Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I Got The Job... Damn Spoilers!

Yesterday I was in the middle of watching an episode of Airline (Satellite TV Rule 1: An episode of Airline is on at least one channel at any given moment in time) in which Leo received a phone call telling him he hadn't got his promotion. At the very second he got the news my phone rang, and I was informed I had got the promotion I was after. 

With the pay rise involved with that, the standard 3% pay rise we're likely to get once the union sees sense, the bonus I get in February and the tax changes next April things should start looking up in my bank balance over the next few months! Good news for once Dear Constant Reader. 



I have a new husband (conservatively numbered 52033). He's not like most of my husbands, more in line with the more twinky set such as Brent Corrigan a few years ago, but wow isn't he cute? Goes by the name Cody Cachet for now (until I've worked out that whole marriage equality thing, and that polyamourous marriage thing too).

 On that front the new year brings about the Westminster consultation on marriage equality (pencilled in for March so expect it to start in September), so keep an eye on my politics blog for all the normal marriage equality news. 


Oh, in case you hadn't noticed I now have a new easier URL for this blog: http://blog.jaekay.net. You're welcome ;)
 
If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Is Just Around The Corner

It's been a busy week. Monday I had an assessment for a new job I've applied for. It involved 2 roleplays which are my least favourite things. The first one went well (in my opinion) but the second one I felt I came across as rushed and uncaring. 

Tuesday was my works Christmas party. As part of the changes (including the new role I've applied for) our teams are being broken up and mixed around so we had our Christmas party early so that we all got to enjoy each others company one last time. It was at the Brickfields, and whilst the starter and dessert were lovely, the main course was dry and vaguely unpleasant. I received a present of 12 cans of Stella Artois (classy as always) with a free DVD! But I also found out I had successfully passed the assessment and was through to the interview stage.

Wednesday was just one hell of a busy day we work with one of the other teams having their Christmas do, meaning we had to pick up the slack. 

Thursday was interview D-Day! I hate interviews only a little less than roleplays but feel it went okay. I will find out on Monday whether I've got the job or not. Well I will do if they remember to phone me as I'm off this week! 

Friday was the last day of work for a whole week and thus seemed to take forever to finish. I got home to a find Jim had gotten very adventurous with dinner and was serving hare! Turns out I don't like hare. 

Saturday was very random indeed. I simply asked what Jim would like for breakfast and, before we even knew it, we were on the HS1 to Greenwich. Getting off at Stratford, we walked through the new Westfield shopping centre and were very impressed. Given our many trips to Stratford International during the construction, it was a nice not to have to get a bus through a construction site but instead take a sedate walk past some gorgeous shops to get to Stratford's DLR station. 

Our initial plan was to get breakfast at Maggie's in Lewisham but we decided instead to have an early lunch from the little Thai lady's shack that had been our weekend haunt when we lived in Greenwich. We were shocked and appalled to find she was no longer there! Many years of good food and humourous "misunderstandings" over Jim and I's relationship ("Where your Dad?") have thus come to an end. We had some Thai food from her replacement but whilst it was lovely, it wasn't half as good as little Thai lady's spin on Indian cuisine. 

After that disappointment we made our way up our old road (which hasn't really changed at all in the last 18 months) and plopped ourselves down in our usual seats in the local! It was good to see Dennis, and Pamula the cat, and the various other passing characters who still frequent our much missed drinking hole. We stayed for a few hours, chatting and drinking and around 7pm we called it a day and headed back up to Stratford. 

The timings didn't quite work out, and there was no DLR waiting to whisk us to Stratford International at Stratford station. So we wandered back through Westfield, past the ice-skaters and shoppers and settled ourselves in at Wahaca, a Mexican restaurant which turned out to be staffed by quite appealing waiters who served even more appealing food. We had the Wahaca selection for two, a Queso Fundido to satisfy Jim's curiousty for cactus and a sweet potato side. I have a huge appetite and even I felt the Wahaca selection was a LOT of food for £20.00. The sweet potato side was gorgeous, the Queso Fundido was alright and the Wahaca selection went from tasty to orgasmic. The quesadilla was awesome and the refried beans that came with it was excellent. Affordable and tasty, the only thing I find strange (not annoying just weird) was how apologetic our waiter was. He apologised for the wait when we were served amazingly quickly. And then seemed really apologetic when he collected our mostly clean plates (there was no way we could finish it all) as if he'd left us there for ages. We were in and out in half an hour (due to need to catch out train) so we really had nothing we could be upset about! Very odd. Also their mojitos were top-notch and up there with the best I've had. Plus their tortilla chip nibbles are worth the visit alone. 


Both train journeys there and back were packed, so Christmas has truly arrived! Shoppers everywhere. I did get that "London" feeling I used to get but the usual good vibes are now very much kept in check by the memories of the commutes, the noise, the people, the smells etc. etc. London is no longer the paradise I once thought it was. It's now a place that has a lot of good things to do, but one I don't want to hang around in. Folkestone always seems a little bit nicer after a visit to London. Home sweet home. 
 
If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Plymouth

I've just not been in the mood for blogging of late, which is usually just a temporary situation. But just to keep things ticking over... 

I went to Plymouth this weekend for the HMS Iron Duke Reunion party Saturday night


No, I've never served on the Iron Duke, nor in the Navy. 


The A303 is hideous. Littered with animal corpses every few yards. 


Yes, I know it's ironic that I say this even though by being in a car on the A303 I was part of the problem. 


Went to the Little Chef in Popham for breakfast, just to see what Heston Blumenthal improvements were like.


I can report that it was one of the worst cooked breakfasts I've ever had. Strange taste to the eggs, nasty bacon, the black pudding was it's only saving grace. 


Plymouth's nice. 


Except for the couple in the room next to us who had extremely noisy sex. Yuck. 


That is all for now! 

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Awkward Crushes On Straight Guys

It'll probably come as no surprise to you, Dear Constant Readers, that I've been watching the latest series of Big Brother. It's an addiction that's been with me for over a decade now. 


One particular relationship in the house is bringing back embarrassing memories of my own youth, and that's the weird relationship between Aaron and Tom. Aaron is straight and Tom is gay. Though my initial opinions of Aaron were that he was a bit of an arrogant prick, I'm beginning to see there is probably a nice guy in him somewhere and he has been very nice indeed to Tom. Tom, on the other hand, comes across as a rather naive, young gay guy who has a bit of a crush on Aaron. 


The rather frank discussions between Tom and Aaron over this, which seem almost alien to me now I've matured a little bit, remind me scarily of a particularly strange relationship I had at university which these three posts do not really give justice to. 


Let me tell you... having a crush on a flirtatious heterosexual man is the worst possible thing that can happen to a gay guy. 


I'm no stranger to unrequited love ("No kidding", I hear you shout). I personally think it's one of the best kinds of love out there. Something sort of pure about a youthful crush on an unobtainable stranger. But getting that feeling about someone who you know, chat with and who flirts back but where NOTHING can ever happen is the most frustrating, heart-breaking and awful thing that can be. 


It wasn't even the "You can look but you can't touch" frustration of it. Just like Aaron making out with Tom for a joke, there was plenty of sexually charged (sometimes naked, it was university after all ;) ) contact between me and the object of my affections. But nothing ever happened. The "You can touch but you can't have" frustration trumps all others in my humble opinion.


My advice to Tom would to get a grip on his emotions. Whilst it might be interesting for us to watch, it's only going to be emotionally draining for both parties. Aaron needs to set some boundaries and Tom needs to get some self-respect and stop acting as if Aaron is betraying him when Aaron gets off with girls. I know, asking someone not to have a crush on someone is an impossible request. But there is something to be said about keeping those emotions between you and your blog readers. 


If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Friend Comes To Call

Last weekend Arwen came to visit. Which was awesome! She is in the UK for a few weeks and decided to make Folkestone her first port of call (who wouldn't? ;) ). Thankfully Folkestone was on it's best behaviour with Triennial stuff to see and do (it ends this weekend so get your bum down here to see it now!). We spent a day just wandering round visiting some of the installations. Some I was lukewarm on ("Lighthouse in the Sea of Time" and "Boutique Kosovo" were obviously acquired tastes) whilst others I loved. Towards The Sound of Wilderness by Cristina Iglesias was awesome. It was a small window in the midst of thick bush onto an overgrown Martello tower and moat. I can honestly say I never even knew there was a Martello tower there! Fascinating. The Country of the Blind, and Other Stories by CAMP was an excellent video installation detailing the lives of immigrants in Calais as they attempted to get to the UK. It was worth sitting through just to discover some immigrants swam out to and stowaway on ferries, an escape method I'd never even conceived of! Brave and foolish all at once. All the best things are I suppose. 


The volunteers were... enthusiastic. Some must not have seen a human being in days! 


We also went to Canterbury which was the second time I'd been there in a fortnight. Had a Wagamama's and a drink in the Bishop's Finger, visited the Cathedral too. If it wasn't for the unfortunate fact Arwen lost her camera case there we would never have gone back in for a second time and almost literally bump into the Archbishop of Canterbury! 


If you have a 3D device you can enjoy seeing him from behind in 3D!!!


   


 Don't say this blog isn't cutting edge... 


I honestly don't know what Arwen thought of our little town but it was lovely to see her! 


Right now I should be in Berlin but due to unforeseen circumstances I'm not. Which is said given how much I love that city but is tempered by fact I'm off work for over a week!!! Hurrah.

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Return Of Comic Book Jae

Damn it. DC's New 52 has done two things to me. The first is hardly surprising: it's reinvigorated my usual underlying obsession with all things comic books. But the second thing is surprising: it's had me reading DC books. I've been a Marvel boy ever since I first got into American comics, almost exclusive X-titles. I own the graphic novels of The Killing Joke and 52 but those have been my only flirtations with anything DC. I've read more IDW and Dark Horse stuff than DC... 




But times are a-changing. Action Comics #1 was good, Stormwatch #1 was interesting, Superboy #1 was EXCELLENT and Justice League #1 was entertaining. I liked them so much that I dragged out the Dark Knight Returns from under the coffee table where it's sat for months since I bought it at a boot fair and devoured it too. 


Plus with .CBR reading apps and Comixology on my mobile, I don't even need to irritate Jim with unnecessary comics lying around the house. Everybody's happy!


In other geeky news: I read Stephen King's new short story Mile 81 today. Absolutely amazing. I really felt for the characters. I was reading it in my lunch break at work and had to suppress the urge to scream out loud "Don't go near the car!!" at some points. It's up there with another short story of his I love; The Mist. But there-in lies the reason I'm not a fan of short stories... I desperately wanted more! Frustrating, but in a good way!


If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Oooo... Another New Blogger Layout

Hmm... Blogger has gone and got a new interface. As I've been on Blogger for OVER 10 years (which makes me want to cry a little), I'm pretty used to such changes and whilst there is plenty of nashing of teeth out on Twitter and other places I suspect I'll get used to this latest instalment in Bloggers ever changing layout.

 So both Jim's son Ian and my brother George have stayed over during the last week. Jim, Ian and I went to see Cowboys and Aliens last weekend. Whilst Daniel Craig in a cowboy outfit is more than a little distracting, it was otherwise a fairly mediocre movie. Frankie and Benny's was similarly dismal, with only the scary black eyes of the waiter being notable. We also went to Canterbury which was cool as I've not been there for years. There are so many new buildings, Whatever Comics has moved and Bar 11 has closed down (AH!). But Wagamama's, a place I've never been impressed with before, scored big on the lunch front with an awesome Chicken Katsu curry.

 This week I've been "training" at work, which basically means I've been doing all the things I used to do before. For once it was a one-on-one refresher rather than a complete training module meaning I think they are finally realising I'm not a "new starter" but a "returnee" who needs a minimal update on changes to processes rather than two week modules rehashing things I already know. Good stuff!

In other news: rediscovering two past loves: Stephen King and comics. And since I last had those obsessions they've actually sort of merged. Hmm... must read "N" as it did cost me £18.99! Damn nostalgia at Whatever Comics overcame my need to save money...

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I'm Obviously Complicated In A Stupid Way

I hate the barbers. I think this should be fairly obvious to you, Dear Constant Reader, as there have been several posts in the past lamenting the evils of those torture chambers disguised as coiffeurs.

Today was that evil day where I must submit my head to the attention of a man armed with a miniature buzz saw and scissors. I don't want small talk, I don't want a chat, I just want to be in and out as quickly as possible, preferably with my dignity (and ears) intact. So it as a surprise when, after 5 minutes the barber had not blabbered away incessantly about some boring topic, I found myself concerned as to what might be wrong.

Was he unhappy? Had I inadvertently pissed off this sharp-instrument wielding guy? Why wasn't he trying out his latest dull lecture (such as a famous past conversation I've entitled "How supermarket offers are going to cause the collapse of Western civilisation") on me?

After years of trying to find a barber who didn't bore me with football or chit-chat, I finally find one and all I can worry about is what must be wrong with me for him to not try and make small talk! I'm truly one messed up individual.

Well you'll be pleased to know he shortly afterwards asked me if I had the day off work and I gave him a short, curt "Yes" signifying my urge not to speak to him ever again, and all was right with the world once more.

I'm one sick puppy.

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

10 Years On... Happy Blogaversary!

I work in a building that is completely devoid of totty. I mean, in most companies there's at the very least a guy on a different floor who you might occasionally see who keeps the totty quota up. But not in mine. Ever since Rugby Boy left (6'2", with pecs and biceps of a size to make your eyes water if you looked at them dead on) it's been a totty desert. How is a boy to get through his 9-5 without something nice to look at? Le sigh.

But I started an NVQ at work today so I suppose that'll keep me at least a little busier than normal. Anything to keep it interesting...

Our ratty house guests have left us today which is both a shame (as they were very cute) and a joy (as they were really, really smelt). Seems like Mum is about to get rid of them as my brother is not caring for them, so it was nice to have had a chance to spoil them before they go...

And in other news... today marks 10 years, which from your perspective must feel like a life sentence Dear Constant Reader, since I began this blog. I was just an 18 year old boy, little did I realise the fun and frolics that lay ahead for me...

So here is the first post, just to remind us how this all started... and here's a brief review of my blogging life including a picture of our beloved Charles Dera!

As always on these blogaversarys, say hi if you are still lurking, I know there's far fewer of you nowadays due to the fact I've been a Bad Blogger. But at least it's still limping along... Thanks for sticking with me :)

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Search For Pizza

Since the demise of Pizza King there has been a pizza shaped hole in my heart. Last week we discovered Super Pizza was probably the best pizza we've had in Folkestone so far, but their delivery service was pretty awful.

*phone rings*

"You order Super Pizza?" shouts a gruff voice.

"Yes"

"We downstairs" hangs up.

I headed downstairs to find the delivery guy sitting in his car waiting for me. I had to go to his car to get the pizza!

So after they "lost" our order yesterday, Jim took an executive decision to wander down and pick up the pizzas ourselves.

Of course on the way we got distracted and ended up in the Pullman, our favourite pub in Folkestone, where we had two bottles of a delicious sweet wine in the beer garden (much to the confusion of the barman who was half ready to pour us our usual pints of Amstel). We then moved on to Wetherspoons (I refuse to call it the Samuel Peto!) where we had another bottle of wine and caught a glimpse of a bit of flesh (well if a guy is going to lean over a bar and have very low hanging jeans, what's a boy to do?).

We eventually stumbled to Super Pizza where they attempted to overcharge us by a few pence. Whilst I'd just pay that, as I'll do anything to avoid a fuss, Jim has a keen sense of principle and a small awkward moment occurred where he attempted to explain how we were being overcharged and it ended only when a manager intervened and corrected the error. I totally understand why Jim does what he does, but God those sort of altercations are my worst nightmare.

We've got two house guests at the moment, Lenny and Bart. They are my brother George's rats and they're actually rather cute. And there's a new Celebrity Big Brother on the telly! Doesn't get much better than that!

Jim's not been well again recently which is playing on my mind, and works all a bit of a dull SSDD. Otherwise I'm not doing so bad... how are you, Dear Constant Reader?

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

A Customers Guide To Driving Me Insane

You know those things that people do that set your teeth on edge... Well imagine having to put up with those things throughout your working day and you'll begin to have an insight into my own personal hell. Here are just a few things that drive me up the wall.

1) Call openings

Me: "How can I help?"

Customer: "Yes I hope you can help"

This may seem innocuous, it may seem sensible but everytime a customer says that I die a little. I was asking how I could help, not whether I could help! Of course I can help, don't they know who I am??

Me: "How can I help?"

Customer: "Hi"

Me: "Hello, how can I help?"

Customer: "My name is..."

Thus the call proceeds for about two minutes before the customer tells me what I can do for them and I solve the problem in a second. Don't blame me for your phone bills if you don't wish to answer a very simple question.

Me: "How can I help?"

Customer: "Customer reference 4....."

RUDE.

For all the talk of customers complaining about not being treated like human beings most simply go into robot mode when they call a customer service team.

2) My name is not James, it's not Mr Jason, I'll accept "Sir" but that'll be begrudgingly. My name is Jason, and I'll even let you get away with calling me Jay. Is this so very difficult? When, invariably, someone calls me "Mr Jason" during my working day I have to take very deep breathes to maintain my professional calm.

3)Customer: "Can I pay please?"

Me: "Of course you can, what's the number of the card you want to use?"

Customer: "Oh I'll just go get it"

Why did you call to make a payment when your card wasn't there? I can understand if part way through a call you decide to pay but don't have your card with you. But when that's the whole point of your call... why?? It's not this is a once every so often thing. It happens 50% of the time!

4) People who ask a question then interrupt halfway through your answer with a completely different question. And repeat throughout the call. Why????

5) People who talk to their neighbours and get the completely wrong end of the stick.

Customer "My neighbour only pays a pound a month!"

Me "Trust me, I can't look at their account with you but I can guarantee they pay more than that"

Customer "Are you calling me a liar?"

Me: "No, I just think someone's got the wrong end of the stick..."

And thus it continues until they go and get their neighbour and we prove conclusively that what they said was that they pay "about a pound a day" or some such thing. AH!

And thus the horrors continue day in, day out...

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Something Like Summmer: Review

As you, Dear Constant Reader, know too well I do not generally read fiction outside of some set criteria: if it's not written by Stephen King/Dean R Koontz or it's not about time travel/freaks of evolution/zombies then generally it's not read.

However whilst Jim was in Boston last week he informed me I simply had to, no excuses allowed, read a book by Jay Bell called Something Like Summer. Given I was in the middle of reading a particularly awesome alternate history novel at the time I was not so keen. But, out of both a trust of Jim's taste and fear of his wrath if I hadn't at least started the book by the time he got home, I decided to give it a go.

The book's story revolves around the life of one gay guy from high school through to twenty-somethingness, from his first crush through marriage and tragedy. The main character, Ben, acts in ways I can barely comprehend, but the story drew me in and I found myself actually empathising with the characters so much that I struggled to read through the embarrassing/dangerous situations Ben got himself into because I find those sorts of situations so terrifying. His on/off romance with Tim is well done, even if I couldn't ever imagine acting the way Ben does at times, with Tim reminding me very much of the character of John Dixon in Get Real.

The mark of a good story is how well it makes you care about the characters and, honestly, by the end of the book there were tears in my eyes which was quite embarrassing as I was sitting at my desk at work! And it did a truly awesome job of capturing those early years in a gay guy's life when he's just coming out and gave me a nice nostalgic glow regarding my own misspent youth.

If you're looking for something that's easy to read, engaging, affordable and touching then this book will tick all those boxes. Check it out!




If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Saturday, July 09, 2011

I'm Not Proud To Be Gay: I'm Ecstatic

I may no longer attend pride parades but that doesn't mean I still don't annoy my better half with my constant obsession with all news and affairs which are little bit gay. And I thought it was time to remember why I feel the need to obsess over them... because if I'm not putting my views of things out there then, as sure as summer follows spring, some other gay guy out there will be putting his view across and passing it off as everyone else's.

There are so many self-hating queers out there. Yes I used the q-word, but I think it's far more all encompassing than any other and is far more interesting a word than using "LGBT". I know, I've alienated half my readers already, but that's the other group driving me mad these days "The PC Queers". But I'll get to them in a moment.

Firstly we have the recent Brian Sewell incident where that self-hater, who has described attraction to the same sex as an "affliction", said Coronation Street had gotten "too gay" (4 characters out of 60 regulars is "too gay"?). Of course the Daily Mail loves gay, or in this case bisexual, men who hate. Just look at their love in with Andrew Pierce (see what I've written on him in the past here). These folks are conservative True Believers who will happily join forces with Satan himself if they felt it would advance their political agenda. They've sold themselves out, and would have no trouble selling us all out. This is why I remain ever careful about newly out Tory politicians, like Nigel Evans, because their past actions have shown them for what they truly are... self-haters. Self-hate leads to real hate which leads to the Dark Side. Or something like that.

Which brings us to the other side of the crazy coin. The PC brigade. Once I thought raging against political correctness was something only the Daily Mail reading, tin-foil hat wearing contingent could get away with. But it's becoming ever more obvious that you really CAN'T say what you want to say in this world. From the banning of the word queer in a LGBT grouping at work, to Scotland's latest cunning plan to ban the word homosexual. Worse are those who fought tooth and nail against East End Pride not because the EDL were behind it but because it might upset some fragile community relations (i.e. piss off some homophobes who just happen to share their leftie agenda).

And then on top of that you have actual homophobes and well-meaning leftie "straight allies" (I use this phrase sarcastically as I think I'd get violent if anyone actually used it in real life) who believe I should be nicer to murderers because people used to not be very nice to homosexuals and the two things are, of course, equivalent.

So I say "not in my name". I'm proud to be gay, queer or homosexual. I'm not disgusting or wrong. And I'm not in need of pity or any more sympathy than you'd give to any other neighbour or friend. My sexuality does not shape my political agenda and my political agenda does not shape my sexuality. I'm a free agent and I damn well wish other gay men would stop speaking for me, because they are about as good at it as Stonewall is at fighting for equal rights.

No excuses, no apologies, and no caveats.


If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rocksalt, Folkestone - Excellent Food

I'm just back from an excellent lunch at Rocksalt. I was meant to go on opening night but Jim's work schedule made it inconvenient and I gave the booking to my boss (yes, still brown-nosing with the best of them). After a rather scathing review by the Independent, I was a bit concerned but I needn't have been.

The building itself is beautiful both outside and in. Outside it blends in to, and compliments better than Jetty's managed, the harbour surroundings. Inside it is cool and fresh, dredging up memories of hip bars by the Thames in London or cool little restaurants by the marina in the Costa Del Sol when I was younger. The balcony, and thus the whole restaurant, affords wonderful views of the harbour itself and the sounds of the seagulls calling to each other and the sea lapping against the harbour walls makes for a wonderful venue.

We were greeted and seated quickly; the staff were charming and just the right side of chatty. The lunch time set menu was very reasonably priced (£17.50 for three courses compares very well with some of the more undesirable restaurants in town). Jim and I both had the salmon pate to start, which was creamy, tasty and served with delicious sour dough bread. We followed that up with the lamb, carrots and spinach with a side of duck fat chips to share. The lamb was cooked perfectly, the carrots crisp and the spinach just perfect. The duck fat chips cannot be described with mere words (except perhaps nomnomnom) but were faultless in everyway. There was a half hour wait for the dessert but it was dealt with well by the staff (and we got one of the desserts free for our troubles, so can't complain about that!). Jim had the Bakewell tart which was beyond beautiful. The combination of flavours and textures were absolutely spot on. I had the rhubarb fool which, and I say this having been to many a fine restaurant with Euroffice when I worked there in London, was the best dish I've ever had. Anywhere. Even better than the yellow curry at the Balcony Pub in Bangkok or the spaghetti carbonara in Il Bordello in Wapping. It was fresh and sweet and the rhubarb melted in your mouth. I cannot sing it's praises enough.

I'd go back just for that, but there are plenty of other very good reasons to return (and we shall be). The wine was also fantastic, Pinot Grigio 2010 Friuli Banear, and extremely well-priced given the quality.

So don't be put off by other reviews, the service was excellent, the food gorgeous and the surroundings sublime. Go now. Do not delay.

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Thursday, June 16, 2011

One Of Those Days

*sigh* From the moment I left the house today until I returned across the threshold this evening, it's been "one of those days". Every person I encountered appeared to have had some sort of encounter with a stupidity stick, which had obviously been vigorously applied just before I met them. I had a meeting at work at the end of the day and I sat there in silence, almost in tears, as I slowly lost the will to live with all the stupidity going on around me. Even the basic concept of "one at a time" seemed to have been thrown at the window.

I have rarely been glader to be home even if it is an empty one right now. So to see us through here's a picture of my current favourite husband Dhal Drogo Conan Jason Momoa. 


And to finish off here is the BEST Youtube video of all time. 



If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tick Tock Tick Tock

It's a Sunday, so time is on my mind. The relentless countdown to work tomorrow isn't made even one iota better by the knowledge that I am off on Tuesday. To make matters worse, Jim is away with work for a week meaning I'm having to entertain myself (Mr Gibbs popped out for some waxworms this morning but quickly felt the dullness wash over him and slid back under his log for a sleep).

And even worse... I'm another year older on Saturday. Yes, time is slipping away from us Dear Constant Reader.

But of course, you know what a birthday means... a totally selfish plug for my ever expanding Amazon Wishlist (accept no imitations).

So what have I got planned? A trip to Bruges a week Wednesday, a holiday in Berlin in September and I'm saving for a roadtrip in California and Nevada the following September. Yes, Dear Constant Reader my usual minute-by-minute travel blogs are coming back after a terribly long absence.

Tomorrow I shall get back on my diet. Don't laugh. Honestly I will. Oh alright, I'll try but I can't lie to you old friend.

Oh yes, I'm back to being a libertarian again. That'll last a week, you know how fickle I am. Speaking of which... ooo... pretty man.



If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Oh To Have The Comfort And Certainty Of Faith

Spring has well and truly sprung, birds are singing in trees and our resident gulls, Gary and Glenda, have set their nest up again and have begun raising another family of chicks. It's at times like this that memories of my years as a Wiccan come to the fore.

There's something about the vibrancy of nature at this time of year that makes me very nostalgic for the feelings I had as a "believer". The comfort of believing in a higher power, the oneness of "creation", is a heady drug.

My fascination with religion in general has always persisted even after I lost my beliefs but I often have very mixed emotions when encountering the religious. One side of me feels deeply sorry for them, as I have no doubts that even if there was a God the chances they've chosen to worship the right one/pantheon are minimal, whilst the other half feels deeply jealous of them. To be able to lessen the minor and major pains in life even just a little, thanks to your belief that it'll all pale into insignificance compared to the glories of your afterlife future, would be extremely welcome.

The certainty of believers of all stripes must be a relief too. The truth of non-belief is cold and uncertain. I do not claim to know if there is or is not a God. But my logical mind suggests there is not. It certainly does not see how any of the religions on display in our world today could be the "One True Religion" that they all claim to be.

I can see why it can be so difficult to give up on faith, even if you flit between denominations and religions in a desperate search to find the "Truth". I long to return to the warm embrace of thoughtless belief and devotion to a pantheon of Gods who I once adored.

Being sceptical and independently minded has it's benefits. But certainty and comfort are not among them. I find myself drawn more and more towards absurdism and I think Albert Camus sums up my feelings well:

I don’t know whether this world has a meaning that transcends it. But I know that I cannot know that meaning and that it is impossible for me just now to know it. What can a meaning outside my condition mean to me? I can understand only in human terms. What I touch, what resists me — that I understand. And these two certainties — my appetite for the absolute and for unity and the impossibility of reducing this world to a rational and reasonable principle — I also know that I cannot reconcile them. What other truth can I admit without lying, without bringing in a hope I lack and which means nothing within the limits of my conditions?

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Eurovision 2011: Live Blog

Georgia Meh. Make it stop. 

Serbia It's alright. I'm on the hard stuff now, whisky

Ukraine Again failed to pay attention to the song... sand artist epic.

Spain. 

Iceland YAY! Love the song, had it in my head all day. Touching, fun performance

Slovenia Entering "Can this go on any longer?" territory??? 

Azerbaijan Meh. 

Austria I liked a lot, but very mixed reactions on Twitter

Romania Great but not as good as in semi final

Germany My favourite song. But let down so badly in tonights performance... :( 

Moldova There are no words... 

UK Could've been a bit better

Switzerland I like that song. Summed up "Na na na na na na na na"

Italy Godawful, but it's nice to see them back... I think.. 

France Yawn. 

Russia Perfect singer for awful 1990s song with boring dance routine. 

Greece C....Rap 

Estonia Great performance, a magic trick and catchy song. :) 

Sweden I love Eric Saade. That is all... 

Ireland *KILL ME NOW*

Hungary Love the song... but performance was not that good today. :(

Lithuania Needs a much stronger singer, but she does sign language so... forgiven.,..

Denmark Cute singer, LOVE the song. Jedward wannabe though... 

Bosnia and Herzegovina Rubbish, nothing exciting or interesting about it. Bah!!!

Finland Love the song, love the singer, love the message. Never going to win though... 

Loved it... :) Best opening of Eurovision ever!

No Lena singing Satellite??? Presenters singing instead... erm... genius?

I wish they'd stop talking over the presenters!!!

Graham Norton... vast improvement over Scott Mills and Sara Cox.... 

START Less than 30 minutes to go... Liveblogging Eurovision like it's 2009 all over again. Oh yes!


If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fraudsters MUST DIE

I'm going to have to go into my bank tomorrow. It's not a situation I ever want to be put into, with the queues, and the people, and all of that "human interaction" that is necessarily involved. The reason? My bank account has been compromised and someone has been topping up their mobile phone in, of all places, Hatfield and thus my debit card has been cancelled.

I will, almost certainly, get that money back. But the scars that will be left on me by having to talk to people in a bank shall last a life time. I want it known now that if I ever track down those who caused this to happen, I shall deliver swift and decisive justice.

Inconvenience is a bit like a slow death for someone like me. I dislike it greatly. Grr... in other news... it's Eurovision week! Yay! Cue picture of floppy haired Swedish entry, Eric Saade


If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Sunday, May 08, 2011

How Have You Been?

Dearest Constant Reader, what would I do without you? On Twitter you're judged for tweeting too much, or tweeting too little, or you have even the most vague and innocuous remarks dissected and analysed until one feels quite tired. But not here. I can pretty much write and publish anything I want without controversy or comment (except insults about Simon Hughes or porn pictures of certain celebrities, as we've learnt in the past).

People are miserable old so-and-so's, aren't they? Ironic that I should say that given the reams of misery that fill this little blog of mine... enough tales of depression and low self-esteem to keep a counsellor busy for years. But I'm mellowing with age, my depression's seem few and far between and my low self-esteem is slowly disappearing as I stopped caring what other people think. As Jim often tells me, I'm "growing up".

What have I found since I was last on here...

the Pullman: a delightful little pub off Rendezvous Street. Can't believe I've never been there before but the staff are always very welcoming.
Googies: a bit offbeat, but a nice cafe with good food and the occasional nice thing to look at. The art's good too ;)
Gary and Glenda the Gulls are back... and have three eggs. Jim and I are going to be Uncle's again!
Food is good. Diets are BAD.
American football players may not be rough and tough like rugby players but they have their upsides:


I also stood for election. Cool, huh?

Jim has left for Las Vegas this weekend and my brother and sister are due to arrive any minute. A "fun" week ahead... oh what am I saying... it's EUROVISION week!!

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Monday, April 04, 2011

Mini Rant

I must get this off my chest. I spent years moaning about the fudged, half way house that are civil partnerships. Never once did I meet someone, or receive a comment here, from anyone who said something other than "They may not be perfect but they are a step in the right direction". From left to right I was confronted by this same argument.

Now I use that same argument (having admitted I was wrong to be such a marriage equality idealist on my other blog) regarding AV and House of Lords reform... it's not perfect but it's on the right road. And I am confronted (almost universally) by people on the left going "But it's NOT perfect, we want perfection".

I wouldn't mind so much if these people weren't the EXACT same people who were telling me not to be such an idealist and to embrace civil partnerships! Talk about pot calling kettle.

AH! It's amazing how a move from Government to Opposition turns them from pragmatists to idealists isn't it? And vice versa for me I suppose, if I'm honest. But still... I've come over to their way of thinking and they've gone and abandoned me. Typical. I could scream.

Thus ends the rant.

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

This Is A Public Service Announcement

The Flaws Of First Past The Post

AV is not a perfect system, nor is it my preferred system, but it does help eliminate some of the worst features of first past the post. This video shows you exactly what they are...



Yoinked from here

I made my own case for AV here

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Monday, March 28, 2011

Naughty, Naughty Jae Part 1200 Of A Continuing Series

After such an awesome start my diet is failing, and not because I'm stuck at a particular weight (although I am) but because the reason for this is that I'm being incredibly naughty. I blame the Jim.

Tomorrow, it has been agreed, I shall be returning to my extremely strict diet to lose the next 20 pounds. I am determined to get fit. DETERMINED. When I stare longingly at my latest crush and his perfect body I think "You're a fat bastard Jae, you could look like that if you really wanted to". My latest crush, of course, shall remain nameless beyond "Rugby Boy".

In other news: carvery at Paul's restaurant yesterday (a hop, skip and a jump from our front door) was absolutely excellent in terms of value for money, tastiness, staff friendliness and general atmosphere. Recommended.

I passed my probationary period at work today! Huzzah.

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Skuba. Frenchman. Kebab.

Friday night was a bit random. Jim and I decided to out for a couple of drinks at Skuba (I don't know why we bothered, the staff are boring/rude, the music ridiculously loud given there was probably less than 10 customers and the beer pretty metallic tasty). Whilst there Zoe contacted us to say she was in the Frenchman and so we wandered over there to see her, Jodie and Eleventh Hour, the live band for the evening. Not bad, a bit random indeed.

Had a kebab afterwards. "Reimagining" my diet on Monday. ;)



If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Fine Specimen Of A Man

My boss was off today, meaning her seat next to me was empty. It was soon filled, however, by Rugby Boy. Wearing just a tight white top and denim shorts, he proceeded to flex his muscles and act all charming for the whole morning. If I ever feel the need to query my sexuality, I just need to turn my mind back to the morning of the 25th of March 2011 and I will be reassured.

Men. They are the most gorgeous things in the world.

In other news... Jim bought me a gift today, one he says sums me up in one word: Sharktopus. So true, he knows me so well!

And today's blast from the past... GRUMPY JAE!

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Thursday, March 24, 2011

An Olde Style Blog Post

Today begun with a quick trip to Sainsbury's where I picked up a copy of our beloved local newspaper, the Folkestone Herald. I only really buy it for three reasons: 1) to cry over the lack of decent job adverts to at least allow a nice "I'd love that job" fantasy, 2) local political news (seems we have an independent anti-cuts guy called Eric Segal stirring things up at the moment, sadly his letter reads like "more of the same" rather than the less of the same he's trying to represent. More "those parties are all the same, whereas I'm different" stuff which is getting quite old now) and 3) to allow me to distance-stalk my victims.

Today it was mostly useful for the third and final reason. There was an MT story! Good times *scribbles notes furiously*

In other news... I saw Zoe today! We went out to Googies for lunch which was... quirky. Lots of models, and badly stacked board games. But the food was decent (my Pinky and Perky burger wrap was lovely), the staff friendly and relatively attentive (more than Django's) and the clientele interestingly random. I could see myself going back there often.

It was lovely to see Zoe who was very polite in suffering through the early afternoon day time TV fest I subsequently inflicted upon her.

Today's blast from the past... is not my own post but one of Zoe's very own about a very amusing day we spent in London.

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Stop the planet, I want to get off!

Watched Christopher and His Kind last night, foolishly as it was a deeply melancholy experience (but still very, very good) which left me unable to sleep for a while. I'm only 27 but I think I had a mid-life crisis for about 2 hours last night. Doesn't bode well for my life expectancy does it! ;)


So one month into Diet Chef and... I've lost 20 pounds! Quite proud of myself really, but have been extremely naughty of late. I shall get back on the wagon later today, after a McDonald's breakfast. Don't look at me like that!

Work's manic at the moment, it's just that time of year. Dearest financial year, what exactly are you good for?

Now here's a little musical explanation of my feelings last night. Avenue Q gets more meaningful by the year ;)



If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Am A Bad Man

I know I fail. I suck. I hate me too. There, you have it, BAD JAE! I think this blog should actually be renamed "Bad Jae". It'd be a lot easier.

But in other news... I've lost a stone in two weeks on Diet Chef! Amazing stuff. I admit since then there has been two major slips from the diet (a Saturday night curry fest and Tuesday's pancake extravaganza) but I think sometimes indulging isn't totally awful.

I also now own... dumbbells! Yes.... the first piece of exercise equipment I've ever owned. Slowing easing myself into exercising... watch this space (to see them sit in a corner and gather dust...)

Jim's doing okay considering his ever increasing list of hospital appointments. We used to joke that he was falling apart, and he's now trying to live up to this reputation!

Current obsession has moved from Doctor Who (a temporary change I suspect) back to another old favourite: the German Democratic Republic! What fun!

Today's Blast From The Past is.... The Last Days of Sam America in honour of the fact that today I placed an order with... Euroffice! Those were the days, huh? And what did I order? Bubble bags. Why? Because I've decided to sell off my comic collection. I'm sure a few tears will be shed before they go...

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Naughty, Naughty Jae

I know, I know. I've not written a post for the last few days. I'm spanking myself as we speak (keep those dirty thoughts to yourselves, please).

So how's the diet going? I hear you ask (is that a hint of cynicism I hear in your voice as if I might've given up??). Well actually... it's going really well. I feel good. I feel like I'm losing weight. The foods good too, which is always a bonus. Worst thing is... I'm struggling to eat enough to get my calories up to a reasonable level. Who knew that substituting chocolate and crisps with three square meals, fruit and veg would lead to such a big calorie deficit??

Having discovered the secret to eating more than even Jae "Bottomless Pit" Kay can manage, I've spent most of the week with Jim. Which has been good. Whilst he's still recovering from his illness, we have been able to chat about our planned trip to Berlin in September. I've set myself the target of learning German by then. That'll keep my mind off of chocolate...


Yoinked from When Only Hot Will Do

Past Jae Adventure: Wo ist mein Werwolf? Part Three

Ooo... what's this? Predator? The Musical? Dreams coming true?



If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Weighty Issues

Weighed myself for the first time in many years today. No, you shan't be finding out the weight... hence my ongoing diet!!

Yesterday I received a cheque from the taxman for the princely sum of £215. Today I received a bill from British Gas for £600. The Lord giveth and he taketh away... *sigh*

Diet continues and it's not too bad at all! Yesterday I had vanilla and banana porridge (alright), more Thai Chicken soup for lunch (yummy) and Tomato and Vegetable pasta for dinner (very yummy) plus a couple of small pieces of fruit and two slices of toast.

I've not been feeling too hungry, despite the actually rather worryingly low calorie intakes.

Today's Past Jae adventure is: Wo ist mein Werwolf? Part Two


If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Inappropriate Touching

There's a title that's sure to get your attention. Today I went for my irregular shearing. Unfortunately the barbers I had been going to, directly opposite my house, closed down, which meant I had to try somewhere knew and deal with all the annoying little things that come with that.

You have to have a relationship with your barber. It's not something I'm at all keen on. There always comes the embarrassing moment when he realises you know nothing about football/cars/girls and you are thus completely immune to his usual set of conversation openers.

So it was today, I sat there as some man with sharp implements hovers around your head in complete silence. It's very unnerving. Thankfully he was a bit of a looker so I didn't mind the silence all that much and at the end I thought he may have crossed the line into inappropriate touching when he gave me a head massage. At least he seems willing to work on his relationships...

Today was Diet Chef day number 1!!!

The Pink Apple and Cinnamon granola breakfast was small but perfectly formed. Quite delicious really.

Lunch was Thai Chicken soup which was equally yummy.

Dinner was Pasta Bolognese which again was surprisingly pleasant.

Snacks: Carmelised Onion Oat Bites and a pack of McCoys Crisps (naughty I know, but they had to be eaten).

A total of 947 calories. Not bad!

Currently planning a one week holiday to Berlin for September. We're getting quite excited already and hopefully finances shall allow us to have quite an awesome time. In celebration today's Past Jae adventure is my "Wo ist mein Werwolf? Part One" post detailing the first part of our last Berlin Adventure.

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist