Monday, February 11, 2008

Restoration & Recreation

My poor bicycle, I call her Hedwig, has been sat in the hallway looking a bit sad for the last six months, since we were both damaged in an accident that resulted in a broken jaw and smashed up teeth for me, and a blown tyre and a few scratches for her. I finally got round to taking her in to get fixed at the weekend, with a view to getting back on the saddle in the next few weeks. Now that the weather is improving and the evenings are getting lighter again, cycling to work is becoming a more enticing prospect, and I think I am about ready to tackle the psychological challenge. So I dropped Hedwig off at G-Whizz, a great little second-hand bike and repair shop down in Hove borders, which is also handily only a stone’s throw from my favourite café in Brighton & Hove, The Sanctuary. At first glance, the damage was apparently not too bad, but she will be given a good once-over, and I will be able to collect her next weekend. This was a small but significant step for me in getting over the whole ordeal, and now that plans are also afoot for a Hungarian dental trip, I’m starting to feel a lot more positive in general. A celebratory lunch at the aforementioned Sanctuary café was inevitable, as was a visit to Taj, the best ever food shop (in Brighton anyway), also just around the corner. The clement weather only served to reinforce this upbeat mood, and sunlight was streaming through the windows as I sipped my mango and passionfruit smoothie, and wolfed down a plate of delicious potato wedges with garlic mayonnaise.

Nikki and Shadow
An obliging Nikki, apparently mid-sentence, on the South Downs Way

A long overdue girlie night ensued on Saturday evening, with a trip to the Hanbury in Kemp Town for We ♥ Pop, the perfect cheesy night for one very excitable gay man and five willing fag-hags. We danced our little socks off to everything from Kylie to the Beatles, and enjoyed the laid back vibe of the refurbished venue (it was done up a while ago, but this was the first time I’d been since the change in ownership), complete with ironic wallpaper and an extremely well-stocked spirits bar. A remarkably hangover-free Sunday brought more delightful weather, and a chance to get out into the countryside. My photography homework this week was ‘portraits’, and Ant was very long-suffering in letting me take endless snaps of him sitting in trees, pausing at gates and even tucking into a hearty brunch from the little café in Stanmer village. The intense winter sun was perfect for capturing the surrounding colours of the countryside, already sporting the first signs of spring - with the odd crocus bursting up, and even blossom on some of the trees. Nikki joined us for a walk, giving Ant a break from the constant modelling, as I subjected her to some paparazzi action on the way up to Ditchling Beacon. Brian was waiting outside, keyboard in tow, when we arrived home, and we rehearsed for next weekend’s big wedding – my first same-sex civil ceremony – at which we shall be performing ‘Nobody Does It Better’, with tongue firmly in cheek. This pleasantly eventful weekend was rounded off with the hilariously bad Ghost Rider, starring a typically hammy Nicholas Cage, complete with dodgy toupee. It is certainly a strong contender for the ‘Top Ten Best Bad Films’ blog, which I’ve been thinking about for a while, and am now newly inspired to write, so watch this space.

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