World of Chig   

Home and dry

Glastonbury was absolutely bloody brilliant! Everything went right, both personally and from Michael Eavis's point of view, so there should be a Glasto next year. Hurrah for that! And look who's headlining! The one who was going to headline this year. A clue: he's small and purple. Now I'm back, I've had a long bath and I'm listening to Radiohead's stunning set from Saturday night, being played as live on Radio1 right now. I'm not Radiohead's biggest fan, but they were awesome, intense and captivating. Definitely a highlight of the weekend, but there were others. More reports in the next few days. First I have to finish writing an article for a certain magazine (not about Glasto, but Leicester Pride the weekend before).

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Sausage porn

From the official Big Brother website today:

"Nush then grappled Scott to the floor where she proceeded to slap and tickle her good-looking housemate, verging ever nearer to his precious man bits."

"Nush continued to whip him..."

And finally;
"Nush plucked her sausage from her plate and began waving it ominously near Scott's groin."

Funny, that, I'd been imagining doing something similar myself...

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Thatcher is dead

I've waited so long to write that headline. Sadly, it's not her though.

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Fantastic Tennis

Play on Wimbledon's Centre Court started half an hour late today. But it's not raining (again!), I hear you cry. No, it was nothing to do with the weather. The delay was caused by a film crew who are making a new movie, called, with astounding originality, 'Wimbledon'. It's about a British player winning Wimbledon. Isn't it brilliant how the British film industry can move on from gritty social comment movies to flights of pure fantasy?

PS. Henman won easily, and didn't say 'shit', 'wanker' or 'fucking' once on live afternoon TV, unlike that naughty Brit Canadian man yesterday. (Elisabeth, you can have him back now. We've finished with him. And that Lennox Lewis, while you're at it.)

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Got the tickets from some top notch bloke in Swindon town...

Oh. My. God. There was I, thinking that I was about to have a quiet weekend in, glowing green with envy while watching the TV coverage of a certain music festival, when the moby rings at 18.20 this evening. One of my friends - let's call him Musicbizboy (for that is what he is) - says "What are you doing this weekend?". "Er, nothing," says I, "why?". I'm thinking he wants to come and visit. "Do you want to go to Glastonbury? I've got two spare tickets." I'm already excited, and then he reveals they're freebies.

Nice one, geezer

I'm in heaven! I was so disappointed that we didn't realise when the tickets went on sale, so we missed out. I've already been experiencing Glasto envy every time it's been mentioned on the radio, especially this morning when they opened the gates to the site. And now....I'm going!

It's okay, 'cos we're all sorted out...

I have hurriedly booked Friday and Monday off work, and so in 48 hours I will be standing somewhere, somewhere in a field in Hampshire Somerset (in the predicted thunderstorm), watching REM et al. Hurrah!

Then you come down...

Tonight though, I have called seven people who I thought might want the other ticket, and not one of them can go. So, do you know anyone who wants to go? If you can e-mail me before noon tomorrow (Thursday), and can meet me somewhere on the M5 on Friday afternoon, you can possibly have the other ticket. (I'm saying possibly, because Musicbizboy is also asking around, so he may give it away first.) E-mail me via the 'contact me' link on the left,or phone my mobile if you know it. First come, first served...

What if you never come down?

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Tania out! Tania out!

Get the silly, selfish piggy out of the house! Ooh, she thinks she's such a special princess, doesn't she? She really thinks she deserves to be treated with kid gloves and have everybody put up with her moods. She seems to have missed the point of the game too - witness her ridiculous 'can you nominate for me, Big Brother?' episode in the diary room. She loves the sound of her own voice far too much, and doesn't listen to other people. And if you doubted how stupid she is, did you notice that when the three people up for eviction were announced yesterday (or tonight on C4), IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER, she was too dim to realise after Nush and Steph were announced, that hers was the only name left. Perhaps she thought Scott's name would come AFTER hers. Daft cow. But if I was in the Big Brother house, I would have come to blows with Tania long before now. Not only does she smoke in the house, which is bad enough at any time, but inexcusable when the weather has been so good for the whole run so far, but she smokes in the f***ing bedroom. Un-bloody- believable. I would have stubbed the ciggies out on her eyeballs by now, the selfish cow. I've lost count of the number of times she's threatened to walk out. JUST DO IT - NOW! NO ONE CARES!

[Deep breath...] Talking of the lovely Scott, it's a shame in a way that Cameron was still allowed to nominate this week from South Africa. If Cameron's votes hadn't been included, we would have had everyone in the house up for the public vort (sic) this week, except for Scotty himself. Imagine how excited the cute little puppy would have been, knowing that he was the most popular in the house! But perhaps it's better that he doesn't know, and he can go on being his lovely self. It was so cute when he thought Cameron was in the reward room, unable to speak, and Scott offered him encouragement through the wall, when in reality Mr Fishy was somewhere up in the sky at that moment. Bless.

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You probably don't know the schoolfriend I sat next to in registration for the first four years of secondary school, and in art classes too. You probably don't know his brother, who was a couple of years older and also at our school. So why should I mention that their Grandad was born 100 years ago today? Because their Grandad was Eric Arthur Blair, and my schoolchums bore his surname. Their Dad had been adopted by Eric Arthur Blair (and this is the first time I've ever seen that fact in writing!) Eric was slightly better known as George Orwell. Hello A & G, wherever you are! (Neither of the two boys are on Friends Reunited.) It must have been the influence of sitting next to A in Mr Holmes' art lessons for four years, but in my 'O' Level art exam, we had to illustrate a scene from a book, and I painted my vision of Winston's room from 1984 (and passed!) This was in 1982, just to put it in context, and we had also studied 1984 as an 'O' Level English Lit set text the same year.

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"I've only been to a beach in England once, and that was in Wales."

One of my colleagues today reveals a level of geography knowledge on a par with Jade Goody.

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Men in lycra

At last, an excuse! It's all in the name of art darlings. There's an interesting project going on called Photo Friday, where they suggest a theme every Friday and then people post photos on that theme onto their own websites. You can go to the Photo Friday website and see the whole list of links to the themed photos all around the webby world. Recent themes include 'Packaging', 'Candy' and 'Urban'. This week's theme (until tomorrow) is 'Multiples', which gives me an opportunity, at last, to publish one of many dozens of pictures I have taken at Bewdley Regatta over the last few years. Hopefully, forthcoming themes will give me more chances to inflict on you some of the thousands (no exaggeration) of photos lurking unseen on my PC or in boxes. I look forward to sharing them with you. (This link came via Mike, whose own take on 'Multiples' is a sight I'm very familiar with, in my own house and his!)


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Miss Saigon - a triumph!

I needn't have worried. Miss Saigon yesterday was one of the most stunningly perfect pieces of live theatre I have ever seen. Faultless in every way; I am so glad we went. It was an added bonus that, even after all these years, I didn't know how the story ended. Boy, did that take me by surprise! We went to the 'meet the cast' event afterwards too, which was informative. A fantastic afternoon out, on a lovely day, rounded off by my Mum, sister and myself going for a gorgeous meal (and two bottles of wine between us) at the Green Room opposite the Hippodrome. I skipped home about 9.30pm, feeling quite pleased that everything had gone to plan and Mum thoroughly enjoyed her special birthday. Job done. Well, half the job's done. Now there's tomorrow's party to sort out...

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Happy birthday to these three!

It's my Mum's 60th birthday today. That's her on the right. She was born on Paul McCartney's first birthday. We've known for years that they shared a birthday, but I've never known of any famous person who was born on the exact same day as my Mum; 18th June 1943. Until now! I present to you, on the left, Raffaella Carra! Now I'm sure Luca and most other Italians know very well who she is, but non-pop trivia fans in the UK may need a reminder. To us, she is one of those spectacular one hit wonders, but oh, what a sublime hit it was! Raffaella made number 9 in April 1978 with the wonderful 'Do It Do It Again'. You know the one; "Do it, do it again, do it do it again with love. Holding, holding, holding back. Never mind if it doesn't last..." That one. Marvellous. A bit of net trawling tells me that she's much more famous in Italy, with many more hits to her name. She also seems to be a TV presenter, and still pretty glamorous. So, happy 60th birthday to Mum and Raffaella, happy 61st to Sir Macca! And if anyone can find an MP3 of Do It Do It Again, could you let me know (via the Contact Me link on the left)? I can't find it anywhere, and it would be good to play at Mum's party on Friday. Thanks.

My Mum's birthday treat from me and my sister is to come over to Brum for the matinee performance of Miss Saigon this afternoon at the Hippodrome and then go for a meal. I have been reacquainting myself with the music from Miss Saigon, from a tape which has remained unplayed in a box for ten years or so. I've never actually seen the show, and I've decided it's not one of my favourite musicals. It seems far less immediate than most, with a more operatic flow to it and not so many verse-chorus-verse 'songs'. Still, I'm told the production here is brilliant. I have fond memories of the London production of Miss Saigon, but it's for an entirely spurious reason. About 13 or 14 years ago, I copped off at a friend's party with a really cute bloke. His job? He lowered the helicopter on stage for Miss Saigon. It's not every day you meet someone with a job like that.

On Friday, Mum has organised a barn dance for herself and 70 other people. I was left in charge of organising the rest of the music for the evening, about which she knows nothing. So, I compiled a list of her favourite songs, including her top ten number ones from our 50 Number Ones Project last year. The wonderful Mike has lovingly burnt them onto a CDR, in chronological order, which has arrived this morning. I have just played it and come over all emotional, as it's the soundtrack of my Mum's life, from Pat Boone to Westlife, with everything from The Beatles, The Honeycombs, Jennifer Rush, Bruce Springsteen and, er, Fiddler's Dram in between. (When I was 13, I bought my Mum Day Trip To Bangor on 7 inch single for Christmas. I've no idea why.) Thank you Mike - it will make her night. I have also bought one of those birthday cards which has a CD of 1943 music in it. That's the music everyone will be hearing as they arrive at the party. It's great! Now, if I can get drunk enough on Friday to enjoy the barn dancing, it should be good fun. Must go now, theatre awaits, daaahlinks!

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Weather report

It seems, unsurprisingly, that the amount of stuff I write on here is inversely proportionate to how hot it is outside. And what do you know? It's sunny again! Bye-eeeee!!

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Hope springs eternal

Hurrah! About time we had some man on man action in the Big Brother house. I've been having to make do with this from last year's contestants:

Now if only they would stop using that terrible picture of Scott.
While we're on the subject of BB, let us all say goodbye to silly Sissy before she leaves tomorrow. It's for her own good - she just doesn't have the emotional maturity to live with other people.

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I know what you're thinking

I knew google was good, but I didn't realise it had become telepathic!
I was going to write about Brian Molko on Graham Norton, but I haven't done it yet. However, that hasn't stopped someone reaching this here blog by googling for 'Brian Molko on Graham Norton'. Remarkable.

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Spam ban

It's British Tourism Day!...

...for the royal family, at least. And now nice that Mrs Queen should promote the vast expanses of our beautiful kingdom by visiting Legoland, in her back garden in Windsor. Nice effort, Ma'am. How quintessentially English Danish.

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"The FriendsReunited Name Search is currently unavailable. Please try again later."

Hmm, interesting. I wonder if the site has exploded today after having a whole (slightly ridiculous) 'Tonight with Trevor McDonald' programme devoted to it last night?

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The UK's Eurovision entry for 2004 - sorted!

Now it can be revealed. At the height of the Mediterranean party in Riga, fuelled by a few pints of Cesu beer, there was a natural coming together from the family of nations represented in Latvia. Four of us had a blinding revelation – that we could form a band to represent the UK next year. All the pieces fell very naturally into place, and so, we present to you, the world’s first Irish-Anglo-Welsh-Germano-Spanish-Franco-American boyband. With a multi-racial mix like that, we’re already reaching out to a broad potential fanbase. We can’t lose.

None of us have ever worked on cruise ships, toured the working men’s clubs or done Summer season at holiday camps. We are therefore uniquely qualified to be able to hold a tune for three minutes in Istanbul. And we were all born to dance. It's genetic. No problem there.

We have carefully created a personality for each member (from left to right):

The Cheeky One – (cf. Kian from Westlife, Robbie from Take That, Paul from S Club (7), Spike from 911) = Brendan
The Sexy One – (cf. Rachel from S Club, Kenzie from Blazin’ Squad, Jenny from Atomic Kitten, Nathan from Brother Beyond/Worlds Apart) = Rafael
The Luggage – (cf. Sean from 5ive, Tina from S Club, Jason from Take That, Craig from Bros) = Chig
The Hunky One – (cf. Tony from Bad Boys Inc., Howard from Take That, J from 5ive, all of 2be3.) = Scott

We decided to follow the template of 911, Upside Down and Atomic Kitten by not having a Talented One (cf, Gary from Take That, Jo from S Club, Shane from Westlife). We shall of course be ambiguous about our sexualities at all times, while maintaining profiles on gaydar which we will ‘leak’ to Popbitch. We will stroll through Covent Garden with what looks like a spliff to get in the papers, where we will reveal exclusively that we are actually clean-living boys and love our Mums. One of us will fake a go-karting accident in order to create a wave of public sympathy, carefully timed to coincide with the voting for the Smash Hits! Poll Winners’ Party, where one of us will also win the award for worst haircut in order to increase our notoriety. We will let slip to Dominic Mohan that Elton John really fancies us, which will lead to us meeting him and then getting invited to the Beckhams’ parties, where we will be photographed in the background by OK magazine and mentioned in their very long captions.

We need a name though. The only one we came up with on the night was ‘Westlife’s Older Brothers’, which just won’t do. I’ve also considered ‘A4’ in homage to a1, but we don’t want to sound like an item of stationery, (although we will gladly turn up to the opening of an envelope when we launch). My Funny Uncles or The Polyglots are two other possibilities, but the former may bring Eurovision into disrepute. Can you suggest a better name?

We also need a svengali-type manager. Someone who can put up with the rumours that we will continually spread, but will deny in public, that they are shagging one of us, and that’s the only reason one of us is in the band.

A sponsorship deal would be nice, but as one of us works for a huge fizzy drinks company, and another for a major pan-European telecommunications company, that shouldn’t be too difficult.

Oh, nearly forgot. Just one more tiny detail. Can you write us a song?

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Crooner's hooter snookered

National emergency

Sacré bleu! Is Jemini's 'nul points' national disgrace being discussed at the highest levels?

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Artists who have so far promised to submit songs to be next year's UK Eurovision entry:

1) Radiohead (on Jonathan Ross last weekend).
2) ******* ******* (A former contestant.)
3) Trevor Horn (according to today's Popbitch).

But you shouldn't believe everything you read on Popbitch. Today's mailing also says this:
"FYI: Riga's top gay club is called Purvs. It has a rope on the dancefloor for lusty men to swing on."

I can tell you, after a waste of a Sunday night in Club Purvs, where three of us Brits waited for any more than three locals to turn up, that the club is anything but Riga's top gay club. It's more like someone's lounge, with a sort of coconut matting wall. (The name means Swamp Club, by the way, not what you were thinking.) Swinging on a rope would have been the highlight of the night, to be honest, but we saw no evidence of a rope. Or any lusty men. Club XXL is by far Riga's top gay club, by virtue of it being the only one that people seem to go to, even though they have a sound system which broke down on two of the nights we were there. I can certainly vouch for its facilities, and so can others of this parish. Tee hee.

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It's Noise Action Day. Please show consideration to other readers and read this blog quietly. Thank you.

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43 players, 4 England captains, 3 goals...

...but there's no doubt what the highlight of last night's match was:

Not wishing to be outdone by Joe Cole's striptease, Stephen Gerrard found his own way of celebrating. Michael Owen has been cropped out of this picture:

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Geeky Ghoul

Is it the first of April? How else to explain the above? Actually, the explanation's here.

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Phew! The worm has gone.

The KAK worm has been removed from my home PC. (I had it pulled out by a very large KAK blackbird.) Normal service is resumed.

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Scousers nick it - and Chig gets on the radio!

Within twenty minutes of Tessa Jowell announcing Liverpool as the European City of Culture winner this morning, I managed to get myself and Jemini mentioned on Radio Five Live! I sent a text message to R5L, saying, "It woz Jemini wot won it for Liverpool! Tessa Jowell felt sorry for Merseyside after Eurovision. From [real name!], sulking in Brum."
Victoria Derbyshire read it out on air within five minutes, just after 8.30, and Nicky Campbell laughed! Hurrah! Jemini's media infiltration goes on. Can I get paid for doing their PR?!

In the meantime, it has now become 'slag off Liverpool' day on local radio, but I did always think Liverpool would get it. (I'm not just saying that in retrospect - I said it on here last month.)

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Chig attacked by worm!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagggggghhhhh! My home PC has been attacked by some KAK worm virus thingy. If I've sent you an e-mail from home in the last few days, I may have sent it to you too. Apologies if I have (although I haven't sent many since Latvia, and they've mainly been from work.) I've now read that this virus rears its ugly head on the first of each month (hence discovering it yesterday) with a lovely pop-up message, saying 'Not today'. When you click 'OK' to the pop-up message, it closes down your PC. Genius. It also appears to prevent you loading websites properly, which raises the question, how can I download the MS patch when the bloody thing won't let me access the website? Chicken, meet egg. Egg, meet chicken.

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