World of Chig   

Current listening

...and compilation album of the year so far...

You mere mortals can buy your own copies from 7 November...he says, perhaps a bit too smugly. Look on the bright side - yours will have a better sleeve.

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Chig's small cock

So there I am, two days after our fantastic stag weekend in Nottingham, opening my zip when a small cock pops out. Stop it now, you smutty devils. What I mean is that, as I opened the side pocket to my rucksack at work yesterday, what should I find but this little fella on the left. Quite a surprise, because (a) it's not mine and (b) I didn't put it in my bag. But I did have the bag with me at the weekend...

We know who you are, you and your jolly stag weekend japes. You're not supposed to be playing the tricks on me! It's not me who's getting married! (Well, I might be actually, but that really is another story...) So, the question is, how do I get it back to the best man - to whom it surely belongs, as Chig was staying at his flat? I have a feeling Chig may be taking a little chicken to the wedding - and I don't mean as my plus one!

NB. Chig is well aware of the difference between female hens and male cockerels. Perhaps more so than the makers of that egg timer. That, surely, is a cockerel, is it not? Whatever. 'Chig's small hen' would probably not have made you laugh.

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"I think you'll find that's your squirrel problem sorted."

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Record companies are stupid. All of them. Bit of a sweeping statement, surely? Well no. Go to Popjustice, download today's splendid free gift, and then;

(a) marvel at how you can get quality new pop like this for free within a few seconds
(b) despair at the fact that The Genie Queen don't have a record deal and that this had to be given away for free

Chig completely agrees with Popjustice. This is a number one single, wasted. Tragic.
(Of particular interest if you ever liked OMD.)

Then come back and comment on it here. Please?

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Merry Men

It starts tonight. Oh yes. Chig's first ever.

+ + + +

Look out Nottingham, here we come!

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That's what I wear a blazer for

From today's news. Who knew the Busted reunion would come around so quickly?
Oh, sorry, they're England cricketers dressed as schoolboys. Silly me.

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Winter warmer

With the nights drawing in and the cricket over, Summer is coming to an end. But don't be sad, because look! There is something to look forward to in January (and February, and March, etc. etc.)

Dear Father Christmas...

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Note to self

When you get to meet the most famous man in Wales* and you only get one chance to have your photo taken, because he's about to disappear with his girlfriend, currently the most famous woman in Wales, try not to speak to the stranger who has kindly offered to take the picture, telling him which button to press, because he will probably press the shutter at that precise moment, you will look like you're pulling a funny face, Gavin Henson will turn around and follow Charlotte Church out of the media tent, and you will regret the look on your face in that photo for the rest of your life, but still feel a need to show everybody anyway.

*Apart from the Prince of Wales. Possibly. And Rhodri Morgan. And Tom Jones. And Aled Jones. And Kelly Jones from Stereophonics. And probably some other people called Jones. And Russell T. Davies.

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21:03 Chig Mansions has just been on the telly! Okay, so it was only a helicopter shot of the area on C4's Britain's Tornado: An Equinox Special, but still. There's some amazing footage of 'our' local tornado of 28 July. I should go and watch this programme properly.

Cardiff, thank you for asking, was awesome. An amazing weekend, for all sorts of reasons (cheeky grin), but all that will have to wait for another day.

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Ashes To Ashes

18:15 We've won!
You'd almost think I was interested in cricket, wouldn't you?

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The Carnival Is Over

Well, almost. This weekend sees the end of the unofficially declared Pride and Mardi Gras season, which starts with Birmingham in late May. But we're ending on a good one. Hello Cardiff! (As Nicki French- who announced me ON STAGE at Oxford Pride as her stalker - will undoubtedly be saying when she appears again this weekend. I'm not really sure who's stalking who, to be honest. I swear she followed me to Leicester, Oxford and Bristol...) Hmm, I had forgotten about this though. (Read this from Mike if you're unfamiliar with the atmosphere of local Pride events. It makes me laugh every time.)

Cardiff-Wales Mardi Gras is now in its seventh year, and this is a major year for Cardiff because the city is celebrating its centenary AND fifty years as the Welsh capital. Mardi Gras has been absolutely brilliant there for the last two years when I've attended, and I've made friends there who I'm looking forward to seeing again this weekend, plus related friends from Bristol and Reading. Two years ago, I was in the Marriott, courtesy of the Wales Tourist Board. Last year, by way of contrast, I was camping in Penarth for the weekend, which, although fun in itself (and it was gloriously hot last year), stopped me getting drunk as I had to drive back to the campsite both nights. So, I've learnt my lesson, and this weekend will be a combination of the two; camping tonight and then a four star hotel by Cardiff Castle for Saturday and Sunday nights. Last year, because the weather was so good, we were dancing on the streets until closing time on the Sunday night too, so this year I've finally, hopefully, got it right by not going home (which I did on the Sunday in 2003) and not having to drive to my accommodation either.

On Saturday morning, there's a gay rugby tournament taking place at Blackweir Fields, before the main Mardi Gras event. Both Cardiff and Bristol now have gay rugby teams, and one of my friends plays for Cardiff Lions. They beat Bristol Bisons 24-15 two weeks ago at Bristol Mardi Gras. (You can see some of the rugger buggers in my flickr photos - click the photo link in the sidebar. Some of the pictures were too rude to be seen in public. There's really not much difference between gay and straight rugby players! There's a mix in some, if not all, of the teams anyway.)

This weekend, the Lions and the Bisons will be joined by gay teams from the Netherlands, Sweden, Manchester, and possibly Edinburgh and Dublin, for a series of shorter games on Saturday. Later on, the Cardiff boys will be, er, revealing their own version of the saucy Dieux du Stade calendar. Yes, it's rugby boys in the buff, Welsh stylee. Modesty forbids me from mentioning who suggested to a certain member of the team last year that they should do this, but it should be interesting to see. My mate John is Mr July. Make up your own jokes about oddly shaped balls.

I see Bjorn Again are on the main stage on Saturday. That's two Abba connections in consecutive posts on here. Last year we had Charlotte Church. I'm guessing she'll be too busy (drinking) this time around, but you never know.

See you in Cardiff! (Or not, if you're not going, obviously.)

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Ring, ring, ring goes the telephone,
The lights are on, but there’s no one home.
Tick, tick, tock, it’s a quarter to two,
I’m done, I’m hanging up on you.

Ev’ry little thing that you say or do,
Hung up, I’m hanging up on you.

So, the rumours were true, but not quite what we thought. Madonna's new single does indeed sample Abba. She even sings the words "ring, ring", but it's not Abba's Ring Ring that she's sampling - it is in fact Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (A Man After Midnight). Fascinatingly, it's a speeded up version of the track, just like erasure used to perform. It wasn't one of the four Abba tracks that they performed on the Abba-esque EP, but erasure used to perform Gimme Gimme Gimme live. I have a tape of them performing it on Radio 1 at the Milton Keynes Bowl with Whoo Gary Davies presenting, and it gets faster and faster towards the end, which Abba's 1979 original doesn't do. I also have it on the live Two Ring Circus album, which pre-dates the Abba-esque EP by a whole five years. The lyric to Gimme Gimme Gimme is also on erasure's official website.

Anyway, Madonna. Hung Up is a return to dancey pop! It’s a floor filler! It’s fantastic and I'm playing it on repeat (which, considering I only have a 28 second snippet, is very repetitive indeed).

Madge, welcome back. All is forgiven.

PS. Thank you - you know who you are.

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I thought it was about time I actually did something with the flickr photo account that I opened several months ago. Like put some photos in it. So I have. Just as a little test.

See that thing in the sidebar? You can hardly miss it - it's pulsing and throbbing! Ooh, technology! On here! Well, click on there and you will see half a dozen of Chig's photos from Bristol Mardi Gras two weeks ago. Please feel free to let Chig know what you think of them, either in the comments boxes on there or on here. Who knows, there may even be more photos to come. As I have taken thousands (literally) of photos that no one else has ever seen, it might be a good idea to actually use these online album thingies. If you have any requests of past events/places that you know I've been to (or if I've taken a photo of you, promised to e-mail it to you, and then ignored you), then please just drop a subtle hint.


Oh, and if I see any of these photos used anywhere else without my permission and a credit, there'll be trouble! So there.

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I dreamt that four friends and I watched a football match at the flat of two of those chums. In this game, the country ranked 7th in the world pretended to be a crap Sunday league team and allowed their opponents to win, even though the opponents were ranked something like 117th in the world. In this dream, this wasn't done in a magnanimous attempt to unite what had once been a politically divided part of the world in joyous celebration of actually winning something against a much more populous and powerful country, but just because the supposedly better team were actually rubbish. Unlikely, I know, but that's what I dreamt.

And then I woke up.

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It’s none of my business, but, if it were, I would probably give tonight’s Nationwide Mercury Music Prize to The Go! Team. Their album, Thunder, Lightning, Strike is the one of the twelve which has caused the most joy and dancing around Chig Mansions, and that’s reason enough for me.

We’ll have no complaints if it goes to Kaiser Chiefs or Hard-Fi, as both of those albums are brilliant too, but as the point of the Mercury seems to be to ‘promote’ British music, I’d rather it went to someone who hasn’t yet had the success they deserve. The Go! Team have been mentioned in all the right places, but no one’s buying. My boyfriend Dermot even plugs them on his radio show, but to no avail. They need the publicity. Give it to them.

Having said that, I am now about to contradict myself, but it’s my blog and I’m allowed, so there. The one contender who really MUST NOT BE ALLOWED to win tonight is/are Antony & The Johnsons. Their album is without doubt the best of the lot, but I’m having a personal relationship with it – it’s the only one of the twelve which has made me cry, for instance – and the last thing I want is for the public to get their grubby little hands on it and make them famous. People would probably go and discover The Dresden Dolls next, and then my life would be ruined. Have I told you I never liked Scissor Sisters?

So, The Go! Team it must be, with their uncategorisable brand of all-over-the-place shouty pop. There, I’ve categorised it – it’s all-over-the-place shouty pop. What more do you need to know?

The Magic Numbers will win.

Meanwhile, over at Popjustice, and the rather more important Twenty Quid Music Prize, the Chig vote goes to Robbie Williams' Radio. But it’s too late to vote now. The ‘judges’ are probably picking the winner out of a hat at this very moment. Just like the Mercury judges will do later. (Oh, come on, you don’t think anyone seriously liked Dizzee Rascal, do you?)

22:30 Damn!/Fantastic! Antony & The Johnsons won. Well deserved, but now I'll have to answer the 'who are they?'. 'what are they like?' questions at work tomorrow...

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Spot the difference.

Passionate? Did that in the last posting.

Sensitive, baby-friendly new man? Oh yes, we can do that too...

Almost indistinguishable, I'm sure you'll agree.

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