Saturday, March 21, 2009

Just Another Week

It’s been nearly two weeks since the last posting – I’m backsliding again! Then again, most of last week was pretty much the same as the week before, so you don’t really want to hear all that again, do you?

Notable differences were going to see Radio 4 Stands Up (A Stand-Up Comedy programme) being recorded last Tuesday. Another trade show on Wednesday; this one about Unified Communications which wasn’t anything special – apart from me getting a very good massage and a shoe-shine into the bargain.

Saturday was the day assigned for my birthday celebrations. Brett had organised a meal at Albannach, a Scottish restaurant on Trafalgar Square. It began to look a bit risky on the day though as several people called-off due to a bad cold which is doing the rounds – we began to wonder if anyone would turn up. In the end though, people did and we had a very pleasant meal in their private dining room, along with John Mc, Rod & Jess, Ping, Owen, Jerry & Rosie. Ping tried Absinthe but wasn’t much taken with it. Everyone else had wine and whisky (they have an extensive collection of both!) and I got given lots of cards and gifts.

Jerry bought me a rather nice bottle of aged port and a CD to try out a new artist, Rosie bought me fancy cufflinks and a box of hand-decorated champagne flutes (something we are a bit short off), Ping got me a couple of photography books; one a quite practical technique guide and one a coffee table book (Anderson and Low’s “Athlete Warrior”) which is more gay artistic soft-porn than anything else! (And hence I liked it!!)

On the whole though it was a very civilised evening of good food and conversation. We ended the evening with some delicious Balvenie and a contented feeling.

Chorus this week was at the City of London Girls’ School again and I got tagged for a birthday boy and had the whole Chorus sing to me. I’ve managed to avoid it every other year, but Brett wasn’t going to let that happen for my fortieth and it was a very powerful moment.

Michael W also spoke to me about doing some photo work for FFK to which I was certainly agreeable. We’re going to speak in detail after we get back from Sri Lanka.

Apart from it being the season for annual reviews, the week so far at work has been mundane.

My actual birthday was last Wednesday, the 18th. I hadn’t really planned much for it – I was at work all day and rather fancied a quiet night in.  Mikey, who hadn’t been able to attend at the weekend, had asked about doing something that night, so he was invited along. I dithered for a while about whether to invite anyone else and in the end invited Rosie too. Then Chris C from St. Helens dropped me a message to say he was going to be in town and did I want to catch up, so I invited him as well.

As the hour approached though, Rosie called off sick (that damn cold) and Chris was delayed en route, Mikey was delayed for reasons unspecified but showed up shortly after 8, so the three of us dined and drank and generally had an enjoyable drunken evening. For reasons to do with his profile photo which are too complex to explain, there was a point where we updated a couple of things on his Facebook profile and then stole his phone so he couldn’t change them. All rather teenage, but tremendous good fun and actually a bit of quid pro quo on my part for previous misdemeanours when he’s had his hands on my diary!

Mikey had to leave at 10 though (Surprisingly drunk for how much he’d had! I learned subsequently he’d thrown-up on the Tube. Oh dear, the yoof of today!) Which meant he almost passed Chris arriving on his way out.

Chris joined us after a tedious journey for a bottle or two more of the wine and we did a bit of catching up.

Actually, I’m not sure it really was catching up, it was more just drunken chatter as I was pretty far gone myself by that point.

Thursday, I had taken time off work to recover from a hangover which I richly deserved but managed to avoid by drinking lots of water before bed and staying up until about 2am. Nevertheless, I took it easy this morning and just pottered around the flat.

We were due in North London with the Chorus boys for a school assembly at Mikey’s school to discuss LGBT issues – fairly groundbreaking stuff for the LGMC and, I think for the school. It all went well; Mikey was his usual hyperactive self, but articulate and prepared; it was easy to tell that he does a lot of presenting.

We sang to top and tail the assembly and FFK members did ‘Bless The Broken Road’ in the middle. We also were asked to volunteer stories of our own experiences of homophobia or coming out.

I was slated to speak last and, listening to those who went before me I was glad because what I had prepared was so anodyne. I almost ducked out but in the end spoke briefly about the trauma of coming out for the first time; to Phil, my best friend at school. I don’t think I was especially articulate on any of the topics I’d like to have mentioned, but I was assured that I was at least spontaneous and genuine sounding. Hmm.

In the evening I’d been asked to chair a meeting of the Chorus’ Steering Committee as they discussed one of the more contentious topics they need to deal with; how to manage the growth of the group. It was quite a ride. Started out okay but as the complexities of the issues involved came out it got more and more messy and, although I stamped hard on people a few times, I rather think I should have done it more. Still, at the end of the meeting we had made a few decisions and inched the issue forward a little.

If they ask me to do it again, which is doubtful I think, it would certainly require a much firmer hand – and probably an alcohol ban!

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