Equalities, Gay Marriage, Ireland & Irish, LGBT

An Irish National Treasure

Jack Scott:

Well done Ireland. You are a beacon of hope. As the Guardian put it…

“Irish voters have decisively voted in favour of marriage equality, making Ireland the first country to do so through the ballot box. Only one of the 43 constituencies voted against the proposal – Roscommon-South Leitrim – while the yes vote exceeded 70% in many parts of Dublin. The no campaigners have paid tribute to their opponents, and the archbishop of Dublin has said the result should be a wake-up call for the Catholic church in Ireland.”

http://www.theguardian.com/global/live/2015/may/23/counting-underway-for-irelands-referendum-on-marriage-equality

Originally posted on perking the Pansies:

The annual Norfolk and Norwich Festival is in full swing right now, an eclectic mix of the performing arts in venues right across the city. One of the more original festival venues is the Adnams Speigeltent in Chapelfield Gardens, a replica Edwardian erection with a handy on-site beer garden to quench the thirst. Last night, we enjoyed a night at the big top with Panti Bliss, the Irish drag queen who’s become a bit of a national treasure in Ireland since her famous exposition of homophobia last year. I wrote a post about Panti’s eloquent speech and remarked at the time that it would change minds. And it has. Panti was no less eloquent last night as she revealed funny, absurd and touching titbits from her extraordinary life. Her social commentary was razor-sharp and the copious consumption of gin did nothing to blunt the edge.

Naturally, Panti has been a…

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BBC, Eurovision, Music & Dance, TV & Radio

Eurovision 2015

Eurovision 2015aThe grand final of the Eurovision travelling circus hits town tonight. This time, the old imperial seat of the Hapsburgs, Vienna, is the venue for the annual glitterfest of frightful frocks and terrible tunes. The BBC has chosen posh celebrity cook and reformed coke head, Nigella Lawson to announce the verdict of the UK jury. I hope she doesn’t get too sniffy about it.

This year’s no-hope entry for Royaume Uni is Still in Love with You by Electro Velvet. God alone knows why Auntie Beeb thinks a daft Charleston pastiche with no discernible chorus stands the slightest chance of making it to the left hand side of the leader board. Still, I hear torch song dirges are big this year (along with the hair) so who knows? Electro Velvet might just rise above the slash-your-wrist ditties.

PS. The man who coined the phrase ‘Eurovision’ died in 2010 at the grand old age of 94. His name was George Campey. I’m saying nothing.

PPS. The UK entry flopped yet again. Has the BBC given up trying?

Arts & Theatre, Equalities, Food & Drink, Gay Marriage, Ireland & Irish, LGBT

An Irish National Treasure

The annual Norfolk and Norwich Festival is in full swing right now, an eclectic mix of the performing arts in venues right across the city. One of the more original festival venues is the Adnams Speigeltent in Chapelfield Gardens, a replica Edwardian erection with a handy on-site beer garden to quench the thirst. Last night, we enjoyed a night at the big top with Panti Bliss, the Irish drag queen who’s become a bit of a national treasure in Ireland since her famous exposition of homophobia last year. I wrote a post about Panti’s eloquent speech and remarked at the time that it would change minds. And it has. Panti was no less eloquent last night as she revealed funny, absurd and touching titbits from her extraordinary life. Her social commentary was razor-sharp and the copious consumption of gin did nothing to blunt the edge.

Naturally, Panti has been a dedicated supporter of marriage equality in the Irish Republic. In fact, there’s a national referendum on that very subject today. Let’s hope our friends over the water do the right thing. I’m optimistic. It will mean that across these wind-swept islands, only Northern Ireland* will be holding back the tide of social progress. And a yes vote in the Republic might just shame those dusty old Presbyterians into some positive action. But did Panti get back to Dublin in time to cast her vote?

 *In fact, there is no marriage equality in the Isle of Man and Channel Islands either. Except in matters of tax evasion, these off-shore tax havens always have be dragged kicking and screaming into the modern era.

Bodrum, Books, Turkey Street

Game of Chance

Roving JayThe magnificent Jay Artale of Roving Jay fame is offering a free copy of Turkey Street in a sweepstake hosted on her Bodrum Peninsula Travel Guide site. This involved no prompting from me so, Jay, thank you, you made my day!

Click on the book image for more information and to enter.

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Bodrum, Books, Turkey Street

Turkey Street is Open for Business

Turkey StTurkey Street is an ancient road ‘… just wide enough for two emaciated camels to pass each other unhindered’. Now you can take a stroll along its winding path following in the strappy sandals of Alexander the Great as he tried (and nearly failed) to ‘…wrest old Halicarnassus from the doughty Persians’. But be wary of the ‘…motorcades of Nissan tanks flanked by Vespas on amphetamines’, something Alexander never had to contend with. Turkey Street is now open for business. Relax, open a bottle, kick off your heels and maybe grab the Kleenex.

The real strength of Turkey Street though is that at its heart is a genuinely touching love story.

 Amazon Review

Five Star Review

Greetings from a wet, blowy Norwich. Oh, to be in Bodrum once again. Nevertheless, Liam and I will be popping open the bubbly later to celebrate. This one’s been a bit of a labour of love. Thank you so much for all the pre-orders and messages of support. I’m chuffed.

Turkey Street: Jack and Liam move to Bodrum is officially published today.

Order the paperback on Amazon | Buy the Kindle on Amazon | Other buying options

 With thanks to Annie from Back to Bodrum for the photo.

Equalities, LGBT

IDAHO Day

Jack Scott:

To mark today’s IDAHOT Day, I’m reblogging a post I wrote back in 2014 about IDAHO Day (the T got added a year later to acknowledge the challenges faced by the transgender community). I think the post still stacks up.

Originally posted on perking the Pansies:

Idaho LogoToday is IDAHO Day. For the uninitiated, this stands for International Day Against Homophobia (not to be confused with a holiday in the 43rd State of the Union). On this day in 1990, the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases. No longer were gay people officially categorised as sick and mentally disordered. IDAHO Day was conceived by the French academic and human rights activist, Louis-Georges Tin, with the aim to raise awareness about the plight of sexual minorities across the globe who live in daily fear of casual discrimination, systematic violence and state-sponsored murder. Some of us are fortunate to live in societies where attitudes have changed radically and where we are protected by a comprehensive body of law. Most are not so fortunate. This does not mean that mindless, sometimes violent, homophobia is no longer with us. Far from it. We must always…

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Bodrum, Books, Turkey Street

Top of the Travel Pops

Three days before the official publication of Turkey Street, the pre-released Kindle edition hit the top stop on Amazon in Middle Eastern Travel (as well as No 2 in LGBT Bios and No 5 in Turkey Travel Books – above more illustrious titles from Eye Witness, Rough Guide and even Orhan Pamuk). And that’s not all, the book’s already received two totally un-staged five star reviews. Blimey!

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Bodrum, Bodrum Belles, Books, Emigreys, Expats, Family & Friends, Historic Sites, LGBT, Politics, Turkey & Turkish, Turkey Street, Vetpats, VOMITs, Writing

Turkey Street Uncovered

300,000 characters, 65,000 words, 350 pages, near-divorce bust-ups, seconds out sulks down the pub, slammed doors, never-ending re-writes and entire scenes littering the cutting room floor like yesterday’s news. Finally it’s done, dusted and shipped, and only 18 months later than I hoped. Life just got in the way. So it gives me great pleasure to declare that Turkey Street, Jack and Liam move to Bodrum will be published on 18th May in paperback from the usual retailers and digitally from Nook, Kobo and Apple iBooks. And, it’s available to buy on Amazon Kindle right now. No pressure.

Early reviews are in and I’m rather chuffed.

Cutting wit, giggles and sadness – Jack and Liam’s dalliances with the expat world make for compelling reading.

Julia Power, Turkey’s for Life

A book that removes Turkey’s headscarf and tousles the hair a little – with comical and touching consequences. I loved it.

Jay Artale, author, the Bodrum Peninsula Travel Guide and Gümüşlük Travel Guide

A beautifully presented tale that segues cleverly from hilarious and irreverent to heartbreakingly poignant, told with insight and innovative language.

Kay McMahon, British Expat

Once again, Jack Scott expertly blends wit and humour in an accurate portrayal of daily Turkish life, warts and all!

Natalie Sayin, the Turkish Travel Blog

Turkey Street

Order the paperback on Amazon and Waterstones | Buy the Kindle on Amazon | Other buying options

Six months into their Turkish affair, Jack and Liam, a gay couple from London, took lodgings in the oldest ward of Bodrum Town. If they wanted to shy away from the curtain-twitchers, they couldn’t have chosen a worse position. Their terrace overlooked Turkey Street like the balcony of Buckingham Palace and the middle-aged infidels stuck out like a couple of drunks at a temperance meeting. Against all the odds, the boys from the Smoke were welcomed into the fold by a feisty mix of eccentric locals and a select group of trailblazing expats, irresistible ladies with racy pasts and plucky presents.

Hop aboard Jack’s rainbow gulet as he navigates the choppy waters of a town on the march and a national resurgence not seen since Suleiman the Magnificent was at the gates of Vienna. Grab your deckchair for a whirlwind tour of love and duty, passion and betrayal, broken hearts and broken bones, dirty politics and the dawn of a new Ottoman era.