Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

Blog Directory  >  Life Blogs  >  Perking the Pansies life Blog  > 

Perking The Pansies Blog


perkingthepansies.com
Imagine the absurdity of two openly gay, married, middle aged, middle class men escaping the liberal sanctuary of anonymous London to relocate to a Muslim country. I chronicled our exploits with the mad, the sad, the bad and the glad in a blog for the whole world to ignore. Then came the book which became a critically acclaimed best seller. Its success opened out a whole new career for me as an author. Who'd have thought it? Certainly not me. In June 2012, we ended our Anatolian affair and paddled back to Britain on the evening tide, washing up in Norwich, a surprising city in eastern England. I’m sometimes nostalgic for our encounters with the hopeless, the hapless and, yes, the happy go lucky. They gave me an unexpected tale to tell and for this I thank them. Act Two, Turkey Street, is out now in print and digital editions.
2022-08-13 09:00
Our rainbow day came hot on the heels of the opening ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham earlier that week. Eccentric, multicultural and with a distinctly steampunk feel, i… Read More
2022-08-06 09:00
Last Saturday Norwich Pride was back painting the town pink after a three-year absence because of you know what. And it was back with a bang – bigger, brasher and better than ever. Our… Read More
2022-07-30 09:00
We returned from our glorious Greek idyll to a heatwave and an invasion of tiny black ants. The little buggers were climbing up and down our narrow cottage stairs, marching across our dining… Read More
2022-07-23 09:00
After flying into Corfu, we had some time to kill before our ferry to Paxos so we dropped off our suitcases at left luggage and went for a casual stroll around Corfu Town. Suddenly the skies… Read More
2022-07-09 09:00
After the big letdown that was our Canarian getaway – cancelled flight, greyish skies, cool-ish nights, sad face, sad face – a Greek treat is next on the holiday agenda. We fly t… Read More
2022-07-02 09:00
Perking the Pansies runs on WordPress, the blogosphere top dog. And being best in breed, it comes with a catch-all spam filter called Akismet which keeps the smelly trolls at bay. It’s… Read More
2022-06-25 09:00
Gay, resilient, easy to clean, good to look at, made to take plenty of knocks and with a life of give and take. Just the ticket for a hunky handyman in a checked shirt, and a steal at five s… Read More
2022-06-18 09:00
A decade has now passed since we closed the door on the stone house in Bodrum for the last time and brought our four-year Turkish adventure to a sudden end. And ever since, while the world h… Read More
2022-06-11 09:00
Not really. Our digs were great – comfy and well-dressed – and the staff were fantastic but, let’s face it, the point of any holiday in the sun is, well, the sun. There&rsq&hell…Read More
2022-05-21 09:00
To banish our winter blues, we’d booked a welcome pre-Christmas perk to Tenerife for a much-needed shot of vitamin D. But instead of a restorative pick-me-up around a cool pool, we got… Read More
2022-05-14 09:00
On our recent trip to London we strolled past the Greenwich Tavern, just outside the gates to Greenwich Park. Before it went all gastro-pub with real ales and posh nosh, it used to be a spit… Read More
2022-05-07 09:00
Last Christmas, our gift from the in-laws was a fancy meal in a top-notch Indian eatery in old London Town – at a time and date of our choosing. We waited ’til spring to combine… Read More
2022-04-30 09:00
I remember the days when spoof meant imitate for a laugh and spam was cheap tinned meat of dubious nutritional value popular with students. Now I’m plagued with spoof and spam telling… Read More
2022-04-23 09:00
In November 2020, quite by chance, we were asked to participate in a national COVID-19 study being run jointly by the Office for National Statistics and Oxford University. Initially this inv… Read More
2022-04-20 09:00
I first posted this way back in February 2020 but then COVID-19 took centre stage and the rest, as they say… Two years down the line and my brother-in-law will soon be on the road, wa… Read More
2022-04-16 09:00
The Maddermarket Theatre, former chapel and the spiritual home of am-dram in Norwich, is firing on all cylinders again after a tough couple of years because of you know what. The latest prod… Read More
2022-04-09 09:00
I’m constantly surprised by the milk of human kindness. Right across Europe the humanitarian crisis created by Tsar Putin’s invasion of Ukraine seems to have struck a chord and t… Read More
2022-04-05 10:24
It’s our wedding anniversary today – 14 years (and counting) since we tied the proverbial and Liam slipped his ring on my finger. What adventures we’ve had. I have a feelin… Read More
2022-04-02 08:00
Who knew that there’s an Italian brand of pizza oven briquettes called ‘Faggetto’? We didn’t until the waitress sat us next to a stack of them at Franco Manco, a pizz… Read More
2022-03-26 10:00
After tripping the light fantastic along Tooting High Street, I took Liam even further down my memory lane with a short hop to Wandsworth Town. I showed him where I was a shoe shop Saturday… Read More
2022-03-19 10:00
I spent much of my teenage years in Tooting, a rough-round-the-edges strangely-named suburb in South London. My late, lamented old pal, Clive, was raised there in a modest terraced house, an… Read More
2022-03-12 10:00
In 1961 a portrait of the Duke of Wellington by Francisco Goya was lifted from the National Gallery in London. Only 19 days earlier it had been ‘bought for the nation’ for &pound&hell…Read More
2022-03-05 10:00
Every year I get a statement from the British Library setting out how many times Perking the Pansies has been borrowed from UK libraries. This is followed some time later by a payment. It&rs&hell…Read More
2022-02-26 10:00
I love a whodunnit even when I know who did it. And who doesn’t know who did it in Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile? It’s Kenneth Branagh’s second outing as the Be… Read More
2022-02-19 10:00
Since they switched the theatre lights back on, we’ve been playing catch-up with all the shows queuing up impatiently in the wings. Our latest gig was the UK tour of The Book of Mormon… Read More
2022-02-12 10:00
I first watched The Sound of Music in the sixties at the tender age of seven. To see over the heads of the people in front of me, I sat on an upturned seat. Not that I saw that much anyway… Read More
2022-01-29 10:00
After a six-year hiatus, local comedy heroes The Nimmo Twins (Owen Evans and Karl Minns) were back treading the boards at the Norwich Playhouse for the second of their twenty-fifth-anniversa… Read More
2022-01-22 10:00
Soppy, sentimental old fool that I am, I’m a sucker for a tear-jerker. I cried during the opening Circle of Life scene of the Lion King when I first saw it in the West End many moons a… Read More
2022-01-15 10:00
I was so sad to hear of the death of my favourite Golden Girl, Betty White, just a few days before her centenary. She was the last of those amazing ladies from that amazing show. I was rathe… Read More
2022-01-08 10:00
With all the endless doom and gloom swilling around us, it’s easy to forget just how far we’ve come. It says something incredibly powerful about our society when the three finali… Read More
2021-12-31 10:00
It’s been a queer year all told – locked and unlocked, masks on, masks off, masks on again, thrice jabbed, and a foreign foray thwarted. Unsurprisingly, 2021 pansy posts were a m… Read More
2021-12-25 10:00
…though round these parts he’s been known to do a dry run before the big night to check out the chimneys. Or maybe he’s been moonlighting for Amazon. He even popped by the… Read More
2021-12-18 10:00
The tree’s up and dressed, the garland’s draped above the fire, the mulled wine’s gently simmering on the stove and the village is sparkling in pretty strings of twinkle. I… Read More
2021-12-11 10:00
Perking the Pansies was to be off-air for a while. After a so-so summer weather-wise, two cancelled getaways and three jabs to keep us out of intensive care, we’d had enough of samey d… Read More
2021-12-04 10:00
Let’s face it, if you’re plugged into the modern world your privacy will get compromised all over the place. It doesn’t seem to matter what privacy settings you tick on Fac… Read More
2021-11-27 10:25
My irreverent, irrelevant ramblings reached the grand old age of 10 in October last year. It passed by without notice. Blog years are like dog years so all things being equal, Perking the Pa… Read More
2021-11-20 10:00
I reached the grand old age of sixty last year. This year was Liam’s turn and I’d planned a succession of treats – for me as well as for him – in old London Town. Fir… Read More
2021-11-13 10:00
We queued up at the checkout with two bottles of Majestik and a tub of Cadbury’s Celebrations, attracting the curiosity of the shopper ahead of us. She was loading her groceries into a… Read More
2021-11-06 10:00
There may not be fairies at the bottom of our garden – they live in the house instead – but we are now proud owners of a handsome garden gnome. This is what the Encyclopaedia Bri… Read More
2021-10-30 09:00
You know you’re getting old when the UK’s best-known high street pharmacy chain starts sending you information and advice about erectile disfunction, hair loss and premature ejac… Read More
2021-10-23 09:00
Now that live theatre is back in full flow after the lockdown drought, we’ve been lapping up the good, the bad and average. First on the bill was the fantastic Come From Away – a… Read More
2021-10-16 09:00
As we all know, Twitter is the social media platform of choice for ranters of every persuasion – from Tango’d ex-presidents to assorted nerds, nutters, non-entities and ne’… Read More
2021-10-09 09:00
We’ve put Amazon Prime on trial. The retail juggernaut offers Prime free for a month. The jury’s out whether we’ll carry on once the trial is over. Not because it’s r… Read More
2021-10-02 09:12
It is said that if you hang around Piccadilly Circus for long enough, the entire world will pass you by. In my day, working the Dilly was popular with rent boys, so hanging around could get… Read More
2021-09-25 09:00
No trip to old London Town is complete without taking in a show. At last the curtain has gone up all over the West End after a very tough time. Our musical treat was Come From Away at the ap… Read More
2021-09-18 09:00
We spent three days in London, staying close to Soho’s Berwick Street Market. How things have moved on since I was a likely lad about town. The traditional stalls flogging fruit and ve… Read More
2021-09-11 09:00
  Last month saw us in London for a very special commemoration. An old friend died suddenly in early 2020 and it would have been his sixtieth birthday on 25th August. We couldn’t… Read More
2021-09-04 09:00
We love ‘POSE’ – a must-watch on the telly box. The first two series were compulsive viewing and pioneering in the heart-warming but warts-and-all portrayal of the LGBT dra… Read More
2021-08-28 09:00
It’s been a pretty dismal summer, weather-wise. The shortest of heatwaves in June, a washed-out July and a blanket of low cloud for most of August. Still, we didn’t suffer the de… Read More
2021-08-21 09:00
Not in this house, they don’t. I can’t be arsed to buy any product advertised on the box which has been dubbed into English. I use a supermarket own brand which is cheaper and pr… Read More
2021-08-14 09:00
Hot on the heels of Teutonic comic Henning Wehn came a comedy night courtesy of Shaft of Wit and hosted by our very own village watering hole, the White Horse. It’s a regular gig but w… Read More
2021-08-07 09:00
It’s been a comedy season of fun and laughter, despite the COVID blues and the hit and miss weather. After drag gags from the extraordinary La Voix a couple of weeks ago, we were back… Read More
2021-07-31 09:00
On top of the almost daily spam calls and emails supposedly from Amazon Prime, the taxman (or woman), my internet provider, various banks, blah, blah, yawn, yawn, I also get pestered by Face… Read More
2021-07-24 09:00
We love a live show and they don’t get more lively than ‘La Voix’, drag queen extraordinaire and a glorious blend of song, sparkle and wit. La Voix belts out the tunes in t… Read More
2021-07-17 09:00
British weather is famed for being predictably unpredictable – rain one minute, sunshine the next, with the mercury up and down like a fiddler’s elbow. The poor Met Office strugg… Read More
Get The Bloody Jab
2021-07-10 09:00
We just can’t wait to get back into the theatre – we’ve a glittering chorus of touring musicals queued up – from the modern: Six, Waitress, The Book of Mormon to the… Read More
2021-07-03 09:00
I was bullied from the moment I first flounced through the school gates. Nothing physical, you understand. That would be unseemly at a traditional grammar school with a 400-year-old charter… Read More
2021-06-26 09:00
I don’t get interviewed much these days. Back in my pansies heyday everyone wanted a piece of me; queuing up, they were. But now we’ve settled into county life, I’ve become… Read More
2021-06-19 09:00
We were to meet up with the fragrant Roving Jay for one of our regular bloggers’ food-and-drink conventions but our plans were scuppered at the last minute. As we’d already bough… Read More
2021-06-12 09:07
Our next family do since the end of lockdown was to Liam’s lot. A fun family BBQ in rural Hertfordshire, a night or two in Cambridge and a visit to Ely, a teeny-weeny city with a vast… Read More
2021-05-29 09:00
We can’t complain. Village life is calm and cuddly. But when the easing of lockdown let us travel further afield for the first time in around seven months, we packed our bags and were… Read More
2021-05-22 09:00
We had the partridge. Now all we needed was the pear tree. At least that’s what I thought until Liam pointed out that the big fat bird wandering around our small garden to feed with th… Read More
2021-05-15 09:00
I ’ve had my second jab – Yay! It was a wet, wild and face-slapping day so I was grateful for the kindness of one of our new village friends who taxied me to and from vax central… Read More
2021-05-08 09:00
I often get asked to review books. I usually politely decline. But sometimes something grabs my attention and this is one such time. A great title helps and this is a great title – Twe… Read More
2021-05-01 09:00
Before the miracle of modern medicine and universal health care, life for most was plagued by illness or the fear of it. People croaked in their beds from mundane diseases that today we pop… Read More
2021-04-24 09:00
To misquote Mark Twain, ‘The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.’ And I hope that’s also true of the long-anticipated demise of the high street. The great shift to… Read More
2021-04-17 09:00
A few more lockdown restrictions were lifted this week and we were able to enjoy a bottle or two in the garden of our local hostelry. It was pleasantly sunny to match the mood of our hosts a… Read More
2021-04-10 09:00
Last summer, Mr Mole was that unwelcome guest at a party who refuses to leave. We tried everything – organic repellent, castor oil spray, coffee grains, stomping and wailing too &ndash&hell…Read More
2021-04-03 09:00
Fleeting spring warmth, the partial easing of lockdown and the Easter break brought villagers, young and old, out onto the streets to make the most of the fine weather. And we were no except… Read More
2021-03-27 10:00
I’ve always said that if I was a stick of Brighton rock, you’d find the words ‘city boy’ stamped all the way though me. And if, as a city boy living in the city, I&rs&hell…Read More
2021-03-20 10:00
I got my first jab a few weeks back but, being a tad younger than me, Liam had to wait a tad longer for his. He got his first shot in the food court at the Castle Quarter Shopping Centre in… Read More
2021-03-13 10:00
We’re currently living next to a building site. A local developer is chucking up a few more bungalows, like the world really needs a few more bungalows – affordable housing for t… Read More
2021-03-06 10:00
That flicker of light at the end of the lockdown tunnel is getting brighter. Our days in the sun (or beer garden) will soon return. Meanwhile, we continue to do what we can to stay safe and… Read More
2021-02-27 10:00
This cocktail of winter and lockdown blues gets so boring. Then something comes along to turn the blues to a sunny shade of pink and make me realise that there are worse things in life than… Read More
2021-02-24 10:00
I got the call, booked my slot, rode the bus to the next-door village of Poringland and joined the orderly queue at the COVID-19 vaccination hub at the Community Centre. Friendly, fast and e… Read More
2021-02-20 10:00
So far, February has delivered freezing Russian snow and an icy blast from the past on Channel Four. Storm Darcy brought two-foot snowdrifts, abandoned cars and our resident pheasant pecking… Read More
2021-02-14 10:00
Local lass, friend, author and blogger, Roving Jay, is a remarkable lady – intrepid, resilient, resourceful, on-the-ball and bright as a button. Little seems to faze her. She just gets… Read More
2021-02-11 10:00
A light dusting of the fluffy white stuff generally brings the entire nation to a shuddering halt and a lot of huffing and puffing over the airwaves. But, as we’re already under house… Read More
2021-02-06 10:00
I know it’s a remarkable invention and has really helped many of us keep in touch and stay sane during the pandemic. But I’m so over Zooming and by that I mean this video-confere… Read More
2021-01-30 10:00
This lockdown malarky has played havoc with our sense of time. Samey days have merged into one and our weekly routine now dances to an entirely new rhythm – the supermarkets giveth, th… Read More
2021-01-23 10:00
As further confirmation of my inevitable slide towards the slab, a bowel cancer screening test kit dropped on the mat – part of the national programme to regularly screen everyone over… Read More
2021-01-20 12:03
Sorry about the ghost post – Pooing on a Paddle – that just went out. I blame it my increasing decrepitude! Read More
2021-01-16 10:00
Brisk walks are the best way to burn off all those festive calories, especially during lockdown when keep fit options are limited. Timing is everything at this time of year. The distant sun… Read More
2021-01-09 10:22
I know it can be tough on pets and those of a nervous disposition but I do love a pyrotechnic extravaganza, especially at New Year – all that sound and fury signifying nothing but the… Read More
2020-12-31 10:00
Come the stroke of midnight we’ll warm the last of the mince pies on the top of the wood burner and pop open the fizz, not to see in the new year but to make damn sure the old one leav… Read More
2020-12-26 10:00
What a year. Who would have predicted that 2020 would have brought a pandemic to strike us down and trash the global economy? Unsurprisingly, the coronavirus dominated the pansy charts this… Read More
2020-12-19 10:00
Let’s face it, 2020 has been a tough gig for everyone but I think I spot a dim light at the end of the tunnel. So time for a little festive cheer from Norwich, a fine city, as they say… Read More
2020-12-12 10:00
Just because we can doesn’t mean we should. We usually fit in a jolly to the big city just before Christmas to see family. But not this year. Instead we’ll be hunkering down and… Read More
2020-12-05 10:00
Liam and I enjoy a tipple or three and we’re all for supporting local businesses. So to celebrate the end of the latest lockdown, we’ve combined both passions with a few bottles… Read More
2020-11-28 10:00
The twin villages of Loddon and Chedgrave have ancient roots. Both are listed in the Domesday Book of 1086, that great asset register commissioned by that great asset stripper, William the C… Read More
Testing, Testing 1-2-3
2020-11-21 10:00
By chance and completely at random, we were invited to participate in a national COVID-19 research study being run jointly by the Office for National Statistics and Oxford University. The ai… Read More
Gone Fishing
2020-11-14 10:00
The wettest October since the Great Flood finally gave way to crisp brightness, and so to prevent the second lockdown becoming more of a lock-in, Liam pushed me out of the front door for a S… Read More
2020-11-07 10:00
In 2016, I wrote a little piece about my semi-colonial life as a forces child in Malaysia back in the swinging sixties. The post – Reflections of an Army Brat – featured a blurry… Read More
2020-10-31 10:00
I’m a dedicated and sometimes not very subtle eavesdropper. When we were travelling on the London Tube a few weeks back, two hipster types were sitting opposite chatting away. Naturall… Read More
2020-10-24 09:00
Edinburgh, Scotland’s elegant capital, was on the agenda for my sixtieth birthday. Alas, with the latest lockdown it wasn’t to be. That particular jolly has been postponed until… Read More
2020-10-10 09:00
When I put food out for the birds, I don’t expect a big fat pheasant to waddle along and scoff the lot. Bold as brass it was. Where’s the pheasant plucker when you need him? I fe… Read More

Share the post

Perking the Pansies

×

Subscribe to Perking The Pansies

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription

×