The Five in Five Days Project – Part Four.


November 2004.

Only four posts are made during November: a slagging of Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty (premature, as I ended up loving it); an account of my first Reiki session (a major help on my path back to mental serenity, even if it is just Placebo effect smoke-and-mirrors); an ode to the joys of my newly purchased iPod (which earns me a good kicking in a forum for iPod-h8erz); and an announcement that, from December 6th, Troubled Diva will return to a full regular service.

December 2004.

A week’s holiday at the luxurious Banyan Tree resort in Phuket – essentially, a holiday to get over the previous holiday – proves immensely therapeutic. Upon our return, regular posting does indeed resume.

A doomed attempt is made to convince my readers (and indeed myself) that the Band Aid 20 version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” is superior to the 1984 original.

Love your work!Another London blogmeet is attended, back in the basement of the Green Man.

Finally converted to the superiority of Firefox over IE, and to the delights of Thanks to Adrian, the “Linkrack” on the sidebar becomes powered by for several months, before collapsing in an ungainly heap when changes the rules.

Commence an extended series of postings about music, in which I write (in frequently laborious detail) about my 100 favourite singles of 2004.

January 2005.

News of the tsunami disaster prompts a lengthy Phuket retrospective, disguised as a Maroon 5 review.


A competitive element is added to the “100 singles” write-up, as readers are invited to guess my favourite single of 2004.

As attempts to explain the new-at-the-time genres of crunk, glitch and microhouse to my readers fall on stony ground, the acronym NMC is introduced, in order to flag posts with significant non-musical content. I have a slight strop about this.

Steve of My Ace Life re-works the 2004 Xmas photo in a Gilbert and George style.

Troubled Diva is nominated as Best UK Weblog in the The Queery Awards, hosted by the US site Queer Day (now defunct). Curiously, one of the other nominees isn’t even British…

Over on the I Love Music message board, I mark the occasion of the 1000th UK Number One by hosting a poll of the board’s favourite Number Ones of all time. The Top 100 singles are posted in real time during Radio One’s Sunday afternoon Top 40 show, and archived on Troubled Diva.

Troubled Diva becomes a finalist in the Best GLBT category at the 2005 Bloggies. Distressingly, I am still in the middle of my interminable series of music-related posts, few of which have much in the way of gay-related content. Whoops.

A think-piece is penned on the changing usage of the word “f**k”.

End of an era: George’s Bar closes its doors for good, with an unforgettably debauched final night.

February 2005.

One hundred music posts down the line, my favourite single of 2005 is revealed – as correctly guessed by Leith reader chav gav.

Fellow “World’s Best Poof” Bloggies nominee Siobhan (of Tranniefesto) and I have an in-depth discussion on the politics of cross-dressing.

The acronym CBATG (Can’t Be Arsed To Google) is introduced. At the last count, Google returned 1,280 results for it…

K and I subscribe to the Lovefilm DVD rental service. I duly solicit my readers for movie recommendations – which we are still working through to this day.

Is it that time of the year already? Which Decade Is Tops For Pops? gets going again. (This year, for the first time, the 1980s win it.)

“I WANT MY F***ING APPLES!” The boot is put into another swanky hotel – this time, it’s the Cumberland at Marble Arch.


On the occasion of my 43rd birthday, someone at Merchants Restaurant is Having A Larf. Is he Having A Larf?

March 2005.

This year’s Comic Relief stunt involves making your selection for the Bloggers’ Disco.

In anticipation of the Bloggies results, I am interviewed for the BBC’s website.

My “proper” music journalism debut is made on the Stylus Singles Jukebox, reviewing the week’s new releases. This becomes a regular weekly gig for many months – and a major writing challenge, which takes up large chunks of my Sundays.

It was an honour simply to be nominated. It was an honour simply to be nominated. It was an honour simply to be nominated.” At the Bloggies, the World’s Best Poof award goes elswehere.

Good morning Bulwell! How’s it hanging, Arnold? Coming atcha, Top Valley!” I am interviewed live on the BBC Radio Nottingham breakfast show. Ee, it’s all going off, intit?

The Troubled Diva Parallel Universe Top 40 becomes a regular weekly feature for a while.

A pedometer is purchased, and the Troubled Diva Keep Fit Club gets underway.

The Write Like A Diva contest is hosted, with is-it-me-or-isn’t-it entries on the subject of My Gayest Ever Moment. Clare, JonnyB and Peter pit their entries against one of my own. A lack of entries also causes me to throw an April Fool hissy fit.

April 2005.

I Can Pick ‘Em Department, Parts Nine and Ten: early plugs are made for Joan As Policewoman and The Long Blondes.

A dramatis personae is published, detailing some of the more regularly mentioned non-blogging Friends of Troubled Diva.

The blog notches up its 500,000th page view.


K and I celebrate our twentieth anniversary as a couple, by seeing Bebo & Cigala at the Royal Festival Hall, shopping for outfits (and an uncommonly nice hat) in Selfridges, and having a posh meal at Harry’s Place.

A CD-length Back To Mine mix is posted.

May 2005.

I Can Pick ‘Em Department, Part Eleven: the day after the General Election, and before Michael Howard has resigned, I tip David Cameron to be the next leader of the Conservative Party.

The year’s Eurovision coverage kicks off with my first piece of proper print journalism, as Time Out‘s music section leads with my previews of the 2005 entries. For the second year running, I watch the finals with friends in the Peak District. My reactions to the televised contest are published by Stylus magazine.

I Can Pick ‘Em Department, Part Twelve: become one of the first bloggers to link to Mimi In New York.

Troubled Twat, or My Boyfriend Is A Diva. A week’s guest blogging commences at My Boyfriend Is A Twat.

June 2005.

The start of the month finds me in a rather flat state of mind: pissed off with Nottingham, and living for weekends in the cottage. But it’s only a mini-wobble.

Seasonal maxim: You know that spring is ending when you tire of the smell of asparagus in your urine.

An exhaustive Readership Survey is issued and analysed. Lyle is duly awarded the dubious accolade of being, statistically sepaking, Troubled Diva’s most typical reader.

I become a contestant on Big Blogger 2005.

A scathing review of Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers ruffles feathers in Rollerland.

In an attempt to win one of my lovely mugs, Anna produces a review of the 40 In 40 Days project… in verse.


The PDMG is opened to the public once again, and a commemorative photographic tableau is published.


Quickos comes to stay with Mike and K.

July 2005.

I am loved, ergo I am worthy of love.” At an REM concert, I am ambushed by unexpected emotion.

fancydressThe above post serves as the kick-off for a chain of 26 guest-written Blogging Consequences, which occupies the rest of the month – as does the Big Blogger 2005 competition, during which I post a photograph of my one and only dabbling in drag. (And it weren’t pretty, neither.)

“There has long been a repressed radio presenter in me; take a listen, and see whether you think it should have remained repressed, or whether I have a future in broadcasting bright and breezy “drivetime sounds” to the blogosphere.” The first podcast is published.

My last European business trip takes place, to Vienna.

August 2005.

An sizeable excerpt from the blog is reproduced (sans permission, natch) in the pages of The Independent, as part of a two-page spread on “Citizens of the internet”. However, the piece wasn’t actually written by me. Instead, the dear confused old Indie lifted one of Vitriolica’s Consequences pieces, crediting the author of Troubled Diva as “Anonymous woman”. Oh well!

Vitrolica then goes on to win Big Blogger 2005, leaving me in second place. Oh well!

Ten years ago, I was led by my dick; now I’m being led by my stomach. It’s all moving up the body, you see. Who knows: in ten years’ time, it could be my head…


The blog is briefly renamed troubled nitro-diva power plus 4 (with active fructose micro-ingredients). Ooh, satire.

The overall effect is akin to reading a travelogue of an exotic far-off country which you know you’ll never visit. As a result of the Big Blogger experience, I make the online acquaintance of Girl With A One-Track Mind.

A parody of Naked Blog wins me a Port Of Leith T-shirt.

September 2005.

Of seating plans, turtle doves and symphonies in watered silk. A five-part series on weddings is published, including a couple of tales of satisfying karmic retribution. Hands up who remembers Horace and Doris? And how about Ron and Yvonne? (A printer-friendly Word document of the whole series is here.)

The Trash Boudoir mixes seek to recreate the atmosphere of a seedy backstreet 1980s gay club.

“All these years, I’ve been standing on the sidelines, the perennial Detached Observer. Sometimes sneering – sometimes spinning my wheel and muttering my incantations – but most usually dabbing my eyes, raising my glass, Wishing Them Every Happiness, and tearing up the floor at the disco afterwards.

Now it’s my turn.”

I come out as an opera hater. Minus fifty Poof Points!

K’s company receives a celebrity endorsement. In order to identify her, a game of Twenty Questions is played in my comments box. (Don’t bother clicking. It was Zoe Ball.)

A Secret London Gathering Of Extremely Nervous People With Weblogs is attended. I wonder whether we’ll ever have another one?

October 2005.


I start transcribing my mother’s detailed account of the first twenty years of her life, on a separate blog – but not before sharing an account of her experiences as a model for Vogue magazine.

Many months after first consulting my GP, I commence a three month course of cognitive behavioural therapy. (Excellent, and recommended.)

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