(Posted by Ben)

In Mike’s absence, I feel that it falls to one of his guests to keep regular readers up-to-date with regard to The Tufts, and I’m more than happy to shoulder this responsibility.

You might recall that on Thursday Mike alerted us to a feature which was due to appear in the following day’s Nottingham Evening Post, in which K would be bigging up the Cock & Hoop pub on High Pavement. Those of us lucky enough to be able to purchase said newspaper were promised a sighting of the aforementioned Tufts, and in colour too.

Well, when I duly bought my copy and flicked through to find the appropriate page, I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed.

(Lacking access to a scanner, I’m afraid I’ll just have to describe to you the photo accompanying the piece.)

K is pictured leaning on the bar, pint in hand (ale of some kind, if I’m not mistaken), beaming straight face-on at the camera, with the consequence that The Tufts are as obscured from view as they possibly could be (at the photographer’s suggestion, perhaps?).

HOWEVER, we are afforded a tantalising glimpse of some rogue hair jutting down behind the left ear and looking as though it may encroach over the shirt collar. Frustratingly, there are no other photos taken at different angles by which this suspicion could be confirmed.

More impressive than any hint of Tuftage, though, is K’s choice of tie – a marvellous dark brown number with diagonal criss-cross pattern which I can only imagine was stolen from Richard Whiteley’s wardrobe.

Incidentally, I have to commend K on his choice of pub. Though I’m not a regular, the Cock & Hoop is a fine establishment – not a swanky and pretentious bar like most of those around it, but a proper pub which nevertheless manages to be smart and stylish at the same time. Good beer, good food and lots of rich wood panelling which makes you feel like you’re in a coffin. But in a good way.

My Peaceful Weekend

Posted by Buni

I was going to make my first entry sooner but things didn’t turn out as planned. I’d planned an exceptionally quiet weekend, just doing domestic chores, eating comfort food, maybe sort out the rubbish that my friend J had left in my spare room while he was making his move to London, eating comfort food and watching weekend TV, oh yes, and eating more comfort food.

5pm Friday couldn’t have come sooner; the working week had been especially demanding and I was totally looking forward to the activities listed above and not much else. I headed straight to my local Co-op to stock up on wine and comfort food; a rich full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, mushroom pate, houmus and pitta bread, Doritos and Salsa dip, quorn goujons and BBQ dip; you get the picture.

So there I am that evening chilling out, drinking my wine and enjoying the peace and tranquility of one’s own residence and I decided to go on Gaydar to see if any friends fancied a chat in-between cruising for their weekend trade. A few guys messaged me; “Nice profile and pics mate! Fancy hooking up?”, “Read your profile, you sound a nice guy. What are your plans for the weekend?” Basically the usual lines. I opened up the java applet that allows me to enter the chat rooms and I scanned the guys in the room (you can do this without actually entering the room), and after a while I notice him; height, body, profile description everything, just what I’m looking for. Mr Right now.

I enter the room and he’s gone, so I send him a message: “Isn’t that just typical; I see a nice guy with an interesting profile online and when I enter the bloody room you’re gone! Message back if you’re up for chat.  Cheers B x” Two minutes later and ‘defined fit lad’ is in the room and we get to chatting. Seems he’s a really nice guy with interesting things to say, discrete questioning to fathom me out, and a sense of humour. Oh, and he’s a damn hunky chunky to boot! After a couple of hours chat we decide to meet up the following evening and head out for a few drinks. I call up J1, a friend who’s just opened a new nightclub and organise entry and VIP passes for B + 3; just in case there are any unforeseen additional guests.

Saturday comes and by 7.30 I’m at the station awaiting the arrival of my new found friend. He arrives and I’m pleasantly impressed by his welcoming smile and laughter at something that had happened on the train. We get back to my place where he drops off his things and we crack open a bottle of wine and get to know each other. The phone goes and it’s J2, another friend, who wants to know what I’m up to that evening. I tell him I have a date but if he wants to come to the club with us later I have guest list for an extra couple; namely him and his girlfriend, A. He’ll call me later after he finds out what A wants to do.

The evening goes really well with the wine flowing, conversation not stalling or uncomfortable in any way, and he has this way of paying me attention while not being overly attentive. We leave my place at about 11.30 and walk the 10 mins to J1’s new club. We go in and are immediately given complementary drink tokens to get the evening even more socially lubricated. By midnight I get a text and J2 and his girlfriend A are standing outside as the guy on the door doesn’t understand that they’re on my guest list. It turns out that J2 has bought his brother and a couple of his mates; good lookers too! We head for the VIP lounge where I bump into J1 again and this time it’s not drink tokens but a couple of pills to ’get the evening pumping’. I took a couple for my date and myself and thanked him for his generosity, after buying him a drink with one of the drink tokens he gave me! Then J2 and A come off the dance floor and also hand me a couple of pills for getting them all into the club. Then J2’s brother comes over with S, whom I already know and he passes me a couple for old times sake. By now the evening is well and truly oiled, as are we, and we all retire to the VIP lounge for drinks and a cool off. I’m in the middle with J2 on one side and J2’s brother and all his muscles on the other side. My date is over the way chatting to J2’s girlfriend and having a great time. I chat to J2 about my date and I’m informed that he doesn’t think he’s good enough for me and that he’s ugly. I kind of guessed this already but I was so up for it that I didn’t care.

I then turn to J2’s brother and all his muscles for a quick chat before going off to the loos. I’m in there for a while queuing when in comes J2’s brother with all his muscles. By now we’re standing in our own queue, just the two of us and he’s going on about his girlfriend and why she’s not out that night. Turns out they’ve been bickering and he fancied a break. It’s now my turn to go in the loo but as it turns out, someone has a different idea. I go to head into the loo and J’s brother pushes his way in too. I stood there waiting to see what he was up to then he leans over and kisses me. Needless to say I’m a little stunned. The moment passes, J2’s brother mentions I can’t tell about this to anyone, leaves me and I return to the lounge where everyone is still sitting about chatting with no idea of what’s gone on.

The evening progresses some more and after a while I’m standing in the corner chatting to S. He’s a nice enough fellow; a little immature sometimes and quite rude to his girlfriend when ‘the lads’ are about. He starts to tell me about things that are going on, the ecstasy fuelling his openness, he starts to say how much he enjoys being around me and would I like to come back to his place after the club (he doesn’t know I’m out with a date) for……………..? This, I wasn’t expecting as I’d know S for quite some time. By now I realise that the evening is becoming quite fuelled and strange. My date is also beginning to look over as he’s feeling left out of it a bit. We agree to leave the floorshow and head back to mine.

I sleep in until stupid O’clock, get my date scrubbed up, fed and off home and settle down to write this, feeling ever so floaty. So, that my dear readers is why I hadn’t had my peaceful weekend and why I hadn’t made my first entry as earlier than planned.

Je me presente

Well hello there. Apologies for my tardiness, but I gather it’s fashionable to be late these days.

Anyway, without further ado, in the words of Austin Powers, allow myself to introduce myself. I’m Ben, author of the lesser-spotted blog Silent Words Speak Loudest. A native of the North-East, I moved to Nottingham in 1997 in the pursuit of enlightenment through education, and have been resident in Robin Hood’s fair city for the last seven years, thus just about qualifying as a Local.

Ever since my own illegitimate and malformed blog offspring popped into this world coughing and spluttering nearly two years ago, Mike has been like a benevolent uncle, always on hand with a kind word or a Werther’s Original.

However, and despite being a regular reader of Troubled Diva, I must confess to being only an infrequent commenter here. For some reason, leaving a comment to one of Mike’s posts always feels like trespassing on an immaculately trimmed lawn. And now he’s only gone and left myself and my fellow Locals the keys to the manor house!

So, for the next couple of weeks, while Mike’s away in search of small bears with a penchant for marmalade sandwiches, I’ll be squatting in these palatial environs, leaving grubby fingerprints on the furniture, running up an enormous phone bill, drinking all the wine in the fridge and producing the occasional brilliantly witty post. (Though I’m less confident about being able to manage the latter.)

What fun!


In Which We DO Things – Posted by Miss Mish

We have a weekend guest. Mr H, who has taken a sabbatical from the hard slog of the civil service to visit pre-historic sites, standing stones, circles, underground chambers and the like around the UK. (We offered him the chance to look down the cellar  here in Nouveau Basford but he declined).   Attempting to be good hosts, we asked him what he would like to do while he was in Nottingham.

And so Saturday afternoon saw the three of us upon top of the Castle walls, looking out over the city. It seemed ages since we’d been up there.  Despite it not being particularly old, or castle-like anymore (Ducal Palace with Victorian restoration) it still has an air of grandeur and despite the hordes of badly dressed tourists wandering around and the detritus of the open-air Shakespeare productions on the castle green, I enjoyed the visit. It somehow seemed … fitting… in a nice, middle-class genteel sort of way to wander  up and down the shrouded shrubbery walks,  to wander through the Museum and for  the three of us to eat ice creams,  on a bench, in the  slight chill and the drizzle.

The two of them decided to round off the visit with a trip down Mortimer’s Hole. No, darlings,  not a euphemism for smut at all but one of the secret passages  with which the castle is riddled. And the one that Roger Mortimer, lover of Queen Isabella  escaped through when wanted for the  heinous murder of Edward ll. Ohhh yes, that  particularly nasty murder. But really, they should have seen it coming. That marriage was never going to work from the beginning. She being 14, Edward  being gay…..

Being dressed in heels and a silk frock, I’m not quite dressed for wandering up and down cramped sandstone passages and steep crumbling steps and so I arrange to meet them in Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem (I’m sorry about the extra ‘e’,  but it really is there….) the pub carved into the  walls underneath.

They arrive, buoyant with the  trip and the history,  although our visitor, being more used to Bronze Age tunnels and passages,  is inclined to dismiss this 600-year-old  antiquary as a mere parvenu.  But all in all, Nottingham gets the official  seal of approval from him.

But then he does live in Birmingham.

Hello Divalings

(posted by nixon)

Hello Divalings! So Guest Week is off to a slow start. I was waiting for the other guests to make the first move although it seems they were doing the exact same thing.

Perhaps I should introduce myself- my name is Nixon and I’m unemployed. I spend my days contemplating bankruptcy and swallowing a twice-daily drug regimen of Prozac and Effexor.

(that was my attempt at a dramatic opening- good eh?)

Nottingham is horrible city where the sky is always grey and the people eternally miserable. I’ll be telling why I hate it over the next few days.

Bring on the guests.

OK, I’m done.

(Christ, why am I even SITTING HERE?  This is CRAZY.  There are SHIRTS TO BE FOLDED.)

In my absence,  please welcome a crack team of five guest contributors – all of them “local” – whose names you’ll find listed above.

I’ll let them introduce themselves, shall I?

Actually, given the appalling lateness of the hour, there isn’t really any alternative.

See you all again in early August.