’t.)
I love it. A nice simple piece of electro-pop with a Eurythmics-esque bassline.
Amazing that it’s a US band, really. It’s not the sort of sound I usually associate with the States.
It seems that tomorrow may well be our last day of being able to watch the Simpsons Channel, a.k.a Sky One.
For those unaware of this, Telewest, not content with being swallowed up by NTL, have now let NTL get swallowed up by Richard Branson’s ever expanding Virgin empire. Thus we are now, officially, customers of Virgin Media whether we like it or not.
Unfortunately this has coincided with the licence for certain Sky channels on cable coming up for renewal. And Sky, in a stunning example of corporate greed, has apparently decided to double the price it charges. The negotiations have, amusingly, become somewhat bitter with both Virgin and Sky blaming the other, taking out various adverts and trying to whip up the customer base.
The package causing the acrimony appears to contain Sky One, Two and Three (at least the last two of which Chris and I don’t get) and Sky News and Sky Sports News (both of which Chris and I wouldn’t lower ourselves to). So as far as we’re concerned the whole fracas is really about whether we get Sky One or not.
So… we don’t watch Lost or Heroes, Chris keeps missing Battlestar Galactica (which I’m so far behind I can’t be arsed to start on) and, with due consideration, most of the rest of Sky One’s programming is aimed at post-operative brain donors, so bearing all this in mind we’re currently of the opinion that losing this package is not really going to be a great loss.
The only things we will miss are the new Simpsons episodes – which make up less than a fiftieth of the total Simpson’s schedule on Sky – and Project Catwalk (which is proving worryingly compelling but I could probably get on BitTorrent anyway).
So frankly we’re thinking, “Meh. Lose it. It’s fine.”
The trouble is that leaves bugger all on Virgin that we really need either. To be fair my only televisual concerns for the next six months are whether I can get BBC One and BBC Three (soon to be rebranded as the Doctor Who channel) – both of which we could get on Freeview or Homechoice.
So when we finally come to move and look at our new TV and internet packages it looks like Virgin may lose out as well.
Up yours Murdoch and Branson!
As one or two of you may know, Chris and I have decided to up sticks from Highgate (Archway! Highgate!) and head to pastures new.
Our main reason is that we need vastly more space than we have at present (I so need a new bookcase), but other more pragmatic desires are a steadfast determination to not have to use the Northern Line on a daily basis, and a general feeling we’d like to be a bit more central than we are at present.
And so the flatmate has been scouring the web in search of suitable accomodation and we have, on occasion, been viewing properties… wait for it… south of the river.
God it’s a tedious process.
The first problem we keep running into is the letting agents themselves. Why is it, do you feel, that they seem compelled to totally misunderstand your requirements? Even the simple stipulation “not on the Northern Line” seems to have dragged us such parts of the capital as Clapham, Kennington and Elephant and Castle.
Others have decided that what two single men in their mid-twenties / early thirties want is a flat in a luxury new developments. Our repeated protestations that, no, we don’t care, an old building with large rooms is more our style is oft met with the firm assertion that “nah, mate, you want luxury” and a viewing of a glorified broom-cupboard with nice taps.
(Incidentally, my view of luxury is very simple: wooden flooring – no hoovering and easy to mop or suck the wine spills from.)
Still, one or two of the properties we’ve viewed have been almost there, it has to be said. But almost really isn’t quite good enough. So far we’ve been stymied by badly placed sinks (under sloping roofs which were only really fine for dwarves), long walks from any reasonable transport links, and so on.
But for the most part the biggest problem is that one bedroom of the two simply isn’t big enough for one large human male, a desk, a PC, bookshelves and a bed. How, in this modern age of extended families and housemates, the term “two double bedrooms” can be applied to such differing floor-spaces I’ll never really understand.
And so the search goes on. But after six properties now I’m getting heartily sick of it.
I fully expect to still be searching in a year’s time.