Monday, 31 August 2009

And the Lord said - Don't do today what can be put off until tomorrow!

I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something but have been putting it off for a while now.

Procrastination, don’t you just love it. It is a safe place, a place within boundaries known, it is here. However it stops us getting up there. But if we go there something awful might happen and we may even end back down there. Best to do nothing and put up with the status quo.

Today I took procrastination by the hand, well throat actually, and throttled it, I swung it around the house a little, put it down and wondered whether I was in fact doing the right thing, but then picked it up again. I killed it, and I am up there, not still here or back down there, I have moved on, successfully and positively to a better place. I have won. Savoir faire!

Now what is this life changing event I speak off, it must be mammoth, of rapturous importance, of life changing significance!

Well it’s not actually, but that is how things are in life, we procrastinate about small, little easy things, we put off, we play safe, we don’t oil the squeaky hinge, we don’t change the washer on the drippy tap, we don’t cut the grass, and we don’t upgrade our broadband.

For it is the very medium on which I traverse to you via, that I have been procrastinating over. I wanted to upgrade my broadband from 2 Meg to 10. It was a couple of quid a month extra and dead simple they told me. That was over six months ago. I’ve been paying since then of course, but it hasn’t got any faster. Why? Because they sent me a huge box which would have suited an electrician planning a maisonette rewire. This was going to be a huge, huge job, a job I would get wrong, a job which would require endless calls to India, a job which would need me to enter passwords and set up codes long lost. I couldn’t do it.

But I needed to do it. It was silly to pay for a quick service and waste the money receiving a slow one. So I added it to my list. The Bankers get a round to it list. Having been away for the last two weekends I was looking forward to a long weekend at home getting on with things. I was going to cut my grass (my most common procrastination since the gardener left), repaint the kitchen floor boards, sand down and repaint the front door door frame, fit a new bolt to the back door, get my hair cut and wire in my broadband upgrade.

The list was there, as plain and simple as daylight. There was nothing between me and completion. So on Saturday I got up late, and thought, well it’s the first day of the bankers I can take it slow today, I’ve got Sunday and Monday to chore it up. So I pottered into London’s west end and had my piece tweaked at the barbers, I then came home and enjoyed and evening of reading, laundress duties, fine dining, juices and cordials and slow speed internet communications.

On Sunday I was up with the lark, listened to Fi, Sandy and the Archers and cracked on. It’s like when you are putting off jumping into the pool, you know it is going to be cold and you teeter on the edge for ages, then you just flop in, screech and the all is fine. So I got to the front door, sanded it down, got into the car went to Wickes and got some paint, came back, painted the door frame, started to paint the kitchen floor, went back did second coat on door frame, braced myself for the coldest swimming pool ever and then dashed into the garden for a very sore back making half an hour of grass cutting – a bit like going at Rapunzel with some blunt toe nail clippers, but I got there. Later on I did more kitchen floor and then relaxed with some Colin Firth and some Malbec. I had done very well, I was very pleased, and I had beat procrastination, for that day anyway.

So today, without thinking I get all the pieces out from the various drawers and cupboards and look at the huge pile of wires, the splitter, the new connectors, the 5 set up guides etc, etc,. And then I do something I hadn’t done before. I used my highly evolved analytical skills and reviewed all the contraptions, wires and manuals. It then dawned on me, like a message from the Gods via lightening, that for my set up I required only a small fraction of the parts. I guessed which these would be, quickly assembled them, turned everything off and on again, and do you know that in less than 4 minutes I had broadband and having tested my speed it is giving me 9.6 mbps compared to the 0.96 I had before.

Now I still have the bolt to do, but I feel quite confident about that, and I have added a new item to the list – put the books in order. I didn’t have time to teach the finer points of the Dewey Decimal system to the librarian before he left, and they need to be put back in author, rather than size order.

Don’t put it off, it probably won’t be as bad as you thought, and it’ll be over quickly and then it’s done! I’m a fine one to talk!

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Don't Eat Too Much

As I motored through glorious south west London it seemed to me that everyone in Clarhm and ButterSeah was jogging. Now I've seen joggers before - I am, after all, very cosmo - make mine a large one - politan. The difference is that these joggers look fit, streamlined and lovely. The joggers near me are often of the jogging slower than walking brigade and some have bottoms large enough for a family of four with au pair and large SUV!

I shouldn't be discussing the spread of the cheek though; I should be grabbing it, not the cheek, but the spirit and running after them in an ONJ head band! Why? I hear you say. Cos - I DON'T WANT TO DIE!

But I am to die, though hopefully not for many years, but I'm thinking if I donned a velour leisure slack, borrowed a walkman and got trotting myself along the Rye - I may increase the number of years between now and the final countdown. I know I am a wonderful specimen of a man, but I also know that I am a bit fat. As my father said to me yesterday in one of those father-son stylee moments

'You're Getting FAT!'

How we laughed about his usage of the word getting - how. The truth is though that I'm actually not too bothered about girthage, but more concerned with being fit. As long as my heart, lungs and circulation are happy, I'm not so bothered about being larger than dear Pater would have me.

So - yes,.... um, so.......

Well I have been looking into it. Since the Wii Fit has left home I won't be able to ski board my way to a healthy heart. I could go jogging but my bum is far too pert, and far too small. So there is only one thing for it - I'm joining the army. Private Godwin - get down and give me ten! Yes sir - I mean Sergeant!

Well I'm not actually going to join the army - that would just be silly, and it wouldn't be anything like those art movies I've seen. But I have found a place whose website did put me in mind of the New Avengers and there was a picture of a black Land Rover Defender (my sort of car porn).

BMF - British Military Fitness. They do it in my park and they do a slow beginners class for unhealthy people like me. So it'll be me and lots of yummy mummies wanting to lose their post breeding rubber ring. I think our class will run at the same time as the class for fine fit things, so there is always the potential for a glimpse of a firm man thigh to keep me from, or lead me to, cardiac arrest. Basically it is PE outdoors, but without the need for producing the obligatory 'Sorry my son can't do games again this week - he's still gay' letter from your mum.

So there you go. I am yet to sign on the line, there's a bit more sitting on the sofa contemplating it over a glass or two of fine Bordeaux to do first before I sign up and get off, I mean get on.

But you never know - I did give up smoking - so anything is possible.

However, to be on the safe side I have also updated my will. So if you get a visit from a solicitor clutching 2 brass candle sticks, an arts and crafts book shelf and some 1968 ‘The Killing of Sister George’ Lobby Cards, then you'll know the Bordeaux got me first.

Yours, in peep toe sports espadrilles.

William H G Godwin III

Monday, 10 August 2009

Does my bum look big in this?

So what is it about being slim? Why are people obsessed about being a size 8, when actually most of us look fine as a size 12 - or even a little more outsize?

People are forever stopping me in the street and asking me 'Will how do you keep so slim?' Well they don't actually, and no, it has nothing to do with my mashed Swede diet. Sometimes though, people who haven't seen me for a while and remember me being slim with a goatee are a little surprised to see me with the full Captain bird's eye and maybe an ounce or two (llb or 7) extra. It does cast me in a slightly different light - (certainly casts a slightly different shadow).

When I was a young man (think Sepia, think Boer war) I was very svelte - I had the metabolism of a very fast thing, I could eat what I wanted - and did, and never put on an ounce. I liked being slim and accidentally showing my flat stomach if the occasion merited it, and all that is fine and dandy when you are young and bouncing around and regularly going to night discos, rallies and cabaret.

But these days I am happy to be a slightly less slim middle ager – in fact it suits me down to the frigging ground. With turning 40, I think I finally reached my actual age and everything about me fell into place. I can finally turn into my dad and not be embarrassed by it. Not everyone is so happy though with anything non svelte, and a lot of the boys out there worry about whether they’ll get the looks and the dates. Last week a friend of mine who is a little older than me and as svelte as the day is long and as svelte as I ever was in my heyday, was bemoaning the fact that being older and no longer slimmer of the month are two key obstacles against securing either benefits, friends with benefits or a potential mate.

However I think a fixation with being gym perfect and as light as a feather are unnecessary as we approach the afternoon years of our life. I don't think you can only hook a mate if svelte, I know plenty of people who like a slightly chunkier man (thank god). But also one's allure, I believe, changes with time, one's attractiveness matures and develops and the things one is attracted to also change and mature. I’ve certainly never been adverse to a bit of meat on a man (some vegetarian I am).

I think people shouldn't worry about it so much. You're all gorgeous, and slim or large there is someone out there who will find you gorgeous and go funny in the tummy when they think about you in your pants.

Personally I've had all my mirrors adjusted by the Council so when I look into them I am 13 stone 6 ft, slightly tanned with dark blue eyes and muscular hairy forearms. It's only £3.40 a month so I thought - why not?

Oh well – don’t ask me why, but it's good to share.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Surely everyone's met Lulu?

It all started this morning with muscles, big man arm muscles. For some reason the sorting office had a queue – very unusual for a weekday morning, but I think like most other people in the world they were just going a little bit too slow, until the fast man came on and the queue went down in a minute. I like the fast man he is always friendly and efficient, whereas some of the other guys just dodder and botch. So where do the muscles come in, well whilst I was waiting I had time to idly vada a workman over the road. He was sweeping and his arms were moving like the pistons of a steam engine. They were accurate, firm, purposeful moves which resulted in an efficient sweep and a pleasant observational study for me.

So chopping block in hand, for that was the purpose of my trip to the sorting office, I began to motor on to work. The shoulder muscles of the workman must have stuck in my subconscious for I started to recall other muscle extravaganzas from the dusky archive. I remembered in my early days meeting a theatrical troupe over from America. They were performing in London and my companion and I were entertaining them in our Zone 2 Georgian duplex. One of them was so nice, and so sweet and so lovely and had such unnecessarily large muscles and a very tight t-shirt, but in a nice sexy gorgeous way, not a plastic, over tanned sterile way – which you see a lot of these days – or you did, maybe you don’t so much now. What would I know anyway – the last time I went anywhere where people wore tight t-shirts Princess Margaret was still alive! I digress. Anyway I remember taking every opportunity to accidently touch his lovely arms – he didn’t seem to mind. And if I just add that their would have been opportunities a plenty for bouncing nickels – you get the picture – let’s just leave it at that.

So that got me thinking about D-Ream – things can only get better – don’t ask me to explain my thought processes as I don’t control it. I did have a bit of a thing for Peter Cunnah – I thought he was, what the young people call, a dish. Somehow and I can’t remember how, I think I was at some launch or something, or chatting to mutual friends in a bar, and he asked me whether I’d like to come to his party at Heaven. Well of course I did – tartan trousers withstanding. Well the wine was flowing and Peter was very friendly – a really lovely guy. My drunken exit found me scouring the party to find Peter to thank him and bid him farewell. Well I got a kiss good bye, so as I was walking out, I thought, I think I’ll go and say good bye to him again – how sweet. Blame youth – the eternal get out of jail free card.

So that got me thinking as to whether I’d ever been to any other celebrity parties. Well yes I have as a matter of fact, just the one or two. I remembered going to the after show party when Babs last played in London. Now she was far too famous to grace her own party, but I did get to see Barbara Knox and Lulu – so you can’t say I actually missed out – celebrity wise.

So then I got thinking about Vivienne Westwood. I did once go to a tea party at her house which was very nice, and she was lovely, but I also remembered being at a publisher’s bash and being stood next to her, in a Westwood jacket, saying to her ‘Vivienne I hear you have an eye for fashion, what do you think of my jacket?’ She leant over and said ‘Don’t be silly William, I know it’s one of mine’. That was quite a good night actually - it was in Kensington at that lovely roof gardens place. We had to cross a picket line of angry lesbians though who were protesting at some of the publisher’s raunchier, steamier publications. But there was wine to be had. Never let Politics get in the way of the Grape – now who was it who told me that…………….

And just as I started to recall the night at Claridges with Julie Burchill I arrived at work, so the thinking had to stop. Ah well it leaves more for another day.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Everybody Needs Good Neighbours

I have just inducted, I mean met, my new neighbours. I thought someone must have moved in when I heard the shrieking and banging yesterday and last night. I can't help it that I take myself to bed this side rather than that, of midnight. At my age you need as much beauty sleep as possible.

I've been neighbourless for a while which is a treat as it means no noise, but the poor woman who owns upstairs needs her revenue so I can't not let her get tenants - although if anyone does know of a legal loophole do pop it on a postcard to the usual address.

I'm so glad I did get to see them though as I don't get to know all the people who come and go upstairs, but I like to let them know who I am and that they've got a warm gay man living below.

So they were four young girls, they all came round and we had some wine and the chat - all lovely, I'm so pleased as girls are always best as neighbours as they do care and can be bothered. They are all in their second year at Kings and love sex and the city. One of them looked so like Cynthia Nixon I had to mention and then Charlotte was also there I think. They agreed with me that Carrie Bradshaw has a face like a horse, so I gave them some wine as a house warming present to cement our friendship.

The key thing for me, and why it is so important for me to say hello in the first week, is that their kitchen is over my bedroom. So when they are chilling out in the kitchen having a wine, cocktail, Panini, or entertaining a man friend or someone from church, it has a lot of potential to keep me awake. And don't get me started on their spin cycle and the possibilities that has to make me need counselling.

I heard them shrieking with laughter as they returned to their flat so they must have found some amusement in their new neighbour and his abode.

But I am pleased, they seem lovely and I look forward to sharing my wine and wisdom with them.