1. Many thanks to Vitriolica for sending me this marvellous (and uncannily accurate) pen portrait, which has replaced that old Gillray cartoon of the Prince Regent at the top of the sidebar. This was one of Vit’s many artistic contributions to Big Blogger (still ongoing; still mad; still enjoying it), which she has collated here.
2. It’s a shame that I can’t find an online copy of yesterday’s annual Independent On Sunday Pink List: a list of the 101 most powerful/influential British gay men and lesbians. (But, somewhat inevitably, and for all sorts of reasons, rather more of the former than the latter.) However, I don’t suppose it would be too copyright-busting of me to reveal the Top 6: Sharon, Serena, Mandy, Camilla, Emily and Vicky. A little surprising to see Mandy still perched at #3, but at least he retains the distinction of being one of the great comic figures of our age:
I’ve been an Asian-minded person for several years. It was on sabbatical from membership of Tony Blair’s Cabinet that I began to take a keen interest in the remarkable economic and social development of your region.
I suppose that “sabbatical” is one way of describing it…
3. But you’ll be wanting to know how many of the Top 101 are close personal friends of mine, won’t you? (And wondering why K wasn’t included, no doubt. Well, we’re in no rush.) OK, so if we’re counting people that I have met and spoken to (however *cough* briefly), then four people on this year’s Pink List can claim that distinction: Matthew Parris (#80), Jonathan Harvey (#76), Julian Clary (#39) and Graham Norton (#37). Whether or not they remember meeting me is quite another matter.
4. As for the rest: I have seen #100, #67, #56, #38, #33, #25, #22, #2 and #1 on stage (Rabbi Lionel Blue, Neil Tennant, Antony Sher, Angela Mason, Paul O’Grady, Chris Smith, George Michael, Serena and Sharon); I have been in the same bar as #93 (Michael Cashman), #54 (Michael Clark), #47 (Neil Bartlett) and #21 (Stephen Fry); I have been in the same club as #50 (Rupert Everett); I have stood in the same conversational group as both #72 (Nick Partridge) and #36 (Peter Tatchell), without being introduced to either (not bitter); I have been in the same backstage VIP area as #42 (Boy George); I have been at the same party as #16 (Alan Duncan); and I have seen #8 (David Hockney) walking down the street in Cambridge. How über-gay is that? Sometimes, I forget what a card-carrying party member I used to be.
5. Our friend Slam’s reaction to seeing the list, yesterday morning over breakfast: “Right, let me find a husband from this lot.” And moments later: “Well, that’s useless… why haven’t they included marital status?”
6. The British blogosphere’s very own Tom Coates was probably at #102. I’d give him three more years, maximum.
8. Diamond Geezer, in the next comments box down:
So, the whole of the last three weeks, all that readership surveying and analysis… it’s all just been an extended marketing campaign for Troubled Diva mugs?
I couldn’t possibly comment. Passive-agressive, moi?
9. Bloggers! You know when you get talking to other bloggers by e-mail, and they then tell you their real name, presumably expecting you to start using it forthwith… well, is it just me, or does this always feel somehow not quite right, and a bit like your maths teacher asking you to call him Steve?
10. Bloggers! When de-linking someone from your blogroll, or when being de-linked from someone else’s blogroll, it helps to visualise the blogosphere as a perpetual cocktail party, and the de-linker as the person saying: “Well, it has been lovely talking to you, but there are some people over there who I simply must meet.” Because if you deploy this paradigm, then it takes all the silly paranoia out of the situation. (I was originally going to expand this metaphor into an extended “blogging as cocktail party” think-piece… but then I couldn’t be arsed. It’s the heat.)