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As sexy as it gets December 20, 2006

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
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Roll up, roll up. It’s the BiB pre-Christmas, last-minute, almost Weihnachtsmarkt-like, but more sort of indoor and cosy, sextravaganza. But only a BiB sextravaganza, so not very sexy at all, and we don’t really DO sex on this blog, as I like to think I’m appealing to any potential 95-year-old English ladies who might be reading, so it’s sex-lite. Sort of Channel 5.

But it’s in honour of Christmas. It could be in honour of anything, really. It being Wednesday, for example. Or Easter. Or New Year. Or The Queen’s birthday (real or official). But Christmas will do just as well, and I suppose, with the calendar nudging us relentlessly ever forward, it’s time to get into the swing of things.

Of course, being an exiled homosexualist, suffering cruel banishment in the snowy steppes of the Great North European Plain, I get to largely ignore Christmas. Not in a majorly humbuggy way. And I wouldn’t mind people remembering to be a bit nicer to each other than usual once a year and eating tolerably tasty food if youngsters didn’t have to get in on the act and ruin it for us grown-ups. But being here, and living with a Russian, for whom Christmas means precisely zilch (though he’s heroically managed to cotton on to the present angle), means we can mostly just nicely ignore it.

Now ours is quite a good ruse for getting out of Christmas. Working like a dog and forgetting all about it isn’t bad either. And I’ve seen some other good ones out there too, should you wish to follow suit. I’ve seen Valerie play the atheist Jew card (but can’t remember where), which is pretty watertight. Whereas this atheist Jew actually wants to celebrate Christmas, and in Denmark of all places – last ever mention of Denmark, I promise – but is being thwarted from doing so by bureaucracy. But we atheist goyim can hold our own on the Christmas-avoiding front too if we have to, and I’ve plumped for the very simple but honest, “Mum, sorry, I don’t think I can be bothered,” which she took like a man. Or woman.

Yet let it not all be non-festive. We banished Berlin bloggers are pulling our fingers out and doing our best to give a nod in Yule’s direction and shore each other up should loneliness pangs set in. This gent (goy, no idea whether theist or not) has very kindly offered to rustle up a Christmassy dinner for us. And who knows how many other foreigners abandoned in Berlin – bloggers or otherwise – might not put out a Christmassy electronic SOS over the festive period? After all, the Russian and I overdid the ignoring last year and then had Christmas-envy and went out looking for the last glimmers of the thing…

So, the sex bit. Well, when I did used to celebrate Christmas, i.e. when I lived in England, one of the good things, or devices for keeping people who might otherwise want to drink themselves to death rather than spend a goodly number of hours in the same room as certain relatives, was games. My sort of in-laws were very good for games. And they kept us going till oblivion finally hit on a wave of tears and raised voices later in the day.

So what game can we play? Well, sticking a billion photos of vague celebs onto a big bit of card and then people having to name them would take ages on a blog. Well, no longer, actually, than doing it physically, but I can’t be bothered with that. And as it’s the shortest day of the year tomorrow and stress levels might be going through the roof for the hostly amongst you, I thought a bit of sex-lite might be just the thing to give you a fillip.


The game is, if it can really be called a game at all, to name me, erm, 3? – well, or 1. Or as many as you like – people you fancy of the wrong sex. Of course fancy is not quite the right word, because you don’t really fancy people of the wrong sex. But I’m sure you know what I mean. Lezzers, het males, name the men you sort of fancy but wouldn’t actually want to play hide the sausage with. Poofs, het girls, name the ladies who shiver your timbers but whom you don’t actually want to get into the vagina business with. Bisexuals are barred. Or can play twice.

Now I know straight males pretend they can’t tell if another man’s good-looking, but everyone knows you’re pretending, so just play along. (And they also secretly worry that every gay men they ever meet is going to ravage them. Boys, they never ravage me, and I’m virtually irresistible, so just calm yourselves.)

I’d thought of saying name the ugliest person you fancy too – Gazza is mine – but I think the wrong-sex version is better. Stick in your ugly fancyees too, if you feel like it.

Right, I’ll start. I fancy but don’t actually want to do anything naughty with Kate Winslet, the blonde one from this fine group, Natters and Benners (when she’s not doing the big-glasses look).

OK, that’s your lot.



1. bowleserised - December 20, 2006

Good game!

Erm, right. Difficult to pick jus three.

Laura Elena Harring (just rewatched Mulholland Drive)
Jane Birkin
Lauren Bacall

2. Mark - December 20, 2006

Now I know straight males pretend they can’t tell if another man’s good-looking, but everyone knows you’re pretending,

That’s as may be but it doesn’t mean we (well I) ever go, “well I’d do him if I were that way inclined.”

3. BiB - December 20, 2006

Oh, B., good choices, though I don’t know the first one so will have to get googling. I thought of putting Madame Birkin in my non-raunch sexy line-up, but Benazir beat her to it.

Mark, where’s the Christmas spirit? You must secretly half non-fancyingly fancy some of those cyclists? I know a bodybuilder who couldn’t help a bit of a swoon at Carl Lewis.

4. Daggi - December 20, 2006

You’re assuming there there’s a “wrong sex” there. Unless, say, Christopher Biggins, Nina Haagen or Rosamunde Pilcher were to be involved (don’t worry, they’re not). That would be very wrong, particuarly if Mr. Biggins were involved.

I think (it wasn’t important enough “news” to mean I kept many proper details in memory) I read on the BBC website that Matt Lucas got married (“civil partnered”) the other day. The reception was obviously fancy dress, with the theme of “panto”. Either he, or the other one who isn’t actually gay, dressed up as Biggins. Appropriate, I suppose, even if everyone else turned up as Puss in Boots. Perhaps in the future, all hard-up minor telly celebrities in the year 2050 will spend November and December in, say, Her Majesty’s Theatre and Revue Bar Nuneaton playing pantomime characters named after actors from “Home and Away”, “EastEnders”, “Take the High Road” (sadly deceased), and, in a strange twist, planets as discussed on “The Sky At Night”? And Biggins.

5. MountPenguin - December 20, 2006

Oooh, would it be breaking the rules if I named three older female German TV presenters I find strangely attractive (albeit not enough so to warrant actually becoming a stalker, let along suggestions involving Bratwurstversteckspiele), or is that altogether too pervy?

6. A Blogger - December 20, 2006

Ooh, easy! At least, two are easy. Well, they’re not easy, but they are easy choices for the wrong sex awards. Firstly, my flatmate’s boyfriend (and here’s proof!).

Secondly, my good friend Josh. Our mental connection was, well, intimate. By way of another shameless plug, Josh is the ‘him’ featured in the conversation about the French mother here.

7. Mr. Fact - December 21, 2006

I don’t want to totally agree with Mr. Regis – and remember, he’s so sexually repressed that he trundles around the countrside in skin tight lycra – but I had this very discussion once with a particularly queer German queer who insisted that I was just scared of ‘being violated’ – my German girlfriend insisted that I wasn’t.
“He’s not scared of being violated.” she said brusquely, smacking me a few times, “He just doesn’t like men.”
And she had an, er, point, or rather, she sort of had this thing about… Oh, it’s not that important, but it’s certainly true that I find it impossible to find people with facial hair and male characteristics (so men) attractive.

That doesn’t mean that I can’t see why some women find certain men attractive and, ipso facto, believe them to be utter gits. There’s a scene in ‘Thelma & Louise’ where Brad Pitt lies on a bed, all ripply stomach muscles and easy confidence which seems to compel all females watching to poke their male partner in the belly and say; “I wish you were like that.”
“He stole all their money and they had to drive off a cliff!” I protest, but it is to no avail.

For the purposes of the list, can we just assume that Aishwarya Rai and Salma Hayek are just blokes in drag?

8. A Blogger - December 21, 2006

Bored, I tell yer. This is the first time since I started this here job that I’ve had time to do nothing, and it’s killing me. Bloody Christmas!

I keep returning to your blog, Broke, because it generates the most comments and, thus, there’s usually something else to read.

Dear God, I truly am bored.

9. David (TEFL Smiler) - December 21, 2006

Afraid I agree with Mr Fact*. Unless you include Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman – but I’m sure that’s a very different kind of thing.

As a teenager, I attempted to fancy Emma Samms (the second Fallon in Dynasty), in order to be straight. I’d identified her as being something special. But I still couldn’t avoid the fact that the actors playing her one-time husband and her brother were the ones who did it for me.

* Except that Brad Pitt has never been better than in the Levi’s ad, just released from the prison in the desert. Man, was he fine! :-)

10. Blonde at Heart - December 21, 2006

Hey, AB, if you read this, log onto messanger!

My choices for the game:
My friend Vera
Ingrid Bergman

11. bowleserised - December 21, 2006

I can’t believe so many of you boys are copping out and not playing the game! C’mon! Get metrosexual! It won’t kill you!

12. leon - December 21, 2006

OK, OK, I’ll have a go, in the spirit of things.

Gabriel Byrne
Omar Sharif
Keith Murray, though this is probably just vanity as I look slightly like him. Or vice versa.

In other, non-metrosexual news, Turkmenbashi has popped his clogs…

13. Daggi - December 21, 2006

I always thought “The Late Late Show” was some kind of Channel 5 men-getting-down-to-it-on-a-rug and getting carpet burn-like injuries XXX-“documentary”. But I just misunderstood the name of the presenter.

Leon, you don’t look that much like Keith Murray. For a start, you don’t have a large microphone-like blemish over half of your face.

14. leon - December 21, 2006

Hey, I’m just reporting someone else’s opinion…as for the blemish over half of my face, I think it’s a beard.

I’m a bit concerned that the only name you’ve mentioned so far in these comments is Biggins.

15. Daggi - December 21, 2006

Alright. Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Bismarck, and even though I would really like to name a Russian, just for Leon, I just can’t.

16. Geoff - December 21, 2006

ooo, tough one.

3 girls:
Naomi Campbell
Mariella Frostrup
Inga Humpe (singer of 2raumwohnung)

I must point out the last 2 are purely based on having really sexy voices. In fact I’ve never even knowingly seen the last one, just find her voice very sexy. Does that count?

And ugliest person I fancy? I wouldn’t know where to start, seeing as I quite like quite a few rough types. But I suppose Wayne Rooney would be a good start.

17. leon - December 21, 2006

Discussion of ‘sexy voices’ reminds me that Daggi is still the top Google result for Julia Wilton. Who has quite the best (thin, squeaky) German singing voice imaginable.

18. Mr. Fact - December 21, 2006

Oh come on Daggi, there must be some Russian with mutton chops to hold on to…

19. Daggi (libel prevention post) - December 21, 2006

I mean, Danny Baker is famous for “Sniffin’ Glue”.

20. pleite - December 21, 2006

Geoff, hello! And welcome to the new gaff. Do you think it’s a step up or a step down from the last place? Now, as you were my first ever declared gay reader, I’ve done some privileged-position googling on your behalf to find the Humpe woman. And the jury’s out on whether she’s a babe or not. I slightly got distracted by the male member of the group, but then remembered, for the purposes of the research, that I am strictly heterosexual. (And he’s only beautiful in an eiskaltblütig kind of way.) I’d thought of putting Naomi in my list too. I met a queen in Paris who claimed to know her and he said something along the lines of, “You ain’t seen ‘arf of it,” meaning that she was even more impossibly beautiful when just herself. It all makes it a bit of a pity that she’s quite so bonkers. Or maybe that adds to the appeal.

…and I fancy Wayne Rooney too.

Daggi, you win the kink award hands down, regardless of whoever else plays. Brunel, Bismarck AND Christopher Biggins. The very friend I was with when I met the queen in Paris who claimed to know Naomi Campbell, in a seamless link-up, I think you’ll agree, was in panto with Christopher Biggins. Or was it Timmy Mallett? No, Biggins, I think. I can’t remember if he was meant to be nice or not. Or if she fancied him. I don’t think so.

Leon, you win the metrosexual award, which we all would have predicted anyway, let’s face it. Might as well have stitched it up before we started. Thank you for your public-spiritedness. Keith Murray quite fits the mental image I have of you, but you must iron your shirt and go and have a nice short-back-and-sides. So much more manageable! (Sorry, just had a cold sweat. Remembered the rowing AND weights.) I’ve just consulted the Russian as regards a Russian beautiful male for you. And, even though Russians ARE the most handsome nation on earth – OK, apart from Lithuanians (everyone, go on holiday to Lithuania. All permutations catered for) – we can’t quickly come up with one who suits for the purposes of the game. I think only Russian women and gay men can fancy Russian men. Perhaps not. I thought of suggesting Alexei Nemov, but he’s just a gymnast. Gymnasts have muscles. We know that now. Actually, in a homosexual establishment in St. Petersburg, the Russian and I did see a Russian, clearly het, who decided to be groovy and go out with his friends to a gay place. And he got into the spirit of things and decided to dance with his shirt off. The Russian and I have never been the same since. Such beauty. (Mind you, we saw someone rivalling his beauty, almost, in a suburban Berlin Lidl once. Not a place where the beauties normally hang out.)

Flippin’ ‘eck, this is longer than a post.

I’m going to shed few tears for Turkmenbashi. Though I INSTANTLY thought of you and Daggi when I heard the news!

B., it’s not easy to get boys to embrace their inner metrosexual, as we see. If it weren’t for Leon, I don’t know where we’d be. Ladies are clearly much more willing to embrace their inner… erm… well… lesbian?

BaH, that’s very nice, to bring a personal angle into it. Does your friend Vera know that she is so beautiful, and that you think so? I saw the beautiful friend yesterday, and I have to tell him every time I see him, at least 100 times, how beautiful he is, which he probably thinks is flirting, but it isn’t, but he’s so ostentatiously and maybe even deservingly beautiful – he’s got the personality to match – that I think it needs to be commented on… I still haven’t got over Ingrid Bergman’s death. And she outbeauties Isabella, doesn’t she?

David, American-soaps-playing-important-early-sexual-role-revelation shocker! I think my poofterdom hit me when I realised I fancied Sid from Knots Landing. AND I attempted to fancy Heather Locklear. Was she the other Fallon? I’ve got a feeling my (straight female) cousin, in an early version of this game, tried to force herself to fancy Emma Samms too.

AB, I should have mentioned you in the post, actually, because I’m sure it was your post on the flatmate’s boyfriend that got me thinking in this direction. And thank you for giving it a personal twist too. We will have to visualise your taste in men, as it were, for ourselves though, you man of mystery. (Or can BaH help us with Josh? Any comment?)

Mr. Actual Factual, I’d say you were trying to wriggle out of things there, but at least you revealed a nice kink in the girlfriend. I’ve heard of that type. Straight men find it very trying. She really wanted you to…?

For tradition’s sake, I TRY to fancy Brad Pitt, but I don’t pull it off that well. I had to google your men-in-drag and I agree that Aishwarya Rai is total heaven, which is appropriate, because rai is Russian for heaven. Salma didn’t do it for me though… And I can’t think of a Russian with chops either. Pushkin, actually. But he wasn’t a babe. Mean poet though.

Penguin, you’re giving Daggi a run for, um, Daggi’s money there on the kink stakes but, unless you can declare yourself homosexual for the duration of the comment-leaving process, then your women must be men. Oh, mind you, do they fit into the ugliest-people-you-fancy category? Oh, go on then.

21. Daggi (attempts to save her reputation) - December 21, 2006


Daggi would wish to yet again point out that Christopher Biggins was only referred to as a person with which it would be very, very wrong to have sex with (as in “wrong sex”), and that Daggi has never had, and will not have in the future, any desire of any kind with regard to Mr. Biggins.

But in panto with Naomi Campbell.That’s very strange. It sounds worse than a panto (so bad it appeared on BBC’s “London Plus” in the mid-1980s for being crap) I once saw in Barking “starring” Danny Baker and various people from “Neighbours”. It was the first, and last panto in Barking; the venue is now more often used for boxing matches.

22. Daggi - December 21, 2006

The same also goes incidentally for Brunel and Bismarck. I’m just not very good when it comes to fancying people I don’t know. Sorry about that.

23. pleite - December 21, 2006

Daggi, this is an inclusive blog, and everyone is welcome to bend the rules of the game to their own liking, even if that means not fancying people of the wrong sex to which, I wholeheartedly agree, Mr. Biggins belongs… (Googlimages Mr. Biggins) … http://www.celebrityproductions.info/pictures/christopher%20biggins.jpg He’s quite handsome actually.

24. leon - December 21, 2006

In fairness, Bismarck did warn that getting involved in a war with Russia would be a very bad idea, so he has some things going for him. Didn’t Bowleserised have a strange fixation with Kaiser Wilhelm’s moustache at one point, or was that another Berlin blogger?

Daggi, I think you need to do a Turkmenbashi memorial post.

25. leon - December 21, 2006

“It was the first, and last panto in Barking; the venue is now more often used for boxing matches”

If only they still starred Danny Baker.

26. pleite - December 21, 2006

Leon, good question. B., can you confirm? I know that B. and Daggi were both at the World Moustache Championships, or something like that. And if there was a Berlin blogger with a Kaiser-Wilhelm-moustache fixation, then I say that’s got B. written all over it.

Yes, Daggi, a Turkmenbashi memorial post please… And can you refresh my memory vis-à-vis Herr Baker? Did he win Mastermind? And was he a taxi-driver from Barking? (Or was that Fred Housego?) But doesn’t he come from Dulwich?

27. Daggi - December 21, 2006

Danny Baker is famous for sniffing glue.

28. pleite - December 21, 2006

Is this true or are we starting another baseless Keith-Chegwin-shacked-up-with-bedsit-dwelling-Cathy-Dennis-type rumour here?

29. Geoff - December 21, 2006

Oh, I definitely like the new place, it has a much more classy air than your old abode. Although I’d kind of like to see the picture at the top to be somehow more Berlin (and I don’t necessarily mean in an obvious way).

I think Naomi’s bonkersness definitely adds to the appeal, although even without that I’d still have gone for her. And she’s as hot now as she’s ever been.

I think I need to go on holiday to Lithuania now – I always thought Poland was the epicentre of slavic male hotness, but now I’m intrigued (oh, and I’m so with you on Alexei Nemov).

I also actually know someone who has dated Mr Biggins.

30. pleite - December 21, 2006

Now I need to go and research…

31. Daggi (libel prevention post) - December 21, 2006

I get a fair number of hits (not of glue/crack/smack) from people searching for Cheggers and Cathy Dennis.

32. pleite - December 21, 2006

…about Mr. Baker, I mean. But are the people searching for Cheggers and Cathy together?

Geoff, and was Mr. Biggins a darling? Actually, I’d like to change the image at the top, and even have a specific photo in mind, taken by my pal: http://www.pdberger.com/ – haven’t asked him yet, but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind – which is Berlinish, but I might just be too scared to deal with the technology.

33. Geoff - December 21, 2006

Apparently he was quite the gent. (Although my company has worked with him recently, and professionally he is a nightmare apparently).

Oh go on, change the picture, the current one just doesn’t reflect you properly at the moment.

34. leon - December 21, 2006

Julia Wilton update: click on her name on this page for a rather ravaged-looking picture.

“J. Drosten”, on the other hand, looks pretty appealing.

35. pleite - December 21, 2006

Leon, do you think Mynther is German for munter?

Geoff, I’ve already done a bit of exploratory groundwork and I don’t think it’s going to be easy. By 2008, definitely.

36. Mr. Fact - December 21, 2006

Pleite: I’m not trying to wriggle out of it, it’s an impossible Aufgabe – for the same reason that I’ve never been able to understand heterosexuality: I just can’t see why women find men attractive.
If I wanted to compete with Leon in the metrosexual stakes (although we metrosexuals don’t really ‘compete’ of course) it would have to be on ‘amount spent on overpriced skincare products. And for J. Drosten, obviously.

37. MountPenguin - December 21, 2006

Having thought long and hard about it while in the queue at Kaisers, I have come to the conclusion that I’m not in touch with my Inner Metrosexual, and declare defeat.

38. pleite - December 21, 2006

Penguin, then tell us who your old ladies are instead.

Herr Actual, I’ve been googlimaging for bloody ages trying to find a beautiful photo of a man and all I can come up with is a statue. As that’s a statue, obviously it’s a bit perfect, but I think the human version is even more so, but just can’t find a photo of the right discus-thrower pose. (I was hoping either Lars Riedel or Virgilijus Alekna would oblige.)

Aber warum a discus-thrower at all? Well, I was just looking for something that I thought might express human beauty – in this case of a man – very physically. Not sexily, though it can be sexy too. But I think the discus-throwing, with all that stretchiness and roundedness and sinewiness, shows what a beautiful machine the human body is.

We are not all so perfect, of course. But we are all variations on that beautiful machinery and, presuming that the physical is some portion or other of what women find attractive in men, I’d say they like all the same beautiful curves and bumps and humannesses that men find attractive in women.

39. Beaman - December 21, 2006

Fascinating thread. Hmm, I have thought about this before. If I were going to pick two of the ‘wrong sex’, I’d have to say, George Clooney and that chap off the sitcom Frasier, the younger brother. Niles.
George Clooney is disgustingly handsome. B@$t&(d !

OK, off to confession for this ex-catholic, now-unsaved, atheist.

40. BiB - December 22, 2006

Beaman, I’m one of those too. I remember once confessing not sharing my crisps.

I’m a late convert (in a non-religious sense) to Mr. Clooney’s beauty, but I certainly appreciate his old-school looks. And what an interesting second choice! I had to look him up, and can definitively say that you are a man of eclectic taste.

41. Monsignor Daggi - December 22, 2006

I remember once confessing not sharing my crisps.

How many hail Marys did you have to say for that? 0.3?

42. Beaman - December 22, 2006

I can’t stop myself. You did mention we could name people of the opposite sex too. For that, I’d say, all the women presenters on the new Al Jazeera International TV station. They can’t be real journalists I tell you. They must have found them on some secret Arabian island off Yemen or Bahrain. The Isle of ‘Sirens-al-Arab’. They all have sleepy left eyes that …sort of wink at you…oh gosh….off to watch the news.

43. bowleserised - December 22, 2006

George Clooney’s HANDS! Oh my… He’s… not an original choice, but boy, his hands….

Yes, I did write something about moustache nets in a piece about the Maerkisches Museum but I would just like to say that I don’t fancy those tashes. Just in case a particualr person is reading this.

Well done to those boys who are piping up, but the rest of you? YOU PROTEST TOO MUCH! Come ON!

44. Mangonel - December 22, 2006

Jodie Foster
Hermione Grainger
My ex-girlfriend Sue

Torquil McNeilll, the Laird of Killoran (the character played by Roger Livesey in ‘I Know Where I’m Going’
Sherlock Holmes as played by Jeremy Brett

Andrew Marr, political editor BBC News
Stephen Merchant, Ricky Gervais’ writing partner

*phew* – I think I need a little lie-down. Yup, that is code for . . .

45. pleite - December 22, 2006

Monsignor, we were still imperial back then. Maybe it was before the second Vatican council. I got 25 Ave Marias, 12 Pater Nosters and a ball-and-chain (with spikes) for life, which I only had removed with the help of that wheel-clamp superhero.

Beaman, I might be the only person in the world not to have seen Al-Jazeera. Like everyone in Berlin (with a TV), we have 900 channels, but Al-Jazeera must have been sacrificed for ANOTHER ONE of those channels with the REALLY difficult quizzes (you know. German city. Starts with Hamb. Ends with rg). By the way, there IS an island off Yemen called Socotra which was one of my fantasy destinations before I lost the desire to leave the house. Ever.

B., but the thing is, where are the woman readers? I am clearly catering mainly for heterosexual males only just in touch with their inner metrosexual. Can you be my how-to-attract-more-ladies consultant? What do I do? More Clooney? If this was a magazine, and I wanted to attract more heterosexual males only just in touch with their inner metrosexual, I would know that the recipe is simple: scantily-clad ladies. Aber what’s the flip-side?

Mango, hurrah after all for good old bisexuals. You have redeemed your kind in the eyes of… erm… well, me at least. Of course I can’t flipping visualise any of the people you’ve mentioned, apart from Jodie – she bats for the other side actually, doesn’t she? She greatly went up in my estimation, or found a place in my estimation, as she hadn’t really registered before, when I heard an interview with her on French radio. Her French is tip-top – and Andrew Marr. Hasn’t he written a scandalous book? I’ve never thought to fancy him before, but he looks a bit of a spunk here but needs to have some of that spare nostril filled in with putty. No-one needs that much nostril.

46. Blonde at Heart - December 22, 2006

If AB permits, I will describe Josh.
And Vera knows that I think she is fabulous. I should have put my flatmate Korin in the list as well. She is fabulous as well.

47. pleite - December 22, 2006

But BaH, is The Canadian now The in the same way The Russian is The?

48. Blonde at Heart - December 22, 2006

Indeed. I even said so on my blog.

49. pleite - December 22, 2006

A million congratulations. Love is an awfully good thing. I noticed the comment on your blog, but was too dim to pick up on the romantic angle. (Oh god, but don’t turn into me and the Russian. We’re horrible.)

50. Mangonel - December 24, 2006

BiB, I’ve posted pics of all except my RL choice. If that picture of Mr Mangan doesn’t get your pulse racing I don’t know what will.

51. pleite - December 24, 2006

Mango, thank you. That is a great help. I’m struggling to force myself to fancy Mr. Mangan, I have to say, and wonder if I am associating his hair with an especially bonkers person I know. Though I like that curly hair when it’s shorter. I’ll need to go and see him moving, as I’ve only seen him in photos so far. I will fall for him in the end, I promise.

52. CulturalSnow - December 26, 2006

Can I come in here rilly rilly late and plight my conceptual troth to Matt Dillon?

Just did anyway.

53. pleite - December 26, 2006

Tim, you are always more than welcome. My cousin had a thing (in the “correct” permutation) for Matt Dillon when we were mere slips of things and I had quite a struggle having to pretend I didn’t feel likewise and saying I fancied Lena Zavaroni – poor Lena Zavaroni – instead. Shit being a gay teenager!

54. leon - December 29, 2006

Back in my late-teenage days I used to have quite a bit of a thing for another Lena.

She’s looking a bit plastic and, well, orange of late, though…

55. leon - December 29, 2006

That still, incidentally, was taken from one of the worst films I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen from pretty bad films.

56. leon - December 29, 2006

Er, “seen some”. I’ll shut up now.

57. BiB - December 29, 2006

Leon, you need never shut up in my presence. Chat away. I don’t know your Lena, although her face looks vaguely familiar. I initially thought, “God, she’s ancient,” when I looked at her imdb profile, and then realised, of course, that she’s about 25 years younger than me. But at least it means I’ve finally acclimatised to the fact that there are now adult grown-ups who were born in the 80s. I haven’t seen Gossip either. Is it excruciatingly bad? As bad as Saving Private Ryan, which I think is up there as top bad film for me?

58. leon - January 2, 2007

I think it’s probably worse. I’m not sure I even managed as far as the end.

She was also in Onegin which was a bit better although cripplingly slow (and which featured Ralph Fiennes looking pretty dashing, if it comes to suggesting reasonable-looking men).

59. BiB - January 2, 2007

A female friend and I, to get sexual orientation desires the right way round again for a sec, used to dash into the National Portrait Gallery whenever we happened to walk past – admittedly, together, in London, at the right place, this has probably happened twice – and have a quick gape at that nice photo of Mr. Fiennes. I’m sure he’s been put in the basement by now. I think Onegin appeared when I was in Russia and Russians assured me it would be total pus as foreigners couldn’t possibly understand the Russian soul. (I would yawn internally at that point.) Then they would say, “Have you seen “our” (meaning Russian) (the adjectival form of the word ‘fatherland’ is another way of saying Russian) (which is also the qualifier, incidentally, they give to WWII) Sherrrlok Khkhkhkhollllmsss films? Much better than your rubbish British versions.” They were rather good, as it happens. I’ve got a feeling Dostoevsky had a moan about how all Shakespeare’s foreigners seemed English really whereas Russians – or maybe it was just Pushkin – could depict foreigners just so.

60. leon - January 2, 2007

Onegin was just very, very slow, which was perhaps how Martha Fiennes thought the ‘Russian soul’ should be represented. I just remember lots of snow and lingering shots of vaguely decayed-looking provincial mansions, and, I dunno, birch woods and stuff. I imagine she just read some Turgenev and watched ‘Doctor Zhivago’ and then took it from there.

All the real Russian films I’ve seen so far have left me feeling that I’ve got a lot to learn about the place.

61. BiB - January 2, 2007

I love Turgenev. I’m constantly trying to force non-Russia-affected people to read him, claiming that he’s a good intro to the Russians because he’s probably less ‘different’ than, for example, Gogol. I could never get majorly excited about Pushkin. Well, about his verse, yes, but a whole novel in it overdid it for me. And as for his prose – I’m thinking of The Captain’s Daughter – well he really shouldn’t have given up the day job (or written it in verse), even if it is fun in a boyish way.

I had a Russian cinema course at university and what struck me most were the really early Russian/Soviet films. There were some absolute crackers and it was the only time I’ve felt any affection for non-talkies.

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