Excellent Duckie on Saturday, despite only three of the six being present (Amy had taken to the skies and the Cloths were awol). Our proto-Lamé mistress of ceremonies was Robin (Robyn?) Hood, who seemed generally fine (if a little overfond of the word "cunt" - which rather diminishes with repetition) and there was a grand total of four separate acts.
Schwanzen Sänger Knaben, the Danish Dancing Penis Boys (something has either been lost or gained in translation, I'm not sure which):
Tortoise Shout (with kazoo-toting Bin Lady):
Slippery Fish (with lucky-it-didn't-end-in-tears audience participation from Drunken Pam Grier):
The Lady Gardener (through a camera haze of flowery nipplewater):
Said hello for the first time to Garethwyn, a fellow denizen of Duckie's activity island. Having seen him around at Duckie and Vauxhallville, I was intrigued to discover his blog a few weeks ago: odd-in-a-good-way reading someone else's account of the same evenings. Genuinely nice talking to him in the flesh and, as ever, I came away thinking, "hmm, I definitely ought to be more sociable with my fellow Duckieites in future". Here's my favourite pic of the night, the three of us fresh from bellowing along to Total Eclipse Of The Heart:
"We're livin' in a powder keg and GIVIN' OFF SPA-ARKS!"
Pleasantly minimal hangover the next day. I have a theory that the problem isn't so much the alcohol consumed at Duckie itself (which is copious but all of a type - beer) that causes the hangover as the ill-advised "let's open a bottle of wine" when we get home after 2am. Managed not to do that this time, and kept up the water-drinking (in addition to Stella, not instead of) throughout the night. Not quite up to TSB's impressive morning-after gym-going (he was already gone by the time I woke - it's like living with Jane Fonda) but I did make it along to Gay Sunday at London Zoo.
I'm not quite sure what I expected. I think I had a vague idea of the pathways and bowers of the zoo completely, gloriously thronged with Teh Gayz. What I hadn't factored into the Gay Sunday of my imagination was the same number of straight people as usual for a sunny weekend: couples hand-in-hand or wielding pushchairs the size of 4x4s, squalling children everywhere and, in one case, a set of luggage (who takes luggage to the zoo?). It was sort of Mixed (But Still Overwhelmingly Straight) Sunday. Why do the breeders have to shove their sexuality in our faces? Can't we test for queer at the front entrance and exclude them?
(Actually, quite a distance from the gates, a gay chap seemed to be in earnest discussion with a bespectacled man holding an ominous-looking book; I heard the phrase "same-sex couples" as we breezed past. I wondered whether Specky Man was a lone Bible-wielding Godwarrior, fighting to keep Sunday straight. I was carrying The Observer and considered reading aloud the review of Madonna's Sticky & Sweet tour to him in a sort of "it is written that..." tone but suspected he'd miss my point that something dodgy isn't less dodgy just because it's in print.)
Comedy Moment Of The Day came from one of the many parent/child spats. A chubby, red-faced 8-year-old, presumably on a sugar-high and literally stamping her feet in tantrum at something or other, was being remonstrated with by her father:
Near-End-Of-Tether Father (in exasperation): We'll go and get a drink. Do you WANT a drink?
Tantrumming Child (through hot tears of rage): Yeeesss...
NEOTF (firmly): Well, stop whingeing!
TC (wailing, her pain unappreciated): I CAAAN'T!!
Disappointingly, there were no gay animals in evidence (I mean, hell, "flamingo" is only a vowel away from flaming). The nearest we found was this bi-curious meerkat:
Mind you, in the truly excellent (if child-infested) Bug House, a fascinating glass window decked out as a filthy kitchen to showcase the holocaust-resistant insects that live in human mankiness evoked the shout, "Aidan! Come here and see this cockroach's anus!" That was, I suppose, a bit gay.
No bears of any variety - until, latterly, we found the Fish & Chips serving area and there they all were, beards, bellies and baseball caps in full display. Watch them, catch them unawares, and see them picnic on their holiday.
Sadly, we missed the Queen's double beaver:
I didn't know it was traditional for Canadians to present their beavers to the British monarch.
We caught the giraffes being fed:
I couldn't be certain but suspected at least one of them was an evil herbivore, eating extra leaves so that other giraffes would starve: