It’s been a stonker of a year. In partnership with Summertime Publishing, I launched Springtime Books to provide a publishing platform for expat writers and in May, I wrapped up the saga of our emigrey days with the release of Turkey Street. The book birthing was particularly painful. Eighteen months later than planned, I fretted my comeback would be as welcome as another Spice Girls reunion, but the pain eased as the reviews dropped onto the mat. Against the blogging odds, Perking the Pansies continues to trip along nicely with a bevy of fans old and new. Somehow or other, I’ve just exceeded my 1,000th post and 10,000th comment. Not bad, I suppose, for some silly old nonsense. For all these things, I’m nothing if not grateful.
Here are the top of the pansy pops for 2015 – a fine diet of gay pride; righting an old wrong; butts of steel; relationship highs and Turkish lows; murderous intent and loose ends finally tied; the dreaded curse of middle England; bad tempered café society; and a little cottage industry to keep us out of the workhouse.
London Pride | Pardon Me | Catching Crabs | Istanbul Pride, Turkey Shame | Death Duties | Turkey Street Uncovered | Happy Anniversary, Liam | Whinging Brits | Give Us a Quiche | Springtime Has Sprung
London Pride 2015
Istanbul Pride, Turkey Shame
Turkey Street Uncovered
Happy Anniversary, Liam
Give Us a Quiche
As for the most popular image of 2015? Typical!
Here’s looking ahead to more pansy adventures in 2016. Happy New Year to one and all.
Since 2015 promises new ventures, adventures and a sequel book, I decided it was high time Perking the Pansies got a face lift. I don’t mean a little nip here, a tiny tuck there, I’m talking the whole Barry Manilow. Not that I’m suggesting the septuagenarian crooner has had any restorative work done at all. Oh no. His recent denial on the Jonathan Ross Show was so convincing (tongue in drum-tightened cheek springs to mind).
I shouldn’t be too hard on old Barry. He comes across as a thoroughly decent chap and, in our image obsessed world, what’s a boy to do? He needn’t fret. Barry’s place in the pop pantheon is assured. He’s made many ladies of a certain age very happy and his fans have remained doggedly loyal. And I defy anyone to keep their shoulders rigid to Copacabana. The camp disco classic was also the name of a seedy dive I used to frequent in Earls Court back in my heyday. Believe me, there were plenty of Lolas at the bar crying over lost love and drinking themselves into oblivion.
Last year, Barry married his long term partner, Garry Kief. Barry and Garry? What fun. Apparently, some people were surprised. But then, some people are stupid. As for Perking the Pansies, it may have a brand new shop window but it’s the same old rubbish inside.
This blogging lark is a bit of a hit and miss affair. Who knows the right formula to blast a post into orbit and keep it there? Certainly not me. My random musings about the life of a washed-up ex-pretty boy are small fry when compared to the big fish in the overcrowded blogpond. I’m astounded that anyone’s still listening.
At the end of 2011, I published a post about the ancient ruins of Göbekli Tepe in eastern Turkey. Now That’s What I Call Old was a throwaway, humble little post of about seventy words, and hardly did justice to the age and significance of the enigmatic ruins. Little did I know it would be the post that keeps on giving while the archaeologists keep on digging* – 12,000 hits and rising. One hit for every year of Göbekli Tepe’s estimated existence. There’s a poetic symmetry to that, don’t you think?
*I suspect, for the moment, the trowels have been put away while the murderous chess game is played out just across the border.
I received an out-of-the-blue windfall from Amazon when a cheque for £17.91 landed on the mat. It wasn’t immediately obvious from the statement what the money was for. After a lengthy head scratch, the penny finally dropped. It was a royalty payment for blog subscribers. Back in the day when Perking the Pansies first set our little emigrey world alight, I signed up for Kindle Blogs (along with everything else at the time), enabling readers to pay a small monthly fee to get Perking the Pansies delivered automatically to a Kindle. Why anyone would pay to read sometime they could get for free over the internet was beyond me but I signed up anyway and then forgot about it. Until now, that is. According to the mighty Amazon, I have one solitary subscriber. So, whoever you are, I thank you. You made my day.
Just like good old Auntie Beeb, I aim to inform, educate and entertain. It’s for others to judge whether I succeed or not. I find myself rather indisposed at the moment (more of this later) so my ambitions will have to be curtailed for a while. I am, therefore, delivering on the daft instead.
Apparently, I’m Kick-Ass Destroyer. Who knew? And you?
I first compiled my expat glossary in 2011 as a tongue-in-cheek classification of the various expat types Liam and I encountered during our time in Turkey. The idea started with ‘emigrey’ to describe silver-haired retirees living out their dotage in the sun. It was a play on the English loan word from the French ‘émigré,’ the past participle of ‘émigrer’ – to emigrate. The glossary caused quite a stir at the time, striking a chord with most but hitting a nerve with the humourless. It’s remained a perennial favourite, often quoted and plagiarised, and not always with a credit – naughty, naughty. Over time, the lexicon has grown, with additions by me and suggestions from others. And now, I’ve added a new category. So, ladies and gents, I give you…
The antidote to the VOMITing sickness that afflicts the Shirley Valentines who wash up like driftwood on the beaches of Turkey. Many of the Sisters are reformed VOMITs who’ve been through the ringer, some more than once, but have emerged to tell the tale stronger and wiser. The Sisters stick together (like birds of a feather), because men are rubbish.
The Bodrum Chapter of the Sisterhood play a central role in Turkey Street, the sequel to Perking the Pansies, Jack and Liam move to Turkey, due out in the Summer of 2014.
A cursory glance at my stats shows that Perking the Pansies pops up on the internet in totally unexpected ways. My irreverent ramblings seem to attract the lost, the lustful, the inquisitive and the ignorant – and from the four corners of the world. These are a few of my favourite search terms:
- Pussy lovers (for feline aficionados, obviously)
- Gran Canarian Sex (for a bit of bump and grind in the sun)
- Rent Boys (believe me, my street-walking days are over)
- Hardon All Day (hit it with a stick)
- Is Marti Pellow/Gary Lineker/Kate Adie gay (they seem happy enough to me)
- Gumbet Love Rats (for the ladies who never learn)
- The Turkish Living Forum (keeping my 2012 rant right up there in the rankings)
And then came:
Now that one completely threw me. Dowdall was my old girl’s name before her soldier boy popped his ring on her finger. Who was the mysterious surfer? I don’t know, but if s/he ever surfs back, do drop me a line and put me out of my curiosity. And yes, that is me in the picture (the one in shorts, not the fabulous Sixties frock). Bless.
P.S. It’s Doreen Dowdall’s 85th birthday tomorrow. Apart from being a bit mutton with a touch of arthritis and a dodgy hip, the old girl’s in fine fettle. I just hope I’ve inherited her genes.