Sunday, 14 April 2013

Saint Derek Jarman's legacy

This evening several queer, quaint and quintessentially unalliterative people gathered at a picture house in Hackney to celebrate Derek Jarman.

We watched his film "The Garden".

Afterwards, the people who loved him talked to the people who knew him. The people who knew him talked to the people who met him. The people who met him talked to the people who had heard of him. The people who had heard of him talked to the people who had seen a clip of of his films.

And then, being Hackney - we all talked to each other.

There may be no such thing as Society but there sure as fuck is something called Community.

I know. I am there.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Rejoicing? I don't think so.

The Thatcher History

1975 – She won the Leadership
1979 – She became PM
1981 – She slashed public spending
1982 – She fought and won an unjust war
1984 – She destroyed our industrial communities
1986 – She sold our press to Murdoch
1987 – She demonised homosexuality
1988 – She ruined our relationship with Europe
1990 – She retired, with tears but good grace

2013 – She died in luxury at the Ritz Hotel
She won. We lost.

Why are we “rejoicing”? 

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Feet that need washing

If washing feet means paying attention then, if ever there were feet that needed washing, they were these.

This afternoon I arrived in a city in the north east for an Easter sojurn. Within minutes of updating my Facebook status lauding the cheapness of the beer, a thirteen year old boy was carried passed me insensible with drink.

Outside the Golden Pearl restaurant he collapsed, unconscious, and in need of an ambulance. His friends tell me he was celebrating the end of term.

I resisted the temptation to try to wash his feet as a Facebook photo-opportunity. But. Ye Gods. May we all wash the feet of our young folk before they all end up like this.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

My no longer poorly friend

Readers of this blog will know that for the last year or so, I have been holding the hand of a friend and lover, whilst waiting for him to be ready to die.

At 5.33am on Saturday morning he was found to be dead, by a nurse who two hours earlier had checked on him, found him to be drinking Lucozade (a 'healthy' drink) and making jokes.

I am enormously proud of him.

In the last year of his life he:

(i) clung to life with a tenacity that defied medical opinion

(ii) reconciled himself to those that mattered to him

(iii) allowed those to whom he mattered to engage

That's quite a lot to do in your final year when you are not yet fifty.

As I cuddled his mortal remains at lunchtime on Saturday, I really did know what love is.

Thank you Nick. It's been a privilege.

Thursday, 17 January 2013


As an adopted child, the search for a birth mother never quite leaves, however much one might pretend otherwise.

Shortly after my fiftieth birthday, I embarked on that search and, several months later, it has reached a conclusion.

According to the documents, my birth mother and father "went about together" in County Longford, Ireland during the summer of 1961 and, as a consequence, I was born in May 1962.

He being of the Roman Catholic faith, and she being Church of Ireland, marriage was apparently "out of the question" and so (fill in the gaps) I became a Coram Foundling.

Of late much Googling has been done and I have discovered many facts.

The pertinent news this week is that my birth mother died in 2002.

My search for her is over.

I am both saddened and gladdened by this news.