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Anniversary Trip

I've only just got the last roll of film back. Now I've got to go get them scanned in! I'm listening to the BT soundtrack as I type this. 

So what happened? 

I take the train down to London. Done that trip last Saturday, so familiar: only in reverse. Get to Greenwich about an hour early, so I go for a walk in the park. The Gloucester is right opposite the entrance to Greenwich Park. Get a photograph of the meridian. Walk back to the pub. Hang around outside a bit. 1 p.m., the bastard Davie still hasn't turned up. Don't even know what anyone else looks like. The whole troop could be standing around me right now and there's no way I'd know. Too all intents and purposes, I'm alone. :-P Some guys come in with backpacks. They take the table next to me. They start talking some language I think is German. I look away. 

Start wondering whether or not to have my lunch. Want to go to the Cutty Sark as soon as they get in, right? Can't do that if I'm still eating: hold everyone up. Considerate little me. Give up waiting. I go inside and buy the cheapest meal I can get: 5 pounds for a stuffed potato! Daylight robbery. *sigh* What to do? Can't go anywhere else. Have to wait for the assholes. 

FINALLY, at twenty to two, the lot of them troop in. I spot this really cute piece of meat walking in with stripes. Then I see the leader: a compact (alright: I'm not so tall myself) guy in a white t-shirt talking animatedly, walking around with his shoulders back and chest out. Shoulders TOO far back. He's showing off his tits. Not sure it's him: then he takes off his cap a moment. "Davie!" I yell. He turns to look at me and I see it's a BT t-shirt. He looks at me. "Gavin!" sez he. I recognise the voice: talked to him on the phone. He looks away and is talking nineteen to the dozen to anyone and anything looking his way. Can't keep still. Jiggling up and down, all over the place. Like a maracas on automatic. 

Turns out the guys with backpacks are part of the group. Olaf, Andre and Robert. Andre's kinda cute. Davie starts talking to them. Or AT them. Everyone orders some drinks and ignores me. I quickly decide that Andy (the guy in stripes) is far and away the easiest to look at. Spend the rest of my meal staring at him. 

I finish my potato and wander over to the bar to join them. Davie says we're still waiting for more people to turn up. Introduced to Chris, our quasi-official photographer (whose photos I still don't see on the website). JJDomino (darling Joe I know from IRC) turns out to be a cute, but intensely shy and quiet fella. More talkative on the keyboard than in real life? 

Meet this American, Dave (tall! but all Americans are, aren't they?). Crazy fella come over all the way from Paris just for this meet! And going back tomorrow morning! Whacko. (Yeah. Like I wouldn't do the same! :-) ) 

Wait a bit. Hang around. Talking talking talking. I'm talking to Dave (he's friendly: most Americans are?)...mostly cos Andy's there talking to him! Comparing the relative merits of Gay Times, Attitude and XY. *sigh* 

Reporter Andi turns up. He's interesting to talk to. He makes the kind of idle banter that I like, but he's way too camp for my taste. Flippant and has a vaguely condescending air. 

I point out that we still haven't sorted out the accommodation. Davie claims there are a few more London people coming who can put us up for the night, so we wait for them. 

I remember that Sarah's having an 'accident' to get off work. I feel sorry for her, cos it's getting on to 4 p.m. and we STILL haven't made our way to the Cutty Sark (the Anchor in the movie). I say so to Davie. By the time we get there it'll probably be so late that she needn't have faked it anyway. 

Davie finally figures no-one else is coming. We start ambling on to the Cutty Sark. One map and too many map readers. I'm bored and do my usual routine of stepping on people's heels. Nice walk by the river and as we pass the Naval College, they all start whistling at a cute marine in uniform. He gets embarassed but can't leave his post. 

Olaf finally finds The Cutty Sark for us. It's hidden well away. Lots of little side roads before you get there. It's very pleasant pub. The seats by the waterfront are romantic. We look in and it seems cramped. Also: we can't find the piano. I find a jellybean dispenser and after some cajoling by Dave, I accept his offer to buy me a drink: I order a coke. We sit there a bit longer just chatting, while Davie talks about his idea for a magazine. Andi talks about being a reporter (and various sexcapades). 

We wander back to the Gloucester. Find the 180 bus (it doesn't actually stop opposite the Gloucester - Sandra couldn't have seen where they were going sitting in a taxi, but it is a short distance away). Davie can't stop scoping guys and making appreciative noises like "Fwoah!" Andy's mobile is used to call Marc and Sarah to tell them we're coming (Davie's sentences punctuated by "Fwoah"s). 

On the bus, we climb to the top deck and Andi pulls out a copy of "Anti-Gay" (bright yellow cover and title in bold print) and brandishes it about so everyone on the bus can see. Davie can't keep still, and decides to use the poster tube he's carrying as an offensive weapon. Davie and Andi start struggling over it and after about 1/2 hour of this, the tube finally gives way and breaks. The poster inside gets damaged. 

When we get off, there's absolutely no doubt mistaking Marc. He DID say he was going to be using a brown walking stick. :-) And his pretty wife, Sarah. First thing I have to do getting off the bus is give her a kiss! Bright and cheerful, they lead us around the estate. 

I'm glad to find that the bits I identified last week are all right. Didn't waste any film except one frame: couldn't figure out which bench it was the back of Jamie and Ste's heads were taken. Turns out I couldn't find it cos the pic on the poster and screenplay is reversed, and I didn't have the original with me! Andy is Jamie and Davie is Ste (good semblance!). After that we pose for a group photo on the same bench. Chris gets handed all the cameras (does get a little tiresome maintaining that smile after the nth shot). 

We can't go into the flats of course, but the corridor is weeny. And the bit by the rubbish chute? Doesn't seem possible to fit Tony and Sandra there with room to talk: enough room to smooch, but talk? No. Marc explains how it is that everything looks bigger in the movie. Gosh! If that's true, then how thin is Ben Daniels in real life? Some trick with filming with one lens (75mm?) then projecting with another (65mm?). Ask someone else who knows something about this. 

We walk over to the steps where Ste was sitting and I volunteer to pose as Ste (egotistical jerk that I am!). Can't seem to stop laughing, and can't manage to look sad. I'd make an horrible actor. Now looking at the publicity shot, looks like I sat on the right step too! (third from the bottom). 

We stop at the Southmere Swan (gee! There are actually swans on the lake outside it!). Guess what...we stop for another drink! (And potato crisps.) Sit at the table Leah and Slasher sit at. 

Hungry! We finally decide on fish and chips. Then take the 180 back to Greenwich. I finish the fish. Burp. Then find that I can't finish the chips. I'm too civic minded to just leave it by the bus stop, and there isn't a rubbish bin nearby, so I carry the chips onto the bus with me. Guess what! It's the SAME BUS DRIVER! We smile at him a crazy smile and drop a ten pound note in for the lot of us. Say bye bye to Marc and Sarah for being sweet and kind. 

Everyone's dumped their chips and I'm the only one brandishing this greasy paper baton stuffed full of chips gone solid. I'm getting silly looks. Then these GORGEOUS teenagers board the bus. They climb to the top deck where we are (lots of breath holding) and sit down right at the back. I'm sitting next to Davie and he keeps turning around to look at them. Andi and Chris have deliberately got themselves seats near the back. One of them is wearing a bright red shirt and white jeans. Mmm mm! Looks like Jamie Gangel in the closing scene (or tastier, actually! - bet I get flamed for that last comment). Whole lot of us behaving like a bunch of desperate queens. When they finally get off at their stop, one of them yells up at us, "Faggots!" (Not hard to guess with Davie acting the way he was). Davie has to start this screaming match with them: "Hetties!" he yells. We all start screaming back at them, then we burst out laughing when the bus moves off. 

When we get to the Gloucester, we find that Graeme (landlord of the pub) has got us a table right by the stage! Wow! We still have a bit of time and decide it's probably appropriate to start figuring out accommodation. We find that the B&B next door we were hoping to use is full up. That buggers that. We go back to collect Joe and Andy to go hunting for a room for the night. The Tourist Information isn't helpful: mostly because it's closed. I suggest Earl's Court (loads of cheap hotels there: Piccadilly line from Heathrow airport). We take shelter back in the Gloucester, hoping to find accommodation from dailing numbers listed the back of Gay Times? (Don't ask me what Davie thought he was doing. Gay Times, The Good Hotel Guide? <shrug>) 

Katryna is loud, but fun. Maybe I was a little too close to the speakers. Went deaf in one ear. All through the act, I'm thumping the table in time and the ashtray keeps falling off onto the stage (we're that close). 

Act ends, but we look out the window and it's raining! Davie'd planned a romp in Oxleas Woods (run, chase, snog scene), but it doesn't look like we're THAT keen on it. Not with the weather as it is. 

We are finally kicked out of the Gloucester at 11:30p.m. Still pissing it down. We stand in one exit. We severely hinder traffic by being sissies and refusing to get wet. People press out of the pub. Finally the doors are locked behind us and the little porch we are taking shelter in gets even more cramped. I still don't know what the sleeping arrangements are. Davie says he's going to run for it. I don't know if that means me too, but Andy and Joe follow him. I run. 

Drive back to the Gloucester. Davie makes long extended goodbyes (addresses for his little black book. :-) ). 

Davie (who has TOO much energy) decides that the best solution is to drive back up to Nottingham. I shrug my shoulders: HE'S driving. After a little detour (I hate the illogical London road system) to Andi's place to drop off the backpacks, Davie strikes North for Nottingham. Changing radio channels a few times, Davie finally settles on Classic FM despite furious protest from Andy. It's midnight. Davie outruns the rain clouds. The moon's shining through the sunroof. Andy, Joe and I, all fall asleep in Davie's car... 

What happens at Davie's house is another story... :-> 



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"Love counts not the cost." 

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