Great expectations

When I first started writing this blog I had a really terrific idea. I posted my details onto a website which initially appeared to host other gay personal journals just like mine was going to be. I thought it was a great way to reach out to all of those elusive and anonymous new readers just waiting to get to know all about my life. Unfortunately, or indeed fortunately depending on how you feel about where your visitor traffic is sourced from, it turned out to be a porn site. The last time I looked it up, there I was, wedged between two blogs called Hot & Tight Lycra Guys, and, Big Banger in Baku Live! Never before has the use of an exclamation mark in a blog title name seemed so totally irrelevant. But hey, I’ll take all the visitors I can get so whether your clothes stretch when you put them on or you’re otherwise distracted in Azerbaijan, please, read on.

“I know I must be a big disappointment,” I said to Guido last night in bed. “I’m not sure I’m fulfilling expectations.”

Guido was trying hard to finish a crossword just before lights out. He was stuck on 7 across. It had 4 letters and began with the letter D. The clue was esoteric, which I remember thinking was pretty funny at the time.

“What I’m saying is,” I said staring up at our bedroom ceiling, “I’m not living up to the fantasy.”

I heard a sigh.

“Look,” said Guido putting his pen down, “if this is about last week when I told you I thought it would be really hot if we both smothered each other naked all over in sticky chilli sauce – honestly, if you’d prefer mayo, I’d be totally cool with that too.”

Much as I liked, and was momentarily distracted by that idea (I’m perfectly happy with chilli sauce), I realised we were talking about totally different things.

“Yeah, well, no,” I said sitting up, “what I meant was, if you advertise yourself as something you turn out not to be, then people are going to be disappointed. Right?”

He still looked completely baffled.

“Okay. Let’s say you were happily surfing the world wide web looking for a quick and easy recipe for a hummus dip when you inadvertently clicked onto a gay blog on a gay website that just happens to be called, My Husband and I. Imagine there was a picture of a half naked guy on it, laying on a half made bed. Tell me, what would you expect to find there?”

There was a short pause.

“Well,” Guido said, “initially I’d be looking innocently for chick peas blitzed with olive oil and some garlic – followed by two naked dudes with a webcam switched on.” He picked up his pen, “but let’s just say I’m more experienced on the vegetarian dip front.”

I thought about Guido and me in bed with one of us balancing a hand held web cam with lots of jars of condiments exploding open. It was terrifying.

So, to all of those of you reading this right now who are wearing restrictive super tight spandex, or are many miles away getting hot under the collar at the thought of two husbands in South London with an interest in crudities, honestly, thanks for stopping by.

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Three o’clock in the morning

Despite the fact I distinctly remembered that Guido and I both got into our bed completely naked at exactly the same time last night, I woke up at three a.m. this morning to discover only one of us was still in it. Me.

I always know when I’m alone in our bed because I can roll across the mattress. I can stretch straight out in the shape of a star. Under normal circumstances a very hairy and athletic Spaniard with big feet gets in the way. Guido tends to twitch a lot in bed at night. If you happened to be sandwiched between us you’d soon get used to it. Only last night, there was no tossing and there was and no turning and no sound of him shouting out indiscriminatly in the dead of night. He often yells kitchen instructions in his sleep like, “there’s a cheese burger and toasted bun going cold on the pass” or “hold the mayo on table 5!”

In the dark I put my pyjama bottoms back on and went from our loft to the cafe downstairs. I found Guido stirring a pan of milk.

“I had a horrible nightmare” he said, “I was being chased by an angry bran muffin with big sultanas for eyes.” All he was wearing was a pair of boxer shorts. “Want something hot?”

I warn you. Guido’s hot chocolate is totally luscious. In a pan of full fat (whole) milk add 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons of sugar, a pinch of salt and a quarter teaspoon of vanilla essence. The great thing about this recipe is that once you get back into bed, rather than counting sheep, you spend the rest of the night counting calories.

There was an unexpected knock at the front door.

It was Tony Biscotti. Tony is Bermondsey’s local resident taxi driver. He models himself on that deranged Robert De Niro character and let me tell you he displays all of the same customer service skills.

“I’ve just got back from Watford,” said Tony. It turns out he’s got a customer who’s having a clandestine extramarital affair and the only time the two of them can hook up to have sex is slap bang in the middle of the night. Though, if I’m honest, that didn’t sound particularly clandestine to me.

“God, what a horrible dream I just had whilst waiting outside in my car,” he said, “I dreamt I had Svetlana Stalin in the back of the cab. Then I saw your light on. Any chance of a bacon bap?”

“Come in come in,” said Guido and he grilled some bacon.

Ten minutes later there was an unexpected knock at the back door.

It was Ethel from Toxic Bubbles, the launderette next door.

“I’m washing, drying and starching 1000 cotton napkins for a contract at the Shangri La Hotel up The Shard,” she said.

Now, that really was a nightmare.

“I smelt bacon,” she said.

“Come in come in,” said Guido and he grilled even more bacon.

I have to tell you eating at 3 a.m. is highly civilised. There’s no rush to clear the plates away and it’s amazing what extra skills you’ll pick up. Just so you know, I can now drive the most direct route from here to Brick Lane whilst simultaneously folding the perfect napkin.

 

The Beefcake Appreciation Society

Last night Ted and Gary came round to the cafe and over a bowl of Guido’s creamy spaghetti pesto the four of us had another one of our highly intellectual debates.

No, we weren’t talking the Middle East, the collapse of the £ against the $, nor that terrifying hurricane whipping through the Atlantic. We weren’t even arguing about Hillary Clinton’s next colour choice of trouser suit. Over here at The Spanish Onion we don’t waste time over such trifling issues. We only discuss important and high brow topics like – Rafael Nadal or Juan Martin Del Potro, who has the most squeezable butt?

“If I was going for muscular density then it’s got to be Rafa,” said Ted sucking in a mouthful, “I like to get my hands on something tight and sassy but still with some give to it.”

Poor Gary, I thought. He must spend his entire life trying to avoid bending over.

“Jamie Oliver was such a cutie when he started out on TV as The Naked Chef,” said Guido. He had this really weird glazed expression in his eyes. “I used to fantasise about him massaging me roughly with those big thick fingers of his. Rubbing me, kneading me, in the style of a wet bread dough.”

Whilst this was utterly fascinating to imagine it reminded me that, soon after Guido and I met, he very quickly seduced me with a lamp chop. I’m not sure that says too much about Guido and, if I’m honest, I think it says even less about me.

“Bradley Cooper, said Gary suddenly. “American sniper. Army fatigues. Dark glasses. Inverted baseball cap.” He sat holding his fork with a piece of spaghetti dangling perilously from the end of it. “Just shoot me.”

“I wonder what they’d say if they knew four guys in a South London cafe were drooling over the individual merits of their anatomies?” said Ted pensively, still sucking.

“I have zero problem with that,” I said dismissively, “it’s always been a big ambition of mine to be thought of as a complete sex object.”

Everybody looked at me but nobody said anything.

“What I’m saying,” I said, “is I would be more than happy to be thought of as brawn rather than brains. I mean, if you had the choice of rolling in the hay with one of the greatest minds who ever lived, or say, Chris Pine, which would it be?”

“Chris Pine was once a passenger on one of my flights,” said Gary. He still hadn’t swallowed. “As a professional flight attendant it was a total pleasure to drape a hot steamy towel over his brow on that bumpy flight above the English Channel towards France.”

“And you’ll always have Paris,” I said.

After the fourth bottle of Prosecco we agreed to form a club. A place where serious and unbiased discussion takes place about chest sizes and torsos and abs and the perfect physique.

“But there must be strict rules,” I said, “we will not tolerate anything, or any body, that does not drive us into utter fits of sexual ecstasy.”

So those are our only ground rules. Membership is now open. If you’d like to join please do leave a message to express your interest. Oh, and if David Gandy reads this, we meet monthly. Feel free to drop by.

Toast

Some times only a thick slice of toasted sourdough bread with a topping of sticky sweet marmalade will do. Think about it. Slowly dipping a large spoon into a big jar for a luxurious scoop, then spreading a glistening layer of chewy orange peel over melted butter. You might have guessed there’s got to be a reason why I’ve been madly fantasising about getting up close and personal with a piece of toast. So I’m very sorry to have to tell you this, but, I’ve been on another whacko diet. And I’m even more sorry to have to tell you it’s called The Banana Diet.

I know what you’re thinking and it’s probably get a life. It’s  incredibly simple to follow. All you have to do is peel and eat five bananas a day for four days. I’ve lost six pounds already. The only downside I can report is that I’ve started to act like a chimpanzee and I’ve become increasingly aroused by thoughts of jam. Guido’s reassured me that he hasn’t really noticed any discernible difference in my behaviour, so that’s been illuminating.

As a distraction this week I’ve been sitting downstairs in the cafe at breakfast time. Whilst the big decision of my day has been whether to start peeling a banana from its top or from its bottom, I’ve quietly sat analysing the other customers and I’ve got to tell you it’s been fascinating. I’m considering writing a very clever thesis about it then sending it to the Nobel prize panel. I reckon I could be in with a chance of winning in the Toast Spreading category. Please see abridged examples of my notes below.

Toast Spreading Observation Technique (Sessions 1, 2 & 3)

Monday 7.35 a.m. Male, 5’6, oriental extraction, 2 slices, granary, butter, blueberry jam. Left handed. Spread right hand of left slice of toast first. Potential to be serial killer – low.

Monday 7.58 a.m. Female, height unknown, big ass, very long dark hair, could be a Kardashian, 1 slice, toasted rye, half an avocado. Frantic fork mashing technique. Do not approach until fed.

Tuesday 8.03 a.m. Male, 6′, beard, sexy, tight shirt, muscular arms, nice smile, excellent eye contact, boiled egg, yoke dipped seductively with a crusty white, good chewing motion. Request telephone number for more in depth probing later over a bottle of Chianti.

Tuesday 8.10. Female, 5’4, glasses, late for work, has nervous breakdown over variety of bread choice. Leaves with nothing. Do not employ this woman.

Wednesday 7.45 a.m. Male, 5’8, wearing headphones, 2 slices, granary, Marmite Yeast, takes 5 minutes to spread one slice and another 5 to eat it, completely unaware that he is singing a Scissor Sisters track at a level which is not socially acceptable.

“Well,” said Guido reading my notes, “it’s all very interesting but I’m not sure the scientific panel in Stockholm will be interested.”

I felt crushed until he told me he’d boiled up some of his homemade marmalade for me as a special treat. There’s only so many spots a banana can hit. Trust me.

Guido’s Marmalade 

Quarter 6 pieces of citrus fruit and blitz (including peel) in a food processor. In a pan slowly bring to a simmer with 1 kilo of sugar. Boil for 20 minutes stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Take care it can bubble and splash. Fills about 5 x 340gram sterilised jars.