Bodrum, Books, Turkey & Turkish, Turkey Street

Take a Stroll Along Turkey Street

Books, Expats, Turkey & Turkish, Writing

Take Five!


The lovely Kay McMahon of British Expat has just launched a short interview series called ‘Take Five.’ I was the inaugural guinea pig. Despite my inane ramblings, I know Kay’s series will do well. Here’s a taste…

Our time in Turkey taught us how to live differently and make do with less. It’s a lesson we’ve learned well. Designer labels and fancy holidays are off the agenda and the wine cellar is more plonk than vintage. Still, we all need to eat and my career as an author and publisher provides enough to keep the wolves from the door. It’s either that or stacking shelves in Tesco.

Click here to read the full camp old nonsense.

Arts & Theatre, Norwich

If Music be the Food of Love

Norwich Cathedral CloisterIn an attempt to develop this old Philistine’s cultural palate, Liam dragged me along to Norwich Cathedral for a bit of drag from the Bard. The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, an open-air theatre company, brought their production of ‘Twelfth Night’ to the divine (forgive the pun) Gothic cloisters of the Norman edifice. Billy Shakespeare’s cross-dressing comedy of mistaken identities was a big hit with the picnicking crowd. It went down well with us too, along with a bottle of Merlot. Sadly, the show wasn’t quite so popular with the famous pair of peregrine falcons roosting in the cathedral spire. Clearly pissed off about being upstaged, they squawked through the entire performance.

The Lord Chamberlain’s Men are noted for bringing a touch of Tudor authenticity to their gigs and this was no exception. I knew the Bard could be bawdy but I never knew he could be so camp. This was a delicious cross between ‘Life of Brian’ and John Inman in ‘Are You Being Served?’

Every one of Shakespeare’s works has its famous lines and Twelfth Night is no different…

If music be the food of love, play on.

Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

Not bad for the ‘Carry On Camping’ of its day, eh?

BBC, Books, LGBT, Turkey Street, TV & Radio

Blind Date

Radio_NorwichTurkey StreetYesterday was my date with Stephen Bumfrey on BBC Radio Norfolk. I was a tad nervous. I needn’t have worried. Stephen has a natural charm which immediately put me at my ease and the conversation turned effortlessly. We talked about my memories of a tropical childhood, the curse of the whinging emigrey, my hopeless language skills, the challenges of a Mediterranean winter and, of course, my book, Turkey Street. It was like catching up with an old friend over a sherry or three. What fun I had. Thank you, Stephen for letting me shamelessly plug my book.

If you didn’t listen live, you can catch the podcast here. It’s available for the next 29 days only. My gig starts at 2:37 into the show.

BBC, Books, Turkey Street, TV & Radio

I’m Nearly Famous

BBC Radio Norfolk

Turkey StreetI’ve been invited onto the Stephen Bumfrey Entertainment Show on BBC Radio Norfolk to have a natter about my book, Turkey Street.  According to the BBC radio website, the marvellous Stephen ‘mingles with the stars of stage and screen on his afternoon show.’ The only time I’ve ever treaded the boards was as Snug the Joiner cum Lion in a school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I roared a lot and fluffed my lines. And as for my screen career, well, we’d best draw a veil over the sex tape. So I feel a bit of a fraud. Help!

Listen to me fluff my lines all over again this Tuesday (21st) at 2:30 on 95.1 FM, 104.4 FM, DAB and over the web.

Arts & Theatre, Food & Drink, Music & Dance, Norwich

Lordy, Lordy!

There was no rain on the Lord Mayor’s Parade. Clear blue skies and one of the warmest days of the year provided the perfect excuse for the good citizens of Norwich to throw a giant party. Last year, we watched the pageant from a neighbour’s balcony, the surreal highlight of which was Alice Cooper’s ‘Poison’ blaring out from a giant float. This year, we got down and dirty with the great unwashed. Singers, dancers and musicians from also-rans to best in breed kept the ample crowd entertained on street and stage across the city. The inclusion of so many children and young people with disabilities was a joy. The surreal highlight was a primary school dance troupe strutting their stuff to Alice Cooper’s ‘School’s Out.’ Obviously, the north folk of Norfolk are partial to a bit of shock rock. The carnival was topped off with a spectacular firework extravaganza over the Norman keep. Fabulous!

As you can see, we took a few snaps. They got progressively worse as we got progressively worse for wear. Liam has chucked together (and I mean chucked) a video compilation from the wobbly out-takes. Listen if you dare, to a drunken and tone-deaf sing-a-long-a-Liam during the pyrotechnics. The next day we had wine flu.

Books, Food & Drink, Turkey Street

Ten Degrees of Drunkenness

Drunk2The other day, I was Facebooking (is that a word?) with Philip, an old mucker from my bean counting years. Actually, he did all the bean counting while I took all the glory. Philip was one of the first to buy a copy of Turkey Street. In fact he bought two. I mentioned in passing that a little drink might help turn the pages. He took me at my word and attempted the first chapter on a Brighton to London train. Apparently, he was too pissed to remember any of it. This got us into conversation about that tipping point – when a night out on the tiles in your best frock turns into no-knickers in the gutter. We came up with the ten degrees of drunkenness and reckon ‘smashed’ is the point of no return.

  • Warm
  • Glowing
  • Merry
  • Tipsy
  • Sozzled
  • Smashed
  • Paralytic
  • Dribbling
  • Comatosed
  • Dead

I’ve never been beyond ‘dribbling’ whereas the old pro, Philip, has died many, many times.

Equalities, Istanbul, LGBT, Police, Politics, Religion, Turkey & Turkish

Istanbul Pride, Turkey Shame

Istanbul Pride 2015Yesterday, at the very last minute, the Turkish authorities banned Istanbul Pride. A peaceful celebration of difference and diversity was savagely dispersed by water cannon, rubber bullets and tear gas, the weapons of choice for the Turkish State. Memories of Gezi Park came flooding back. It seems the holy month of Ramadan was the feeble excuse offered up by the Police. Yet, last year’s march also occurred during Ramadan and passed off without incident. Perhaps this was the last hurrah of a president on the skids. I do hope so. Watch the footage of a young man waving a rainbow flag being blown clear off his feet by a water cannon. Is this the image of a modern Turkey President Erdogan wants to convey to the world?

Images courtesy of Occupy Gezi and Twitter

Equalities, LGBT, London

London Pride