Tuesday, 31 August 2010


As requested, here are the tracklistings for Volumes I, II and III of How to Seduce a Straight Man:

How To Seduce a Straight Man Volume I

Takk - Sigur Rós
2001: A Space Odyssey
Spank – Jimmy ‘Bo’ Horne
Killer – Adamski
My Insatiable One (piano version) – Suede
U Talk 2 Much – Sultans of Ping F.C.
Witch Doctor – David Seville
Soldier Boy – The Beatles
Pushin’ Too Hard – The Seeds
Tonight We Fly – The Divine Comedy
Wicked Little Town – Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Roses and Teeth for Ludwig Wittgenstein – Matmos
I Feel Love – Donna Summer
Girls and Boys – Blur
I Open at The Close – The Sorting Hat
Wig in a Box – The Polyphonic Spree
Shut Up and Sleep with Me – Sin With Sebastian
Time to Pretend – MGMT
Golden Gun – Suede
This is Hardcore – Pulp
In the NA – The Hidden Cameras
I Would Die 4 U – The Space Cowboy
Pam V – Super Furry Animals
Xxzxcuzx Me – Crystal Castles
Was it Something I Said – OMD
Origin of Love – Hedwig and the Angry Inch

How To Seduce a Straight Man Volume II

Vicious – Lou Reed
Don’t Cry Out – Shiny Toy Guns
Sound – James
Jackie – Scott Walker
Johnny Chrome & Silver – Nancy Boy
Cream – Prince
Ice Cream – New Young Pony Club
Interesting Drug – Morrissey
Plastic Bag – Minty
Mama Didn’t Lie – Jan Bradley
Don’t Leave Me This Way – Thelma Houston
Power of the Flower – Praga Khan
Soul Makossa – Manu Dibango
The Black Queen’s Chamber of Doom – Azzido Da Bass Vs The Bob Crewe Generation Orchestra
Violently Happy – Björk
Good Time – Crystal Castles
Love To Hate You – Erasure
Love Today – Mika
Superstition – The Kills
Goin’ Down – The Monkees
Stand Up (The Tynick Trip Mix) – Nick Jones Experience featuring Delvin ‘Shake’ Williams
2 Hearts – Kylie
Love’s Unkind – Donna Summer
Don’t Leave – Fflwcs
Rainbow Island – Seb
Adored and Explored – Marc Almond

How To Seduce a Straight Man Volume III

Jam Band Reprise Part I – Disco Tex and His Sex-O-Lettes
Stay With Me – Manic Street Preachers
Fermez La Bouche – Help She Can’t Swim
(Call Me) Number One – The Tremeloes
Just To Hold My Hand – Dee Dee Sharp
Safety Dance – Glee Cast
For Your Love – The Yardbirds
Modern Boys – Suede
Jericho – The Prodigy/Dirt – Death in Vegas
What’s the Excuse This Time – McAlmont & Butler
Hold Me Now (Live) – Elastica
Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide – David Bowie
Like a Motorway – St Etienne
I Miss You (Dobie Rub Part One - Sunshine Mix) – Björk
Sweet Freedom (Part 1) – Positive Gang
W.S.D. – Suede
Reviewing the Situation – Sandie Shaw
Colquohons Story – Damon Albarn and Michael Nyman
Girlfriend in a Coma – The Smiths
Warning – All Too Much
In My Life – The Beatles
Dub Be Good To Me – Beats International
Jack the Ripper – The Horrors
Walk On – The Hidden Cameras
I Like to Move it (Clubasse Remix 2004) – Reel 2 Real
Earth Intruders – Björk
Hear the Drummer Get Wicked – Chad Jackson
I Like to Move it (Clubasse Remix 2004) – Reel 2 Real/Catwalk – Peter Moore
I Like to Move it (Clubasse Remix 2004) – Reel 2 Real/Game Boy – Shampoo
I Like to Move it (Clubasse Remix 2004) – Reel 2 Real/La La Land – Green Velvet

Podcast 11.0 'How to Seduce a Straight Man Volume III'

A selection of songs that attempt to describe how to seduce a straight man, a useful little musical guide for the discerning homosexual in us all. Three eclectic mixes including: Sigur Rós, Adamski, Matmos, The Hidden Cameras, Crystal Castles, Hewdwig and the Angry Inch, James, Scott Walker, Praga Khan, Prince, Manu Dibango, Fflwcs, Kylie, Shiny Toy Guns, Disco Tex and His Sex-O-Lettes, The Manic Street Preachers, Dee Dee Sharp, Glee Cast, The Tremeloes, Suede, The Prodigy, Björk, David Bowie... and many more.

The three Volumes are available for free download:

Volume I

Volume II

Volume III (which you can listen to below. Player might not work with all browsers. Sorry)

DISCLAIMER: Following these instructions does not guarantee you will seduce a straight man. My tongue is firmly in my cheek here. You can't pull straight men. If you do ever pull a straight man, then he's not straight, dear.

Aberystwyth Street update

I have been working so hard, and the house looks like a shithole. It's quite disheartening. My mam and dad have been telling me that as soon as we start to put things back, it'll all go quickly. I'm just waiting to be out of the rubble! I am very happy with how big the living room is, now that I've totally opened the stairs up.

I kept all the original tiles from where the fireplaces were, and I'm going to use them as edging to the patio. They're free, and they belong to the house. Perfect recycling!

I decided to keep the fireplace in the spare bedroom/studio as I found out it's a proper old cast iron one. Under layers and layers of gloss paint that my mam has been scraping away at, this is what it looks like underneath. Beautiful.

In the rubble and mess underneath the stairs, I found the original suspended floor from about 1890-1900. Something caught my eye, so I leaned over and pulled out a lovely Victorian black glass hatpin! I gave it to my mam as she collects them. I felt like I was on Time Team.

View the whole project: before, during, and in 4 weeks (hopefully) after.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Folksy Friday *20th August 2010*

I haven’t done a Folksy Friday for ages, been too busy knocking down walls and stripping wallpaper! We’re having quotes for damp proofing done today, so (kind of) to match that; the theme this week is ‘mushrooms’.

Okay, from top left:
These are the most beautiful mushroom brooches I have seen! The stalks are made of crocheted cord sewn with vintage lace. I love them.
This mug appeals to the Victorian botanist in me.
I think these bowl are amazing. I think that crushed glass is put into them before firing to create the beautiful effect - but I'm not a potter, so who know how it's really done!
The detail in this print is truly amazing.
I know that there are LOADS of Alice-related things on Folksy, but this one caught my eye. It's dainty and subtle, some of the other Wonderland stuff is too show-offy for me - this necklace is just right.
Cute. Big. Mushrooms. 'Nuff said ;)

Buy 'em quick before they go!

Awesome crochet art

I'd seen pictures of this artist's crochet guns in a magazine and thought they were absolutely amazing. Of course I immediately forgot all about them until I stumbled across his website yesterday, and I couldn't believe the magazine didn't use any pictures of him. He's a total hottie.
His work uses masculine imagery, worked in a traditionally feminine form, crochet. Nathan Vincent is a lot like his art: masculine, but full of boyish fun. And like I said, totally hot!
Check out his website.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Fruity booze

Today I made apple and blackberry vodka, and blackberry gin using the recipe from Pam Corbin's amazing River Cottage handbook.

The blackberries are from my new next door neighbour's garden. Thanks Beth!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Rose hip syrup

I've made rose hip syrup, the first fruits of my recent obsession with foraging. Patrick and I picked a carrier bagful of big juicy hips from the green on Aberaeron harbour on Saturday, and by Sunday night it had turned into five jars of sweet syrup. I haven't tried any yet (other than the occasional lick of the wooden spoon as I was reducing it), but I have given a jar to my lovely friend Sarah. She's very appreciative of homemade gifts.
I recommend the River Cottage Handbook No. 2 by Pam Corbin, which you can buy here. It has loads of delicious recipes. My next experiment is going to be blackberry gin, and apple and blackberry vodka.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Ma tai heb gariad yn cwympo i lawr

The Democratic Genre: Fan Fiction in a Literary Context

I was aware of fanfic already; had read a bit from some of my favourite universes (from Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings) because I was curious why X said that to Y, what Y really thought of Z, and how the drama of X and Z finally getting it together would play out – but hadn’t thought about how or why fanfic writers went about doing what they did. I’d even written some, without really knowing my reasons for doing so. Pugh’s incredibly well-researched investigation into the genre answered those questions, and raised many more. I must admit that I had always dismissed fanfic (and all its sub-genres) as a silly little aside that ‘real’ writers did for fun; or something that people not good enough to be ‘real’ writers did because they loved the characters that they’d come to know so well from books, films and TV.

Not having explored other fandoms online, I was amazed at how many there were, and the diversity of that range. The Bill, Men Behaving Badly, Hornblower, Blakes Seven… I can understand why people would want more from those universes, but for the life of me I cannot understand why anyone would want to read any more Jane Austen that they had to at school! Since reading The Democratic Genre, I’ve gone on to read and enjoy many excellent stories mentioned or quoted in Pugh’s investigation, even from The Bill which I have never really watched.

My opinion of the genre has changed, and I can totally see the literary tradition that helped to shape modern fanfic. Shakespeare took well known stories, and wrote his own versions of them; correcting what he didn’t like and making the characters interact in the ways he wanted to see them doing (Macbeth killing Duncan in Macbeth’s own castle, for instance). Pugh’s own novel Kirstie’s Witnesses is basically fanfic, from the foreword:
“The real Kirstie’s story is contained in several documents, notably the minutes of the Parochial Board, an application form, and evidence given at a trial and an inquiry. These items are all in the Shetland Archive.” She took these facts, and weaved a life out of them; isn’t that what fanfic writers do? The only difference I can see between this and typical fanfic is that the character was a real person, the methods used to write the novel remain true to fanfic's narrative forms. The same can be said for Tom Stoppard’s amazing play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead; it could have been written as a book or story, but Stoppard, in keeping with the source material (Shakespeare’s Hamlet) he made it a play. Fanfic writers use the source material to generate new stories for their characters, in the style of the original. Pugh gives an example of a Bill fic that is written as a screenplay, using “the narrative techniques of [the] source material.”

I’ve read slash stories for various reasons: titillation; the oddness of seeing two people together who would never be like that in real life (the real life of the universe in which they live, that is); the enjoyment of queer writing; the exploration of sexuality. Pugh herself once said “anyone, up to and including a serial killer’s head, is legitimate territory for a writer to explore”. I embrace that sentiment, as have many other writers. For slash writers, changing the sexuality, or at least questioning or challenging it, is that same legitimately explorable territory. I still find it hard to understand why there are so few male slash writers. The answer to the question of why there are so many female writers and readers of slash was always obvious to me, and Pugh answers it so nicely “two good-looking men getting it on appeals to some women just as the reverse scenario does to some men.” She continues "some slash writers who were themselves gay may have wanted to explore this territory partly for ideological reasons, but many fanfic writers, both gay and straight, just followed their insatiable curiosity about alternative scenarios.” They are my reasons for reading and writing slash.

Pugh's investigation has deepened my interest in the genre by showing how fanfic can be a literary genre (albeit a rather odd one), as surely as the writing of the beat generation, pulp fiction or steampunk are. Yet fanfic can also be so much more. Some of the writers Pugh has interviewed in the book have explored their chosen characters by plunging them into different universes: a Blakes Seven/Cabaret crossover; Green Eggs and Hamlet (a particular favourite of mine); the first person tale of a mutoid from the B7 universe slowly reverting to humanity. When reading a book, my partner will often stop and stare at the wall or sky for minutes on end; he recently told me that what he’s doing is continuing the stories and conversations, in his head – what if X took Y to one side before the start of chapter six and explained about Z’s behaviour? Pure fanfic. I’ve told him to start writing them down! Another thing I found refreshingly positive, is Pugh’s assertion that just because someone is not paid for their writing, it doesn’t mean that it’s not good writing. I’m paid for hardly any of my writing! My own experiments in fanfic (mostly slash, I’ll admit) have been shorter fics and drabbles (100 words), character studies, or little in-between scenes to get to know a quirk I’ve read or imagined – but now I want to write more, something as clever and furiously inventive as the stuff Pugh introduces in her book.

Buy the book from Seren Books
or Amazon
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