Sunday, 30 August 2009

Edilson Nascimento

Another slow work week and as Pete has been away for a couple of days on a work freebie (on posh yachts!), so it's been a bit dull. We did watch the film Milk which is brilliant - the best movie I have seen this year. I didn't realise that Sean Penn was such a great actor and us gay guys all owe Harvey Milk a great thanks for his fight for gay rights (something I should probably be part of in future). The work by people like him have meant that the gay boys can hang around Soho and other similar areas without fear... 20-30 years ago it was a very different "scene".

It's a been a while since I used this blog to simply say "my god this guy is hot!". So here we have possibly one of the beautiful men I have ever seen: Brazilian model Edilson Nascimento. And of course those looks are all down to luck - damn those genes.

And more images here and here

Friday, 28 August 2009

Free food!

When Pete and I lived in London, we would eat out perhaps 3 times a week. That has 2 effects: firstly, it's not cheap and secondly, you tend to put on weight.

As we now love being at home, we tend to go to restaurants less. However, we may still go out once a week - as we did the other night - and we will always find a way to get something for free. If you are in the UK and intend going to a restaurant chain, make sure that you go to this site:

Money saving expert (links directly to the restaurant vouchers)

Despite the site having an awkward layout, it gets millions of hits each month and I have been using it for various financial research for a few years, let alone taking advantage of the restaurant vouchers. For example, this week we had a voucher for the excellent Prezzo chain for buy one main meal, get one free. The deals change all of the time, so it's worth taking a look if you are eating out.


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Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The Ashes

England win the Ashes!

Let me start by saying that I am not a huge cricket fan having had it spoon fed from an early age - my Dad loves the game. I can't get too interested in test games - they require patience and dedication. I don't have enough of both.

I quite like the new(ish) 20-20 game. It's fast and has more action - it could well revolutionise the game in general, as the format is not only good to watch, but it's also TV friendly. You can't expect TV companies to set aside 5 days from the schedule for a test game (apart from sports networks perhaps). We'll see how it all develops over the coming years and the Indian Premier League could be the template.

So to the Ashes. It is amazing that a series of games played every couple of years between the same two countries: England and Australia, has so much interest. For those not into cricket, the Ashes is a competition that started in 1882 and is played every 18-30 months - see this wikipedia entry for more information.

To highlight how cricket can be a strange game, here are some stats from this Ashes tour:

Who scored most runs? Australia
Which team had six of the seven leading run makers? Australia
Who took most wickets? Australia
Which team had the three leading wicket-takers? Australia
Who won the series? ENGLAND!!!!

But even if you don't care about the result, there are two very good reasons to watch England... Alastair Cook (right) and Stuart Broad (left), who is very sweet with his (currently) floppy blond hair, but talks complete cricket jargon in interviews to confuse us.


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Sunday, 23 August 2009

August movie update

These are the films that we have received from and watched on TV over the past month (since the last update) - with my ratings out of ten from my movie list on IMDB. We had intended to go and see Harry Plopper, I mean Harry Potter, but haven't got around to it yet...

The Reader 8
A thought provoking film about an ex-Nazi also featuring loads of sex.

The Invasion 5
In a word... why?

Man on Wire 8
If you don't like heights, you will hate this! A great documentary about a mad Frenchman intent on crossing between the World Trade towers on a tightrope!

Brideshead Revisited 7

Easy Virtue 6
Mmmmm Ben Barnes.

Local Hero 6
Not quite the classic that I had hoped for - the ending didn't work for me.

Soapdish 5

Wendy and Lucy 4
Complete rubbish that looked like it was made by students on a tiny budget.

Harold and Maude 6
Very strange black comedy.

The Aviator 8
Great story and I think Leo is underrated as an actor

Hellboy II: The Golden Army 6
Not as good as the first film, but OK.

The 51st State 1
A truly awful film - shouting, swearing, over-acting and a shite story. I switched off after an hour, mostly through embarrassment for the usually great Samuel L. Jackson. Avoid at all costs.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day 7

The Departed 8
Violence throughout and a bit confusing in places, but kept me glued to the screen.

Saturday, 22 August 2009


Today Pete and I are hosting a barbecue (or barbeque or BBQ depending on where you look) and we are expecting about 25 people at our home to eat meat and drink beer. Pray for sunshine as the English summer has been rather wet so far. Also pray that food is thoroughly cooked and I will be serving pulled pork which went down very well last year, though the vegetarians didn't eat too much.

As I had only one comment on my suggestion for a 'vlog' entry, I assume it's a non-starter. And... I would still like to hear your views on the next boxset to watch - see the last posting.


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Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Which boxset?

As I haven't been able to run due to the leg injury (have I mentioned that?!), I have been undertaking some non-impact excercise in our "home gym"... well it's a cross trainer and a bike. As I find this incredibly boring, I have been watching 24 on DVD whilst sweating. It helps to pass the time.

I am coming to the end of the 24 episodes and as I will probably carry on with this excercise routine for a while yet, I need another boxset to view. I don't think I want to go on to the next series of 24.

So does anyone have any suggestions? It has to be a continuing story, to tempt me back to the gym time and again. It must be high quality, probably drama (UK or US based).

Come on people, ideas please!

I have to mention this... why is Windows Vista so very crap? I now can't connect to the Internet as it tries to connect to the same wireless network twice and I can no longer print as the "print spooler" keeps turning off. I am not sure how much time I have wasted reading user forums trying to fix this Microsoft rubbish!


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Monday, 17 August 2009

The sun always shines

You will be pleased to know that the paintwork is now "acceptable" on my dining room wall. I think that the paint was not of the greatest quality - it was the own-brand type from a major DIY store.

Football fans may have read about the Crystal Palace goal on Saturday that wasn't given. I'm far too angry to comment other than to make 2 brief points: Firstly, in this game where results can be worth millions of pounds, the authorities need to get basic decisions like this correct and secondly, the referee owes an apology to all fans at the game as it makes the result a sham.

In a league above... the English Premiership is followed around the world, so here are my predictions for the season (though I am rarely correct) following the first games on Saturday:

1. Chelsea
2. Man Utd
3. Arsenal
4. Liverpool

18. Burnley
19. Wolves
20. Hull

On Saturday night Pete I went to a birthday party for one of his friends. It's always a bit strange to be the "plus one" at these events and it was hard work all evening. Though the wine certainly helped.

On Sunday, after several coats of paint in the dining room, I resumed work on my wire art (see picture on the right). I saw some interesting art in France a while back, so I decided to have a go. I appreciate that it's not great, but my three foot "installation" on the wall overlooking the garden means that the sun will always be shining at our house. It's modelled loosely on my tattoo.

Something I meant to mention a few days ago was this weeks Who Do You Think You Are which featured Canadian actress Kim Cattrall (of Sex & The City fame). I've always liked this TV programme, where celebrities trace their family history. This week was different in that Kim was only looking for her Liverpudlian Grandfather who disappeared in 1937. He walked out on his wife and 3 children never to be seen again. It's an amazing story and it shows how one very selfish man affected several generations of individuals in such a negative way.

I've been thinking about doing a one-off vlog (i.e. a video blog) to allow everyone to see and hear me! Any comments on this potentially awful idea?

And for the record, my shin splints are still painful!


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Saturday, 15 August 2009


I hate painting. There, I've admitted it. The dining room wall is now painted blue and is patchy and looks awful. A tip for you: don't use "once coat" paint - it's too thick for a roller or a pad. Every time I start painting, I set out with visions of design splendor - and within minutes I am frustrated.

Give me some watercolours and some paper and I am happy - but give me a paintpot and a wall and I am an unhappy guy.

Not much else to report - it's been a quiet week at work and also social life.

Let me just add one comment: I caught a little of the Jeremy Kyle TV show yesterday. It was the first time I have seen it and all I can say is, what a piece of **** television it is. The producers should be ashamed to be associated with such negative, angry and unprofessional TV. It's gutter based programmes like this that give ITV a bad name.


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Thursday, 13 August 2009

What's going on here then?

I was going to blog about my shin splints, but I'm sure you don't want to hear about my painful leg - I will tell you about my short lived running plan later.

So, instead of my sporting failure, here is a picture I saw on the TV news this morning that I think is both funny and cute. Melissa Brandts and her husband were on holiday at Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park, Canada where they set up a camera with the self timer flashing away when this little guy (is he a Prairie dog?) popped up to see what all the fuss was about!


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Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Miscellaneous photographs #3

Following on from previous posts, here are some more of my photographs for your enjoyment, this time with a French theme...

1. Road markings in London
2. No parking
3. Graffiti in Oxford
4. Boule on the beach


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Sunday, 9 August 2009

Dino rules

A while back I mentioned the stunningly cute Mr Gay UK 2009, Dino Gamecho in this blog. A couple of days ago I saw a picture of him and some airline staff, so here it is, with a couple of small amendments...

He did an interview after the announcement of his supergayship and you can see it here. What a well rounded, confident and fit guy he is!

I attempted to get him to be my 3F - Famous Facebook Friend, but he didn't reply. That hasn't put me off him one bit though. I have found one 3F so far: comedian Luke McQueen - who is not only an extremely handsome guy, but also very funny. Check him out here. I hope he gets a slot at the local comedy club so I can see him live.

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Saturday, 8 August 2009

The season starts here

The new football season starts today and I can't say I'm too excited. For years I would attempt to see a pre-season friendly and then look forward to the opening game, but not this year. Football is now an expensive day out, but more importantly I find it a little depressing knowing that my club, Crystal Palace, is unlikely to achieve much this season. Also, the business itself appears to be stagnating and sadly I see a day when we are relegated as Simon Jordan's financial support dry up. And who can blame him from getting out of the game?

We are a club stuck in a poor position and we seem to be repeating the same approaches to the football business which have not worked year on year. We are in a rut and I don't see an obvious way out, other through luck – perhaps happening upon some amazing talent for free who can lift the squad, but that still doesn't deal with the underlying business.

It's not too late to make a change, but I fear that time is running out. I believe that some fresh vision is needed and calculated risk taking required. The club has dipped it's toe into this "forward thinking space" a few times: including a team in the USA that was designed to produce some talent to come to London and a partly successful youth Academy, but other parts of the club are very poor.

Lacklustre marketing over the past few years has meant that the profile of Crystal Palace is low and we have appalling attendance figures. Every year we should have been working hard to attract all types of people to the stadium, thinking much longer term (getting into schools for example). When you consider that several million people live within a 5 miles radius, you have to question what the marketing people are actually doing?

It looks to me like the club has run out of ideas. Of course, it's not all the managements fault. The "game" has changed and Palace missed the opportunity to progress when relegated from the Premier league a few years ago.

The gulf between the rich clubs and everyone else is huge and the gap is growing and growing. It means that, unless a rich benefactor pumps millions into a club, there's no chance of moving up the leagues.

For me, money is ruining the game - take Manchester City and the vulgar amounts they are throwing about. You can't tell me that the players that have been signed recently are going to further the cause of the club - it's all about money. According to the press, Gareth Barry wanted to leave Aston Villa to play in the Champions League with Liverpool and he is now paid a fortune at Man City with no European football at all! Adebayor was said to have begged Manchester United and Chelsea to buy him on the day he was signing for City!

Am I jealous of the money - well yes and no. The game for me is all about hope - perhaps one day we will achieve something special having grown a great team and that's being taken away by the big spenders and the growing gulf between big and small clubs. Or.... the top 6 or so and the rest. What I want is to support a team that gives itself a chance and to have followers who get behind the team, management and board. Why should I spend £50+ on a Saturday to travel to the game and enter a run down stadium to watch a team that stands no chance of success? Once I may have down that, but the future looks so bleak, I just am not interested.

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Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Five on the fifth #2

Welcome to "Five on the fifth", a monthly posting that benefits from audience participation. All you do is take 5 random photographs on the fifth of the month and post them somewhere on the net - then post a comment here with your name, location and link to the blog/picasa/flickr site containing your photos and I will update the blog entry with your information. My own pictures are followed by links to those who contributed:

Goreti, Portugal
Sonny, London, England
Andrew, Somerset, England
Marco, Posh part of London, England
Pete, Hertfordshire, England
David, Brighton, England
James, London, England

Monday, 3 August 2009

Ha, Ha, Shock, Wow #3

Following on from these postings, here are four more random items (with a sex theme it appears) from the 'net for your pleasure and entertainment...


A cruise on the Pacific goes all wrong, the ship sinks, and there are only 3 survivors: Bob, Tom and Debbie. They manage to swim to a small island and they live there for a few months before the human urges overcame them and they started doing what's natural for men and women to do.

After several years of casual sex, all of the time, Debbie felt absolutely horrible about what she was doing. She began to think that having sex with both Bob and Tom was so immoral and bad that she killed herself.

It was tragic, but Bob and Tom managed to get through it. After a while, Bob and Tom's resistance to nature's urgings waned, and the inevitable happened. Well, a couple more years went by and Bob and Tom began to feel absolutely horrible about what they were doing...

So they buried Debbie.

The vibrator was originally used as a medicinal treatment for female "hysteria" during the 19th century. The orgasms helped doctors dissipate anxiety related symptoms.


Charlie Hunnam (mmmm Queer as folk... so many good memories)

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Whatever happened to...

Even though it's been many many years since leaving school, I was wondering the other day about old friends and what happened to them. I don't want to compare successes or failures or even to renew friendships. I think it might be nice just to reminisce a bit over email and to personally recognise some regrets at failed relationships and learn from that.

I appreciate that the following names will mean nothing to you - but maybe the examples will remind you of the "best days of your life" and persuade you to get in touch with some people. Friends Reunited helped to fuel the nosiness and Facebook took it to another level but as far as I know, none of these people are on the 'net:

Robin Betts - Officially my best friend at school. We grew up together from the age of 5 to 16 and were close until we just grew apart. I could get in touch with him as I know where his family lives but I have the feeling that we'd just wind each other up if we met up again! I am sure he has become a great success as he was always a decisive and focused person.

Jeremy Court - Potentially the best friend I never quite had. We went to different schools but my Dad knew his Step-Dad. We got on so well and hung out most weekends for a couple of years in our mid teens in the town of Snodland. He was the very cool, good looking one... I was not. Everyone liked Jeremy and had loads of friends but we drifted apart - no arguments, no disagreements, we just moved on.

Paul Hendy - A school friend who was a good footballer, clever, witty and we got to know each other over the course of secondary school. He knew everyone at school and was liked by all.

As for the rest, there have been a few conversations via Friends Reunited or Facebook and some friendships rekindled. What would we do without the Internet?