Archive for 2006


Kylie Countdown

5 days and counting to the big comeback concert. Originally I was travelling round Oz when her concerts were on and I was never going to be in the right city at the right time. But then they got postponed, and in a fortunate turn of events those people that couldn’t make the rescheduled shows returned their tickets, meaning people like me could jump in and get them instead.

So I’m off to the first night of the comeback tour at the Sydney Entertainment Centre this Saturday 11th November, the night before I fly to NZ for my three week sojourn. It’s gonna be absolutely bloody amazing, can you imagine what’s gonna happen when she comes out on stage, the place will go off!! I suspect gays and 12 year olds will be fainting left, right and centre. Now I’ve just gotta work out how to get an invite/pass to the after party.

At some point during my NZ travels I’ll try and let you know how fabulous it was.


2nd Anniversary Edition

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Blimey o’reilly if it isn’t two years since I stepped off the plane at Perth airport and set foot on Australian soil….or tarmac.…for the first time. I would say doesn’t time fly but it does feel like 2 years, not that it feels like a long 2 years. Of course it’s actually 2 years and a bit since I left the UK but there was a 3 week stop in South Africa first…..I completely missed that anniversary on September 12th.

So today it’s 37C which is absolutely ridiculous, I think the first beach visit of the season is very likely. Plus to commemorate the anniversary of my arrival it’s a public holiday in Oz. There are many traditions which must be upheld on this day including; drink at least one vodka and diet coke with lemon in a tall glass, sing at least one karaoke song, visit Westfield Bondi Junction, eat chocolate and make sure you use the word “trousers” not “pants”, “flip flops” not “thongs”, “crisps” not “chips”, “sweets” not “lollies”, “pants” not “jocks”, etc….in other words speak proper English!

Talking of public holidays there was one a couple of weekends ago….Labour Day, dunno what it’s for but it was bloody nice to have a long weekend. You get bugger all holiday over here (I only get 20 days compared to the 25 I used to have in the UK) so the 10 standard public holidays are well needed.

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The weekend kicked off with the ACON Gala Preview of ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert, The Musical‘ at the Lyric Theatre, Star City. Yes if you haven’t heard already the super gay camp as camp film has made it to the stage and it has it’s world premiere and first run here in Sydney….where else. What we didn’t know when we went to see it was that it was the first night they’d actually run the show on the stage, it was the start of a week of previews before it opens to the public for real.

So as you can imagine there were a few teething problems, including a computerised bus which had decided to acquire artificial intelligence and not move when it should, and proceed to spin round when it shouldn’t almost wiping out the cast. It was amusing for the first hour or so but the breaks got a bit tedious. However the cast were great and the audience got behind them and after about 3 hours the end came.

When it’s all finished and the problems are ironed out it will be amazing, some of the big numbers are fantastic. Luckily they offered a voucher to everyone in the audience to get another ticket to go back and see it again….finished we hope. There would probably have been riot if they hadn’t offered that considering we all paid $100 a ticket! There was an afterparty at the Star City Showroom where local drags, the cast and the audience mingled, all very nice and plenty of cheap fake champagne around.

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On Saturday morning went down to a little ocean town called Kiama for a couple of days with Carl & Carlos (yes they are a couple), and their friend Michael. It’s about 2 hours drive south of Sydney. We stayed in a luxury 2 bed apartment which was pretty close to the water, ocean view from the lounge, lovely lovely. Generally the weekend was spent eating shite, eating out for breakfast and dinner and nibbling crap all day.

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It was also a sporty weekend, not doing, watching. Sat afternoon we watched the AFL Grand Final (that’s Aussie Rules Football) whilst drinking port and eating cheese and crackers….you see that’s how gays watch sport, very civilised. Then Sunday evening we flicked over to the NRL Grand Final (that’s National Rugby League) during the ad breaks in Australian Idol….you see gays do still prefer reality TV singing competitions to sport.

Kiama has a blowhole, it’s very exciting, you stand on some rocks and water spurts up, it’s a big tourist attraction you know. The most amusing part is watching Japanese tourists getting soaked when the wind whisks the water in unexpected directions.

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Kiama is also close to Jamberoo which is some teeny little village inland and is most well known for it’s water park….(sorry “action park”), “where you control the action” apparently. We went there on Sunday, sun was out and sky was blue but there was a slightly chilly wind. However we ripped our clothes off and braved it to go on the slides, fake beach, plunge pools, rapid river…..etc. Darn good fun actually though unfortunately there was lots of screaming brat children but it was tolerable.

So a jolly marvellous weekend was had by all….

Now must quickly jump on my soapbox….you must must MUST go and see ‘An Inconvenient Truth‘, it is one of the most informative and disturbing documentaries you’ll have ever seen. And if you’ve ever questioned the official account of 9/11 then you should read ‘The New Pearl Harbor‘ by David Ray Griffin, it poses a huge number of questions about how a world superpower with all it’s military defenses allowed this to happen.



I have few singing outlets at the mo, what with not having a car to drive around in and belt a few tunes on the way. How I miss being able to sing in the car, in your own little bubble, no one else to hear you, of course you have to stop when someone’s pulled up beside you, unless you’re feeling particularly brave.

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So thank god for karaoke, or thank the Japanese. Having not done it for ages I had a recent burst with two events, firstly my 32nd birthday. Off we went to Karaoke World on Elizabeth St. It’s one of these places with different size rooms where you have your own karaoke machines, mics and sound systems and you can just sing your heart out with friends and without disturbing the general public. You wonder what else goes on considering security check you over with one of those metal detector wands before you can get in the door…..some Triad activity by any chance???<

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Even though it was my birthday I was gallant enough to allow other people to use the mic. Those brave enough to come along were King, Chris, Mark, Carlos, Carl, Heiko and Raul. Not everyone sang, Chris unleashed his inner performer….well actually it’s not very inner, it’s pretty much there most of the time. I thought about just working my way through the song book from A-Z but with about 10000 songs to choose from I couldn’t quite squeeze them in to the couple of hours I’d booked the room for.

In the haze of the last month or so I fail to recall exactly what I did sing but titles that spring to mind include ‘Tonight’ from West Side Story, ‘Don’t Mug Yourself’ by The Streets, er…um….that’s all I can remember at the mo, but you can be certain that there were many many many many many more during the evening.

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Opportunity number 2 came last week with PKF Idol, PKF being the company I work for, Idol being Idol. The new series of Australian Idol has been on for a few weeks so it was a fitting time to hold the event, the second one apparently. I was hoping that they would have gone to the effort of using the set of Oz Idol and getting the Oz Idol judges in (by the way that’s 3 people you’ll probably have never heard of…it’s all very local). Did they do that? Of course not, we ended up in the function room of The Forbes Hotel (now remember in oz hotel also = pub).

In the end there were 8 contestants including of course me. The excitement and apprehension was bordering on mild. I was 2nd to sing, luckily the first singer was rubbish so I didn’t have much to follow. My song for the evening was Will Young’s ‘Light My Fire’, a song I’ve done bajillions of times. I did wrestle with trying something new but frankly it was too disturbing a thought to cock it up in front of people you work with. The judges comments were excellent, verging on gushing, as to be expected.

In the end a bloody novelty act won!! Two girls singing ‘Girls just wanna have fun’ complete with 80s costumes and an appropriate alcohol level to pull it off. Being gracious in defeat I will say that they were actually pretty funny so deserved the gold cup with microphone for a handle. I’m sure the video footage of my performance will end up on YouTube at some point but I haven’t quite got it all figured out yet. Then I expect music producers and record companies to flood me with offers within seconds.

A selection of pics from birthday karaoke, PKF Idol and the launch of Body Combat 29 at Living Well Hilton are now in my Webshots album so off you go….


Snowing in Sydney???

Well not quite, but a freak hailstorm made it’s way over parts of the city and inner Sydney late yesterday afternoon (Tuesday August 15th). It left a covering of white in many places which, of course, didn’t last long as the sun came out and temperatures rose again. However it’s pretty rare to see Sydney with a covering of white stuff.


Running and Protesting

“What a beautiful Sunday morning, the sun is out and the sky is blue, what shall we do dear”?, “How’s about running from the city to Bondi with 65000 others?”….and that’s how thousands of people started their day on Sunday 13th August. London has it’s Marathon and Sydney has it’s City 2 Surf run. Of course decisions weren’t probably quite as last minute but having been at the start of the race and looking at some of the runners you’d wonder if they just got out of bed and thought they’d give it a go.

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The route takes runners from Hyde Park in the city all the way out to Bondi, a distance of about 14.5km or 9 miles. For many it’s a serious race with weeks or months of training while trying to achieve their best time. For others it’s about dressing up in a Chicken suit or getting together with friends and painting yourselves all the colours of the rainbow. For other’s it’s just a nice stroll on a Sunday morning.

The weather was perfect, blue skies, not a cloud to be seen and a pleasant 18°C. The thought of taking part did cross my mind for a few days but rapidly passed. However having gone down to see the start of the race it really made me feel like taking part, instead I ran in the opposite direction to the gym and jogged for 30 mins on the treadmill, not quite the same I guess.

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Because of the massive number of participants the race winner had actually finished by the time the back of the pack were still crossing the start line. He took 45 minutes to do the course so you can get an idea of how long it took to get everyone through the start. Every runner was given a red cap creating a sea of red as they wound their way down to Sydney’s most famous beach.

Later in the afternoon I found myself walking back to Hyde Park as part of a protest against the government’s ban on same sex marriage. Ironically having moved to one of the gayest and most tolerant cities in the world it happens to be in one of the most conservative and backward thinking countries in the world. When Tony Blair was preparing to introduce Civil Unions in the UK, John Howard, the Aussie PM, was busy changing laws in the country to specifically state that marriage is a union between a woman and a man only.

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The protest comes on the 2nd anniversary of that change and was marked by protests across the country in state capitals and rural areas. About 1500 people gathered in Taylor Square on Oxford St to hear a few speeches and wave a few banners. It was a pretty subdued affair but the point was to be there, to be part of the march which held up traffic making it’s way from Taylor Sq to Hyde Park. It felt quite empowering and liberating, cars honked as they passed on the opposite side of the road. Of course it’s difficult to determine if a honk represents a sign of support or a sign of “Get off the f*cking road ya bunch of poofs!”.

This news story from 2004 reports the introduction of the ban. Note the quote which states “Most Australians recognise that marriage is a sacred union the most basic building block of society and the foundation of a family”. Then consider that Channel Ten, one of the most popular terrestrial TV networks here, recently ran a reality TV show called ‘Yasmin’s Getting Married’ in which a woman had 9 weeks to find a husband and get married. Is this the ‘sacred union’ and ‘building block of society’ they’re talking about? And they’re worried that letting gays get married would destroy that institution!! Oh the irony. Luckily that show was canned in 4 days, unfortunately not for being extraordinary hypocrisy but just for crap ratings.

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There should have been more of us. Considering Sydney is a city of 5 million people, even a ridiculously conservative estimate of 1% would put the number of gays, lesbians, bi’s, whatevers, at 50000, and yet there were 1500 of us. As we marched past the homo bars of Oxford St we were applauded and many people raised a glass to us, and that kinda says it all. Too many people are happy to sit on their arse, drinking, letting other people do the work for them.

Many an argument for not supporting this particular protest was the use of the word ‘marriage’. Why do we want to be part of a outdated institution which even a large percentage of heterosexuals choose not to be a part of? As far as I’m concerned I don’t want ‘marriage’ in the conventional religious sense. However the simple fact is I don’t even have a choice. Not having that choice means that should I have a partner we won’t be entitled to various other rights accorded to heterosexual couples who are married, such as pension, next of kin, tax, inheritance, and other financial rights.

One of the most poignant reminders of how this discrimination can affect someone is in death. Let’s say I have a partner whom I’ve been with for years, shared my life with and loved. He dies, be it suddenly or expected. Having been unable to ‘marry’ or have a civil union I have no legal right to be present by my partners bedside, I have no legal right to be present in the hospital, I have no legal right to be at the funeral, all because I am not legally recognised as next of kin. My years of love can be wiped away in seconds if his family choose to do so.

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I pay as much as tax as the next person so why should I not be entitled to those rights. Someone had a placard on the march which said it all; “1st Class Taxpayer, 2nd Class Citizen”….nuff said.


Welcome and enjoy….

Ah the life of an Englishman in New South Wales….well let’s just call it Sydney shall we, though I’m no Quentin Crisp, the original Englishman in New….er, er, New York actually but close enough. You may recall the Sting song of the same name, or maybe you don’t, of course I am by no means condoning the listening to of the ex-Police frontmans songs, god no! Neither do I have a cravat and hat, though through the joys of photoshop I have been able to see what I look like with both….rather dashing don’t you think?? >>>>>

This little blog intends to be the musings of a pommie boy living in a place which shouldn’t really be a foreign land but in so many ways is. For instance, today I bought a couple of packs of McVitie’s Caramel Digestives from the ‘Treats From Home’ store in the Imperial Arcade Pitt St. Nothing particularly unusual about that really, oh and they were a total bargain at only $1 a pack (out of date of course but still entirely edible). No the thing that perfectly illustrates how foreign this country is is the pronunciation of McVitie’s. Us English types will pronounce it to rhyme ‘vit’ with ‘bit’….but oh no, over here they pronounce it with the ‘vit’ rhyming with ‘bite’….McViteie’s…..apparently they pronounce ‘vitamins’ the same way, and don’t even get me started on how they pronounce ‘data’!

So there ya go, just an example, I guess it’ll just be my musings on what surprises, amuses, excites, intrigues and annoys me about living in this island-as-big-as-a-continent they call Austraya….

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