Tuesday, 31 August 2010


What a difference a day makes. London is currently bathed in the most beautiful late summer sunshine. The days of non-stop rain seem to be over and there’s finally a sense of optimism in the air again. I often think the start of September brings with it an element of hope, which no doubt goes back to childhood and the start of the new school year. I still remember the excitement of endless hours spent in Woolworths choosing pencils which smelt of cola and sets of multi-coloured felt tip pens. For some reason I always ended up buying one of those useless plastic set square/protractor combination packs, which would never fit into my brand new furry pencil case. Walking out of my first lesson of the new term, trying to hold all my stationery was like the cabbage game on Crackerjack!

Like all sensible people, I had my annual sexual health MOT today and all was fine. I went to a very lovely clinic in Soho, where the chairs were comfortable, the deco was plush and there wasn’t that all-pervading sense of degradation and sadness that these clap clinics can often generate! The results came back in 3 minutes flat, which has to be some kind of a record and made a very welcome change from that old-school 2 week wait.  The woman who did my test was friendly and kept calling me honey, which I liked for some reason.

I would urge everyone to periodically get tested for STIs. There’s a very unpleasant sense of ignorance, particularly in the heterosexual world, who seem to believe that these kinds of diseases only affect the gay community, but, as Nathan often says, a baby is the nicest thing you can catch! I'm often horrified to hear about the sexual practices of some of my straight friends; the risks they take on a daily basis make my blood run cold. That said, the lady in the clinic announced a very troubling statistic; 1 in 5 of the gay community in London is now HIV positive. Deeply shocking. Of course, it’s now a disease that is eminently treatable, but there’s still no cure, and the side effects of the drugs can be very unpleasant. And be warned; the number of heterosexuals testing positive is rising and rising...

Despite the glorious weather, I’m still not feeling 100%. Today was meant to be about starting as I mean to go on for the rest of the year. Autumn is typically my most productive season, but there’s a distinct lack of energy in me at the moment. Perhaps when I head back to the gym tomorrow, things will change.

Is it just me, or is the man who sings the Go Compare advert jingle, the most irritating person in the world?

August 31st 1660, and Pepys seemed very upbeat and pleased with his position in the world. He spent much of the day “waiting upon” Montagu, who had been called to sea rather suddenly, and as a result there was much that needed to be organised.

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