Friday, 18 March 2011

East London's big fat gay pissing contest

The boys and girls in West Hollywood could teach these twits in London a thing or two

Who knew there were so many warring factions within the gay and transgender community and who knew how off the centre some of them are. Here is a short simplistic synopsis (try saying that early in the morning) of what's being happening in East  London recently. A bunch of friends get together and decide they want to put a boot in the asses, of Islamic fundamentalists they claim are behind the posting of Gay Free Zone stickers in East London including Hackney. They form East End Gay Pride (EEGP) and decide 2nd of April is a great day to have an almighty shing ding.

I began to follow EEPG on Twitter, but soon tired of the over excited head cheer leader and person behind the twitter account. His whooping and squealing reminded me of an excited puppy. There was the 'build up' to their website, then a lot of hollerin' when it received 400 hits.....400 hits? More whoopin' and hollerin' every time 'Raymond' made a new blog post and when ever 'Raymond' gave a press interview, you would think twitter boy just blew a wad in his panties. "We're being interviewed by the Daily Star and BBC News today! And Raymond will be live on the radio between 1.30 and 2pm. Dets to follow", screamed one of their twitter posts.

Soon I began to think 'twitter guy' and the rest of the EEPG team have a collective persecution complex and slightly paranoid, as every other tweet was about haters and people out to get them. Still not aware of the growing drama, I just assumed they were referring to homophobe trolls on line."Its Monday morning and the haters & non supporters are back! spread the love peeps!", read one of their tweets.

It wasn't until last week I realised the 'haters' were other LGBT "community groups"  who began to voice their doubts on who was behind the blitz of homophobic stickers. Some think it's the thugs better known as English Defence League (EDL). Out East, Rainbow Hamlet, Imaan and others began writing about it and when they notice main stream media is taking an interest then begin vying for king (or queen) of the heap. They become adamant about their disapproval and start issuing press releases left right and centre, 'welcoming inquiries' from the if. Soon it becomes a massive he say she say, with people taking sides and coming up with their own theories. Pink News soon becomes my favourite source of information with a blog called Latte Labour lending it's views.

Finally a coup d'état of sorts, when EEGP lead organizer Raymond Berry stepped down on Tuesday followed by back slapping and self-congratulatory by those that opposed EEGP's leadership and intent. Imaan, a Muslim support group for LGBT folks claims to have a 'dossier' of "evidence of right wing and fascistic associations amongst the organisers, which has been painstakingly collected by Imaan and other concerned community groups and will be part of a complete community publication expected to be ready for release on Thursday March 17." They claim Raymond Berry wasn't the only EDL and fascist member and will expose the others. It's Friday 18 March and still nothing from Imaan. If you ask me, the whole lot of them are like vultures all living off the same carcass. 

Not so with EEGP followers, whom as you can imagine were and are still pissed off about having their big ole party cancelled. EEGP responded with a bitterly worded statement:

It is with deep regret that the East End Gay Pride Team have collectively decided to cancel the march on April 2nd.

With the events of the last few days coming about, we have found it extremely difficult to deal with the copious amount of personal attacks that are coming mostly from Terry Stewart of OutEast and Jack Gilbert and Rebecca Shaw of Rainbow Hamlets. These individuals have been attacking EEGP from the very beginning, even though OutEast and Rainbow Hamlets, along with Imaan and several other 'community groups', were invited to help create the event from day one.

In a day and age where the LGBT community of East London should be working together to combat hatred of any nature, we have found it shocking that OutEast and Rainbow Hamlets have continuously set out to divide the community. Internet forums have proved this to no end.

Jack Gilbert, alone, posted on a public forum, the name and contact details of a member of the EEGP team. We now call for him to be removed from his post and urge ALL of the EEGP supporters to question his role in the community.

Terry Stewart has been spreading vicious lies about the entire EEGP team from day one. For someone that co-organises Hackney Pride and promotes love for all and tolerance for all, it brings into question his motives behind these attacks.

The entire EEGP team had nothing but good intentions for this event from the off set. We planned to make it a fun march with no hatred being shown. We even planned on a bigger event next year, dropping the word 'gay' from the name and making it a festival for the entire community to show how diverse and tolerant we all are. With the help of Terry Stewart of OutEast and Jack Gilbert and Rebecca Shaw of Rainbow Hamlets, this now looks impossible.

We are stepping down from this event because of the personal vendetta from OutEast and Rainbow Hamlets to name but a few.

We would like to thank our supporters for standing beside us in these times and urge you to stand up against hatred within the LGBT community as well as hatred from outside of any form.

The East End Gay Pride Team
They appear to have removed several bitchy comments by the team, including other statements they released, but you can see the dregs here on their Facebook page.

I come from the school of an eye for an eye. Passive discussions with certain groups will achieve nothing, it's like pissin' in the wind, but hey, this is the UK and this is the socialist state of East London, the land of pussy whooped do-gooders. I'm not gay, but I enjoy a good ole Pride Parade void of politics. C'mon East London, what's so hard about putting on a good old fashioned, flamboyant stereo typical gay oops LGBT big ole hoopla? Isn't being outrageous in the thousands enough to let people know you are queer, proud, here and unmovable. Even last years Hackney Pride march was a sea of Socialist Workers Placards and banners.

Note to any of y'all who might want to start speculating on any far right wing involvement here (I know how paranoid y'all are), I can assure you I'm not. I'm a Black female with an aversion to apologists and smug self-righteous, sanctimonious, kumbaya singing panderer's.

Hackney Pride 2010 was a sea of Socialist Workers placards

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Mystery of dead Upper Clapton girl in bath, Daily Mail and Evening Standard

 It appears the readers comments made under the news reports in both the Daily Mail and Evening Standard, have been removed. Daily Mail sites it is no longer accepting comments, for legal reasons. It took them over a week after her death to report the story, while local media Hackney Gazette and Hackney Hive reported on it immedietly, with the Hackney Hive being the only source who mentioned, what she did for a living, school she attended, including names of famous people who also attended the same school.

The Daily Mail's heading claims she died of an overdose, something that hasn't been proven, since toxicology results can take weeks, which makes it all the more confusing why they would delete readers comments but leave what could prove to be quite libelous, although, a quick google pretty much points to friends who confirm how she died.

You are probably familiar with some of the trolls that post comments on blogs and news website response sections, some can be quite unpleasant and if I recall many of them were rather harsh, basically saying it wasn't a tragedy, but stupidity that led to her death. Not nice things for family and friends of Louise Cattell to read and it appears they have done something about it. I guess money talks eh?

If you believe the old adage about there being no smoke without fire, one can assume if 4 people present at her flat were arrested, 3 on suspicion of possession of class C drugs and one on suspicion of distributing class C drugs (which I hear was Ketamine), well I figure someone was selling and a whole lotta people were buying and consuming.the shit.

Reading through the R I P and OMG! tweets from people who knew her it was obvious she was popular and part of the trendy 20 something urban party scene who think they are invincible. Some of them from families with money, and like Louise attended private schools. Their pokey rented Hackney flats or shared houses belie their life of privilege and education. For Lousie Cattell it was attending The Francis Holland School, and exotic family vacations to the Caribbean while staying at friends grand mountain top villas. Vietnam, Rwanda, Namibia, safari trips in East and South Africa and Skiing trips.

By all accounts she knew her stuff, was ambitious, had the right connections but worked her butt off. She obviously was no fool. One her childhood friends recently wrote in her blog:

Lou was taken in the most tragic way, she drowned in her bathtub as the result of ketamine. I guess the reason I am writing this is out of pure shock that such a wonderful person could be taken from us in such a terrible and preventable way. I know that everyone has their own limits and views on drugs but I pray that this can be a lesson not to fuck around and to precious with our lives. Louise was by no means stupid or irresponsible, she was deeply intelligent and had a profound understand of the world. I cannot bare the thought that others might perish in this tragic way and I hope that her death will make people see sense and realise how fragile life truly is. If someone so strong could be stolen from her friends and family like this..
 Another person who knew her had tweeted a few days before Louise's death, how 'smashed' she (the girl) was. Evidently so 'smashed' that she couldn't feel her face. Yup, bragging about how high she was, I wonder if she's still getting high on horse tranquilizer this weekend?

Sunday, 6 March 2011

For the record I am alive and not dead

The darnedest thing happened earlier last week on my way back from Stoke Newington. I bumped into someone I went to school with a few decades ago,  while walking down Church Street, who thought I was dead. Imagine that.

After being without car for two weeks last month, I've taken to public transport for local errands that doesn't involve me carrying anything or during rush hour, and must say, as much as I've moaned about public transport, I am getting use to it and appreciating my neighbourhood while pounding the pavements.
My street is amongst hilliest (is there such a word?) in Hackney borough, so the cardio is greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat! Back with a car and

The plan was that after I'd dropped off keys at a client, I would do some shoping, starting off with Rosa an independently owned lingerie shop on Church Street. It's been on my 'to shop' list for almost a year and been a while since I got an...ahem... 'expert bra fitting.'

Two doors away from Rosa I ran into the guy. He recognised me, but I began to get irritated after he asked 3 times if I was who I was. He had the right name but it took me a few seconds to realise who he was, even after he told me his name. I guess some people fear better than others in the aging process.

'Duchess' (not my real name, as I'm sure most of y'all know) "I heard you were dead".
"Said who?" I asked".

He couldn't remember, but the general consensus amongst a few people was that I died in California, circa 2000. I had to tell him not only was I not living in California in 2000, but was very much alive in Texas and he wasn't talking to a ghost. He probably didn't want to tell me because he didn't want to bringing up my past life style, which I'm sure they were aware of from rumours and incomplete assumptions. My most dangerous days were California and not Texas, if there ever was a time I cheated death more than a few times, it was in California.

We said our good-byes and since he wasn't terribly interesting, didn't fancy him and wasn't close to him at school, I mumbled something about changing my phone number but took his, waved good-bye and walked straight to the bus stop on Northwold Road, but not before I reminded him to let them know I was alive and doing well.

It's a bit unsettling finding out you were thought of as dead by a group of people for over a decade, even though they were and still are a very very insignificant part of your life.

However it did jolt a memory of a person, who for eight years I thought was dead. After I relocated back to London from the US in 2005. I answered an ad for a lovely garden flat and fell in love with it, because it came with a herb garden and 2 adorable restored original fire places. But what sealed the deal was my connection to a certain person.

I happened to mention to the prospective landlord, that back in the 80's I had a part time job just a block away at what was a very cozy pub. He knew of the pub before it became what it was now - a nondescript wine bar. Then I mentioned how sad it was that **** the owner, had committed suicide. Prospective landlord coincidentally knew him and said "Noooooo **** is alive, in fact he's coming to dinner at my home tonight with his wife. He lived down the road in Epping Essex, where prospective landlord

That got my attention. You see, nine years before, I ran into someone on one of my trips back to London, who mentioned that **** was caught blowing another guy in the cellar of the pub. Shortly after the embarrassing incident, out of shame, he hung himself in the cellar. He was a great employer and I have fond memories of him and the regs that drank and ate there......only thing is I was told the wrong person committed suicide. Mr prospective landlord said it was an employee who hung himself and not my old boss. See how rumours can be so wrong?

Anyway landlord liked me, I got the flat and didn't even have to provide references.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

New licensing application for the White Hart in Lower Clapton

I wonder how this will play out. In Stoke Newington folks go ape wild whenever there is an application for live music, although I notice the recent protest against Baby Bath House opening up on Church St  lost steam before it began.

White Hart, 231 Lower Clapton Road

Application for a premises licence to allow supply of alcohol and recorded music from 10:00 to 00:00 Sun to Weds, 10:00 to 01:00 Thurs to Sat, 10:00 to 02:00 Fri to Sun of Bank Holiday weekends, Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and up ten occasions per annum and on New Years Eve from 10:00 to 00:00 on January 2nd, live music from 12:00 to 22:00 Sun to Weds, 12:00 to 23:00 Thurs and 12:00 to 00:00 Fri and Sat and late night refreshment from 23:00 to 00:30 Sun to Weds, 23:00 to 01:30 Thurs to Sat, 23:00 to 02:30 Fri to Sun of Bank Holiday weekends, Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and up ten occasions per annum and on New Years Eve from 23:00 to 00:30 on January 2nd.

Closing date for representations:18/03/2011

Rinkle Stores
29 Muir Road
London E5 8JX

Application for a premises licence to allow supply of alcohol from 06:00 to 23:00 daily.

Closing date for representations: 18/03/2011

Representations must be made in writing, and should be sent to: The Licensing Service, Hackney Service Centre, 1 Hillman Street, London E8 1DY. Alternatively , you can fax it on 020 8356 4974 or email at Please note that you must send your representation in by the closing date, and you must include your address details.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Sunday on the sofa watching the Grammys

They are paying homage to Aretha Franklin at the Grammys. Florence Welsh is trying to keep up as is Martina McBride and her country music self.  Jennifer Hudson is shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhmoking and bringing the house down. Christina Agulera....I never got her.

Not a nice thing to say, but it looks like Aretha's bout with cancer has done wonders for her weight problem.

Lady Gaga....I'm switching over to watch something else for the next 5 minutes. What's with all the drama just fucking sing.

This is Justin Bieber? Never seen him perform, not even on YouTube.  I shouldn't be such an old mouldy cow, there was a time I was 12 and mad about the Jackson 5 and even crazier about Donny Osmond. But Donny and the Jackson actually sang. Bieber just looks and sounds ridiculous.

Best Rock Album goes to Muse....Never heard their music, but was good to see Neil Young, Tom Petty and Jeff Beck in the running...meh, they've had their moments...Still these young guns can't compare to them.

I'm so over Will Smith, Jada Pinkin and their over exposed spawn.

Now we are talkin', Bruno Mars rocks...A bit old school a lil bit original. Yo Bruno, those fuckers in Clark County don't mess around. You will be doing state prison time if you violate your probation, shame you were not busted in Los Angeles, cus you would get so many chances before they nail you.

"And from New Kids on the Block" Donny Whalberg? Who writes this stuff? Whalberg is soooooo long after New Kids on the Block. Don'tcha y'all know that?

Gaga just won some award and thanked Whitney Huston for inspiration. Whitney wasn't at the Grammy and keeping up with the Grammys isn't something you do, when you're sucking on a crack pipe.

Ooh Lady Antebellum, but poor attempt singing "If You Don't Know Me By Now" - why did they call it a tribute to Teddy Pendergras? Leave it out. Ok, my favorite "I Need You". And Lady Antebellum wins Country Album of the year. What are these people doing to country music. This ain't country, it's pop. They also won Song of the Year. Love it, but please don't call it country.

Jaaaaaaaamie Foooooooooooooooooox .... Wooooooo hoooooooooo!

CeeLo and Gwenyth Paltrow, killing me performing a fun piece with the muppets. Has to be best performance. Love the puppet back up singers.

Oh boy I've missed a good 20 minutes talking to my mum on the phone.

Rhianna has never done it for me. Trouble is they all sound alike. Ooh Eminem just brought me back to life....and Dr  Dre

Skinny old white dude prancing around Mick Jagger.... yawn.

Chris Brown has just smashed his fist through a wall watching Rhianna grind. BAM!!!!! I think every guy in the audience has a hard on.

Not impressed with Bob Dylan's Tom Waits impression.

Aah it's over. Overall I'm underwhelmed.

Monday, 14 February 2011

It's Valentines Day!

This is one of my favourite Rogers and Hart compositions and Linda Ronstadt rendition tops all the others. Sinatra has sung it as has Ella Fitzgerald, Striesand and a zillion others, but Ronstadt's rendition will always be my favourite.

Although I was aware of some of her hits from the 70's, I think I always remembered her more as the rock chick who dated Jerry Brown when he was California's governor (75-83) and allegedly smoked pot with him in the California Governors mansion way back. I wasn't a fan until someone re-introduced me to her music in the late 80's, this time a very unexpected genre which totally blew me away.

For as long as I remember I have enjoyed the standards, blame it on some of the old black and white classics I watched with my mum, her choice of music which grew to be mine, not to mention my dad being a total jazz buff.

Linda Ronstadt collaborated with the great Nelson Riddle to produce three amazing albums of great standards and show tunes during the last three years of his life. My love for old standards was re-born and today, along with country music, old school soul music and R&B remains my favorite genre and the music I listen to most.

I'm going to have to download this lot as I only have them on CD.

It was impossible to just post My Funny Valentine, so I have added another two of my favorites...a very hard task as there are so many.


Saturday, 5 February 2011

Why the butcher, brothel & ethnic stores on Chatsworth Rd should worry

Seems like someone has been blowing smoke up Halil Mehmet's jacksy. Mehmet owns Mighty Meat on Chatsworth Road and his remark was in response to plans for a new Chatsworth Market. A Hackney news site recently quoted him as saying "having a market would be the best thing for the road".  Really, Halil?

The Nimby's, chattering class, feckless know the type I'm talking about, all want the area gentrified beyond recognition, although most will not admit it openly. That's the thing about Hackney, so pretentious and two faced that you have to sleep with one eye open.

Like the gangstas (albeit a more genteel non violent type) that where a blight on the area some years ago, they want their own patch, just like Broadway Market and Stoke Newington Church St and they are all out to get their way, even if it means lying to you and ultimately out pricing poor people out of the area. Such is the downside of gentrification and no matter how much they dress up their 'vision plans' and consultations it always ends the same way.

It's only natural to want your property to increase in price and clean up unsightly areas (parts of Chatsworth Rd is just down right depressing) but more than anything they want a fancy pantsy insular cafe culture area to call their own. You see, while homes on streets off Chatsworth are comparative in price to some homes off Stoke Newington Church Street, Clapton still remains the bastard red  head step child to Stokey & London Fields. But that's about to change.

They claim a once a week market will bring business to the existing businesses there. How so I ask? The convenience stores are open 365 days a year, staying open until late with some of them 24 hours. You can get every thing you need without a trip to a supermarket. I wonder how many of the market gowers, will pop into the Regent, a Nigerian store that sells the intricate lace fabrics used to make the native attire and other goods geared towards the African market. Of course it will be standing room outside eateries like the crêperie and L'epicerie.

As for Mighty Meats, even one of Chatsworth Road ardent market campaigners, local foodie and writer won't be caught dead buying her meat there, but prefers the more poncy Ginger Pig in gentrified Victoria Park Village. I don't blame her, I like The Ginger Pig too. They have a yummy deli and some of the best meats, which cost a wee bit more, but some times you just have to pay more for quality. She's written and gushed about them on her blog enough times. Me? I absolutely love W Wells Butchers, in Well Street, quality is second to none and they are a family business established since 1931.Saturdays always finds people queuing way outside the door and around the building. I get various meats from them and I can rely on them to cut my steaks just so. The staff are amazing too.

By the way, Well Street Market also needs your support too. Face Book Group

Even residents behind gentrification admit that Chatsworth Road will "change beyond recognition". So much so that they felt compelled to organize a photography exhibition last Fall. I'd say the phrase "talkin' outta both sides of your mouth" comes to mind, wouldn't you?

The campaign talks of keeping it diverse, but I doubt Chatsworth Road will be that diverse for much longer, evident from the photos from the trial Sunday markets they held late last year? If you are into home made jams, home made baked goods, organic stuff and (wait for it) 'vintage' ... the most over used word in recent years, you'll be in for a treat. You'll find vintage clothes (of course), vintage ceramic home ware, even vintage toys, postcards, art, non vintage vegan meals and all kinds of cutesy trinkets.

Last time I was at one of the poncy deli's, I noticed cup cakes 'locally sourced' and baked in a house just a yards away on Glenarms Road, was being sold for almost £3. That day I chose the passion fruit tart that was a few pence less, only because I couldn't bear the thought of paying so much for a fairy cake. Yes, I know, my logic is a little skewered.

Stoke Newington Church St has a bakery that sells a loaf of bread for over £3.00 which prompted a local resident to say "Is this Zimbabwe?". I don't know about you, but bread can only taste so good.

In the mean time I wonder how much longer Seniorita's the massage parlour will last. I've already heard rumblings coming from residents, even though it is discreet and away from some of the fancy over priced eateries.

For local resident and FT Economist, Tim Harford, the writing has been on the wall according to this piece he wrote.

"From little acorns them mighty oaks do grows"'s only a matter of time.

Yup, this is Chatsworth Market
Home made cakes - market or church fete

Monday, 31 January 2011

Censorship isn't the way

Courtesy of YD Photo Agency & Hackney Hive

Last week, Hackney council joined other boroughs in London to ban adult establishments in their respective boroughs. Imagine that. There isn't a week that goes by when some kid doesn't stab another (most we don't hear of) yet the lame people in charge of our borough are more worried about a harmless punter, who might not have a job next week, wanting to enjoy a beer and scantily clad ladies dancing around him.

Just another reason not to vote Labour next elections. Not that I voted Labour last elections, in fact I had not voted in over 20 years until last May, but voted a combination of Independents and Tory, who didn't stand a chance in wining Hackney. Nationally I didn't tick the box. Frankly it doesn't make a difference and as the years go by, I get more and more cynical about government and those who tell us they get into politics to help people. Next time I won't bother.

But it's not just Hackney, it seems the world has gone mad, making it harder for people to enjoy commercial sex and adult fun. I've made no secret of the fact that I owned and ran a high end escort service for close to 13 years. I'm not ashamed nor will I ever apologise, even though I was sentenced to18 months in prison.  As expected I'm a little bias.

In late December, CraigsList  pulled it's world wide adult section, having pulled its US adult section some months before, after years of constant bullying, harassment from ambitious state attorney generals, legal wranglings, feminists and other groups who would like the world to believe that CraigsList encouraged and contributed to world wide sexual exploitation of women and minors, human trafficking.and murder.

From Hackney Hive:

Hackney council have agreed to ban any future adult establishments in the borough despite protest from employees of adult establishments, and 67 per cent of respondents to the consultation, being against a nil policy.

However the existing businesses in the borough, which consist of four lap dancing clubs: Rainbow Sports Bar, Browns, The White Horse, Ye Old Axe clubs and the lone sex shop -  Expectations, all located in Haggerston Ward, will be allowed to continue providing they adhere to certain conditions, referred to in an amended proposal.
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