Thursday, 24 March 2011


When I was a kid I wanted a TARDIS so bad.  First, there was this huge, ancient ornamental raspberry tree in our garden that was hollow in the middle.  I would pretend that was my TARDIS.  Then there was the big wooden box that I begged my Dad to build for me and put on the roof of the shed.  That was my TARDIS then.  And I went everywhere and everywhen (mostly to the Second World War, because I was kind of obsessed with that too!)

Thing is, when I say that I am excited that Doctor Who returns in three weeks time, there are three kinds of people:  there are those that say "Bless!" in a condescending way but mean no harm; there are those that go "SQUEE!!  I know, right?" and there are those that look at me like I am absolutely the saddest of the sad and the lowest of the low.  I find that very odd.  And this is what I want to say to them.

Along with ABBA, George Orwell, maths and Mozart, Doctor Who is a very important part of my personal history. It's one of the things that made me who I am.  It gave me my imagination and made me want to tell stories, to learn about places and times and to be on the side of everything good, fighting everything evil.  Those moments in the middle of that raspberry tree are so special to me - they remind me of me inventing scenarios and imagining ways out of them.

Did I ever hide behind the sofa?  I don't think I did.  But I did insist the phone was taken off the hook and everyone shut up while it was on.  And I remember feeling really worried all week wondering how the cliffhanger was going to be resolved.  And I still feel like that now.

Doctor Who makes me feel like a 7 year old again.  There are not enough things that do that.  So if I start waffling on about who River Song might REALLY be, about what The Silents are, about what it is that Pond knows that The Doctor doesn't, then I apologise.  But actually make no apologies.  I think it's wonderful.

And this, without a doubt, is one of the greatest pieces of music ever realised.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Raised With The Fume of Sighs

I did something I have never done before recently.  Having done it, it struck me that it was a simple, little thing that most people I know have probably already done.  And it felt good to have done it and I wondered why I have never done it before.  I sent someone an anonymous Valentines Card.  I just sent it to someone I thought was nice.  I walked into a shop and found a card that I thought was genuinely beautiful, thought for a while about what I wanted to write in it - what I wanted to say to that person, what summed up how I feel about them - and then I posted it.  And then, having done it, I forgot all about it, but felt a little bit warmer and a little bit more complete inside myself.  No big deal, you might think, but it was a small shift in behaviour that had a big impact on how I felt.

Now, I only did this because I (fairly) recently became single.  I wouldn't, of course, have done it while I had a boyfriend.  And even if I had it wouldn't have been the same - there would have been an extra level of secrecy about the whole thing that would have turned it into something not as warm, normal and pleasing as it actually was.  But that got me thinking - there are probably loads of things I haven't done whilst one of a partnership or beforehand (for various reasons) that I probably should be doing.  Or, at least, might want to do.  My list of things to do before my singlehood kicks the bucket.  

Me being me, that became an excuse to set myself a challenge.  So here, with a few stories to explain, is my Single Bucket List.

1.  Ask someone I really like out on a date, even if I think they might say "No!" - I just think this is something I should do.  It's about facing the fear and not caring about it.  I live my life with too much fear of getting it wrong, generally.  More fearlessness is needed.  I've actually made a half hearted attempt at this one already, but it doesn't count because I cheated and he ignored me because he probably thought I didn't mean it and I can't blame him!

2.  Write a good poem about someone I have a crush on.  Of course, as a teenager (and maybe a little bit beyond that, if I'm honest) I wrote a lot of gushing tosh about boys I thought I was in love with.  But all my decent poetry I reserved for things I thought were important.  Well, it's about time I reassessed what is important - about time I recognised that that lovely butterflies inside feeling you get when someone beautiful is stood next to you is one of those things that makes life bearable.  And sometimes unbearable.  Surely that's significant enough to spend time writing about it?

3.  Flirt with someone whilst entirely sober.  I know this sounds like an odd one, but I have nowhere near enough self confidence to do this normally.  Simple as that really.

4.  Wear ridiculous clothes that please me and that aren't fancy dress.  When you're in a relationship, you self edit - you come to recognise that look or tone of voice from your other half that says they don't like what you're wearing.  And you start to make choices based on your experience of that.  No more.  I can be my own stylist from now on.

5.  Say no.   Saying no sometimes feels good. I've spent years not saying it enough.  So, specifically, this is about saying no to someone if I don't feel absolutely confident that what they're proposing is right.  Usually I just go along with things.

6.  Cook someone a dinner designed specifically to seduce them.  I'm a bloody good cook - I know I am.  I would have been a Chef if my parents hadn't (rightly) told me that I wouldn't be able to cope with the hours.  I reckon I could knock anyone's socks off by what I put on the table.  I need to test this theory.

7.  Put topless pictures of myself online.  I sometimes feel like I am the only homosexual male who hasn't done this.  So I shall.

8.  Number 8 is something that is not really for public consumption.

9.  Write a love letter.  I have written soppy e-mails before but it's almost become a cliche in this post digital age that there is something special about a letter, on paper, with a stamp on it, that can't be replicated digitally.  And it's really only a cliche because it's true.  So this is something I will do.  Much later, obviously.

10.  Make a proper friendship out of talking to someone on those sites that are designed for more earthly delights.  I'm sure it's possible.  I think it's probably also desirable.  So I will make this a more important goal than anything more carnal.

So there they are.  All things I have never done and probably should.  No time limit - no censure for not achieving any of them.  

And that, Ladies and Gentles, was my "I am single and I am GREAT!" blog post!