Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Life journeys

The UK news recently has been full of the election of the new “speaker” in the House of Commons. John Bercow, the speaker elect, is apparently famous, or infamous, because of his political life journey … from extreme right wing Conservative to almost quitting to join the Labour party. It means that as a Conservative he seems to be extremely unpopular with the Conservative party who accuse the Labour party of manoeuvring to get him elected.

Somehow or other during my lunchtime stroll this triggered some thoughts about one of my own journeys in life.

As a mid-teenager I decided I was an atheist. Mostly at school I’d enjoyed scientific kind of subjects and, somewhat arrogantly and naively, decided that science and God were mutually exclusive concepts.

On 3rd March 1973 I gave my life to Christ. I remember the date because it has a lot of 3’s in it.

Over the past few years I’ve gone through the process of pretty much taking it back.


Back in 1973 I was influenced a lot by Christians that I met. They were people that had a purpose in life. They were nice people.

I went to church. Did some Bible Studies.

I remember reading about Christians that were so convinced about what they believed that they were willing to give up their lives for it.

And I began to believe the same things. Conventional, evangelical.

Though always, in some ways, a bit of a rebel.

My hair was long. I read different books than most. Liked different music. Larry Norman and Parchment being much more my kind of music than the Glorylanders.

Yet, at heart, I saw myself as being part of the Bible Believing community. Not fundamentalist, but evangelical. I hope not overly bigoted.

For many years.

So what changed?

All the way through those many years there was a sense of inconsistency and tension that I’ve mentioned a few times before.

The things that Christians don’t do that I couldn’t help doing.

Eventually that led to a kind of intellectual crisis as well.

Could I really continue to believe what I was believing?

How do you really reconcile the God of the Old Testament with the God of the New Testament?

A God that seems to command genocide in the Promised Land?

A church that says it is ok to not keep the Sabbath holy … but you definitely had better be heterosexual.

Picking and choosing.

The realisation that suicide bombers also believe in things strongly enough to give up their lives for it.

I know there are differences, and it really isn’t so simple. There is a difference between giving up your life for something that you believe and taking lives for something that you believe.

But in the end, I can’t square it and it doesn’t really seem to add up.

The whole thing seems ambiguous.Confusing.

One of the few things that I am certain of is that fundamentalists … people who are convinced that they are right and that everyone that disagrees is wrong …  can be amongst the most dangerous of all people.

People need to be allowed to be themselves.

I know, there are limits. People cannot always be left to do just whatever they want.

But if a man wants to wear a frock … well … I admit to a certain amount of bias on this one.

Cover girl

A little while ago I noticed a magazine covers that my friend Dani had put together ( and mentioned how much I liked it.

Imagine my pleasant surprise when Dani sent an email with the following:




Thank you Dani, you’re a real sweetie!

Monday, 15 June 2009

Pink Punters Strikes Again

June 6th was another Saturday night out at Pink Punters for myself, Laura, Nikki and Emma.

The Campanile hotel seemed busier than last time, but friendly as ever. We ate there before heading across the road to the nightclub.

It’s kinda strange, but also cute to get dressed up for the meal at the hotel, eat then get changed again for the walk across the road.

Here we are between the food and the club.

Laura and Nikki:


Laura and Andrea:


The steep slope down the driveway at Pink Punters is definitely not made for high heels.  Staying upright is a challenge. Maybe, though, it makes for the trip back being a little easier.

As we sit sipping at our drinks we are joined by a young man who is eager to explain the benefits of Sundays@Pinks. The only down side is the fact the Sunday is followed by Monday. And Monday is normally work.

Laura and Andrea:






A little while later Cibelle, the Pink Punters house photographer came along to take our pictures.



There’s a slideshow at that includes loads of pictures of that evening. You can see the famous four at round about the 2:49 mark.

There are also some included in the photo gallery at Pink Punters for June 6th at: and

They look like this:

Laura, Andrea and Emma:


Laura, Andrea, Cibelle and Emma:




Laura, Andrea, Emma and Nikki:


Cibelle is a really sweet girl … there’s a whole story board about her transformation at

So then … can you spot the legs … Andrea’s, Nikki’s, Laura’s or Emma’s?

Legs a):


  Legs b):


Legs c):

Legs d:)


Saturday, 6 June 2009

Lipcote and topcoat

A couple of nights ago I thought I would practise lipstick. I keep meaning to practise makeup more.

The aim was to see how well lipcote works. The idea is … first the lipstick and then the lipcote. And then when you take a drink you don’t end up with a glass coated with lipstick and naked lips.

That was the theory at least.

In practice it didn’t quite work out that way.

First was the lipstick.

Then I fumbled around in the drawer. Of course … the exact word lipcote wasn’t running through … just the shape of the bottle and the word coat.

So … out it comes … topcoat … bottle is the right shape and the name sounds about right.

“Shake before use.”

I shake it.

The bottle, that is.

It reminds me of an observation that a lady work colleague once made. She thought that after filling a tank full of petrol, guys were much more likely to shake the nozzle after they have finished than girls were.

Then, the topcoat is applied to my lips.

Andrea thinks … “this tingles more than I remember it doing last time”.

Ten minutes later I place a glass to my lips and nothing much rubs off.

The next phase of the experiment is to try lip gloss as well. I have memories that it was the gloss that ruined the coating last time.

Looking for the gloss.

And … omg … I discover a bottle that says lipcote.

What did I put on my lips?

It takes only a few moments to discover that topcoat is a coating for nail polish. The bottle says nothing of this … but the smell is a giveaway.

I’m reminded of a story I read about a lady that accidentally super-glued her eyes shut after picking up the wrong tube of stuff for her eyes.

The thought that “it could be worse” passes through my mind.

All of a sudden I am thinking a lot more about how to get this stuff off rather than how well it stays on.

Makeup remover.

Cotton wool with a little nail polish remover … yuk … but it works.


Ah well … it could have been a lot worse.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Swans, wigs and hair cuts

Sunday was a Surrey Swans evening with an opportunity to see how new life can be breathed into a not so new wig.

I’d never really given much thought to the prospect of a wig cut and blow dry. Now I know better.

Amanda had brought along a rather big wig, Lynne gave a demonstration of how it could be revived.

And wow … what a difference … as you can see…

Amanda, with lots of hair, and Lynne.



The brushing continues.



Razor rather than scissors.




The alternative audience looks on …



Almost done.


The end product. And yes … it is the same hair … only different.


Lynne has many years of experience working with hair. And, somewhat unusually, a lot in styling wigs to suit individual people.

And there was me … thinking that a wig was a wig. But it can be more than that and can be personalized.

Everyone I chatted with was impressed. Very impressed. 

And some of the real audience.