Luca Belletti

Product Manager living in London (UK)

gift

A picture of the iRiver H320 media player I got for Christmas from Dr B.Dr Santa has been extremely generous this Christmas and filled my stocking with:

The Time Out guide to walks around London. Listing, among other things, a rota of the Saturday Walking Group, with the chosen walks for the book and the dates where people get together to do them, in 2004 and 2005.

Bjork Volumen DVD. Scratched, so it’s going back to Amazon to be exchanged.

Scissor Sisters Live in Brighton DVD. Fantastic behind-the-scenes bit when a sweaty Jake Shears strips out of his costume and is towelled down by a blushing assistant before squeezing into more lycra. I am thinking of applying for that assistant’s position. My killer asset: possibly not needing a towel at all.

Scissor Sisters Take Your Mama collector’s coaster. (Note to self: next time I open a present, do not say ‘Wow! Uhm… what is this?’)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. En español. Clever Dr B.: he knows how much I want to read it (just finished the previous one), so much that I’ll plow through 700-odd pages with my less than perfect Spanish (I lack two words per paragraph on average, not too bad but it might take me a couple of years to go through it).

And…

…a 20GB iRiver H300 series to store audio files, photos and videos, with a decent-sized sharp colour display (see image). Think of an iPod. No, better than that. Think of an iPod Photo. No, better still, think of an iPod Photo that plays videos too. And comes with a radio. And can record via a built-in, or directly from the internal radio, or from any other source that you connect it to. And connects to my digital camera without going through a computer, to transfer pictures from its memory card. And, although one does not feel like licking an iRiver as much as one does with an iPod (well, I do), when you find out what my iRiver can do you will want to have its babies.

I have already agreed on being perfectly happy with token presents for our anniversary, Valentine’s day and my birthday (all within the span of 12 days in early February).

It feels rather special to know that I’ve got all my music collection in my pocket, along with the latest holiday’s snaps and a couple of mini porn flicks to have a teeny weeny mini wank in a loo should the need arise when I’m on the move.

So now you know why masturbating makes you go blind – it’s all down to display size.

links for 2004-12-31

burp

Trying to recover from:


Parma ham
with sliced galia melon

Joint of turkey
topped with sautéed mushrooms
wrapped in streaky bacon
topped with cranberry jelly and gravy

Bacon-wrapped stuffing balls

Roast potatoes
boiled potatoes
roast parsnips
boiled cauliflower
boiled cabbage
boiled brussels sprouts

Cognac-laced Christmas pudding
with brandy sauce

Mumm champagne
Zagara red wine

Very mature cheddar
Stilton
Lancashire Farmhouse
Crackers and oatcakes
Port wine

*

bang

A picture of an piercing shaped like a gunAs I approached the Royal Vauxhall Tavern today for a Holiday Monday show and saw it cordoned off, with police searching the stretch behind it, it was obvious something was the matter.

A policeman who politely explained that there had been a shooting in the morning, and the venue would open at 5, and would we be so kind as to wait in South Central until further notice.

Sipping my drink looking at the D.E. Experience holding court with friends and fans, one thought only crossed my mind: whatever happened has to be related to that seedy straight club that recently opened next to Crash. I am sure it exists, but I find it very hard to imagine gun violence perpetrated by gay people.

Not until Dolce and Gabbana launch a tongue-in-cheek Italian firearms collection.

links for 2004-12-27

shop

Oxford Street, today at half past three, with Saturday-strong crowds rushing to the sales.

Oxford Street with shoppers on Boxing day

It’s Boxing day, for goodness’ sake! One is supposed to be at home, like, boxing or whatever it is one does on this day.

Come to think of it, it could all have been people going to exchange ill-chosen Christmas presents they received.

(Me? I was going over to a friend’s for coffee, then on to Nero in Old Compton Street for a cup of tea watching the world go by).

walk

There is no public transport whatsoever in London on Christmas day.

So, if one needs to go to a friend’s for Christmas lunch, one packs wine, champagne, Kath & Kim DVDs and panettone (Italian Christmas cake – not Dr B.’s favourite, as he sarcastically described it to someone as ‘It’s not stale; it’s supposer to be that dry, you see’) and starts trekking across East London.

Which is sort of a good thing, considering that the walk there (and back, via the dancefloor at Trade) might have produced a sizeable dent in the thousand of calories consumed between 3 and 7pm.

Chavette crossing the road:

Chavette crossing the road

Shut underground entrance:

Shut underground entrance

Brick Lane:

Brick Lane

The Erotic Gherkin:

The Erotic Gherkin

Bondage Santa:

Bondage Santa

Our home-made Christmas card was appreciated:

Christmas cards

Fat from the turkey. I boasted I’d drink it for a fiver. Luckily noone took me up on it:

Fat from the turkey

A British Christmas lunch would not be right without at least thirty-four different kinds of vegetable, some of which are only sold once a year:

Christmas lunch

Thames river bank from Tower Bridge, on the way to Trade:

Thames river bank

Ditto:

Thames river bank

Tower Bridge:

Tower Bridge

Finally saw Little Britain. I knew it was somewhere in the City:

Little Britain street sign< St Paul's cathedral - the second time I walked past it, half an hour after taking a couple of wrong turns and walking in circles. Please note that I was carrying a London street atlas with me. Hopeless. Just hopeless:

St Paul's cathedral

bake

I suppose there are certain things one only does at Christmas. Like waking up at 6 on Christmas Eve to pre-heat the oven and bake pepper cookies before rushing off to work.

Pepper cookies I baked early this morning

Well, let me tell you: it was well the expression of disbelief on Dr B.’s face as he tasted the first of many, saying “Oh, they actually are nice” (he had seen me putting half a teaspoon of black pepper in the dough the night before).

sing

Yesterday I learnt something new at work – the hard way.

Having one of my colleagues switch on Capital FM (which has gone all Christmassy and only plays seasonal melodies) in the morning of December 23rd to make the whole office benefit from it is rather sweet.

Having it still on at 4pm, long after everyone has realised that there are just so many known Chrimbo songs you can play before starting the loop over and over again, is plain criminal.

And if I hear once more Mariah ‘Mimi‘ Carey warble that ‘all [she] wants this Christmas is [me]’, I think I might weep.

Bah.

Humbug.

links for 2004-12-24

java10

Almost two months from the conclusion of my survey of Central London coffee shops, I can certainly say things have changed.

It must have been some sort of aversion therapy, like when they ask you to smoke cigarette after cigarette, changing brands continuously in order to become disgusted and eventually quit.

Instead of two large americanos from Nero’s, I now only have one large filter coffee from Benjy’s (75p) in the morning, and I skip the one after lunch. Daily savings: £2.85. Monthly savings: £53.90 (as I work five days a week and there are on average 4.33 weeks per month and yes, that takes into account the fact that every tenth coffee at Nero’s is free).

At home I went through my supplies of instant coffee, instant decaff, espresso, decaff espresso and barley mix, and only kept one (espresso) in its fascinating dosacaffè that you will find in each and every Italian household.

I now have one espresso in the morning, then switch to tea, then to herbal tea after 8pm.

So why the heck is it that over the last week I slept an average of four hours a night?

links for 2004-12-22

guru

A little under two years ago, some time around my thirty-sixth birthday, I braided together three sets of twelve lengths each of red sewing thread.

I secured both ends with knots, then wrapped the resulting bracelet once around my left wrist and tied it with a double knot.

I made one extra knot in the middle of each of the two hanging strands.

Incidentally, a couple of months later I saw Madonna wearing something similar (sans knots) during her appearance on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.

Over time I cut half an inch off the ends, along with the knots at the extremities.

Several months later the middle knots gave way and little by little the threads escaped the constriction of the plait.

During the past few weeks the final knot started relaxing, and it is now just a matter of days before it slips off my wrist.

My non-Kabbala bracelet

And it’s about time, as I have had enough of telling enquiring people that I am not a Kabbalist, the bracelet is not a rakhi that my non-existent hindu sister has given me during Raksha Bandhan, and that I do not want to be called Esther.

It’s something personal. Not too hard to guess either, I would think. Thread, years, knots, intertwined, cut, dissolved, released. Get it?

chav

Picture of spoof Chavopoly playing board sent to me by my bossPicture of spoof Chavopoly playing board sent to me by my boss.

My boss who lives in Essex. And owns Burberry’s stuff. And was given “How to be a Chav” from his office Secret Santa (and probably failed to spot the irony of it all).

Click on the picture for a full view of the board (70kb GIF).

wisp

So the sexiest men I know are growing beards these days. Lovely landscaped luscious frames to their handsome faces.

My latest attempt only confirms that I shall never be your daddy because…

…this is me from the left:

A picture of my left cheek

and this is me from the right:

A picture of my right cheek

The Bald and the Bitful.

cook

I’ve been asked for a repeat of last year’s Christmas meal.

Thank goodness for blogging to remind oneself of what was consumed.

And for Google to retrieve the original main recipe again.

fuzz

I have bought my first nose and ear hair trimmer (a steal at £2.99 at Superdrug – battery not included).

Old age is just round the corner.

fang

So today I paid a huge black man to stick his hot tool into my cavity.

Yes, my dentist is from Nigeria (no queues around the block to register at his South London surgery) and seeing him is always quite an experience.

There is an adorable chuckling big mama of a receptionist.

A couple of skinny teenage nieces who assist him but clearly would rather be somewhere else.

And a radio blasting Christian-themed phone-ins and talk shows. Today’s theme: “Is the devil as evil as we portray it?” – the answer to which, during root canal work, can only be “Bloody hell, yes. Yes, yes YES!”.

Already not the most relaxed of patients, how could I not feel alarmed every time he shouts orders in his African language interspersed with English words? I am sorry, but hearing “N’xuloo djamé phwatee 4-inch needle” does not exactly put me in the most optimistic of moods.

While we’re talking gnashers, I’ve got a question: if your teenage son came back from a final session to the dentist brandishing a set of three fruit-flavoured toothbrushes and announced proudly: “Dad, I am going to do all I can to keep my set of teeth as long as I can”, would you:

  1. Congratulate him on his good intentions and do all you can to encourage him to keep them up? or
  2. Laugh in his face and tell him to get real?

Dear old dad. Class of 1919. God bless his ill-fitting dentures.

book

Inspiration: DG‘s collaborative work (four four-letter word per person to write a collective book).

Personal touch: these are the titles of all the posts on this website (many of which are four-letter words – in fact all of them since early July 2003).

$entry_title “;
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And, before anyone asks, I did not, I repeat, I did not sit down and copy everything down.

view

This is the village where I am the only gayer – or perhaps not, judging from the two camp peroxyde blondes at a restaurant the other day, who could not take their eyes off me and my brother and mother (who noticed it). V. annoying.

One side of the village:

One side of the village I come from

The other side of the village:

The other side of the village I come from

The church:

The church

Country road with Alps:

Country road with Alps

Winter field with Alps:

Winter field with Alps

host

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How can you not love my host? I can’t recommend it highly enough.

shoe

El fio del calighèr al va in giro discòls.

Which, translated from my mother’s dialect, roughly translates as ‘The cobbler’s son goes around barefoot’. Or something like that.

Which is a colourful way of saying that I earn my living ensuring that government websites are compliant with markup validation and accessibility standards, and that they look consistent across a variety of browsers (or, to be exact, user agents), and then I let IE 5.5 chop off part of the text on this site.

Which should be fixed now. Thanks to Mike Troubled Diva for letting me know. Thanks to Quirksmode for an excellent solution to run multiple versions of Explorer on one machine the quick and easy way.