It's England in 1913 and an ordinary schoolteacher named "John Smith" is disturbed by extraordinary dreams of adventures in time and space — and a mysterious blue box. However, when lights in the sky herald the arrival of "The Family", Smith's maid, Martha, has to convince him that he alone can save the world, that he is indeed the man that he dreams about. World War I has come a year in advance as the terrifying 'Family' hunt for the Doctor. When John Smith refuses to accept his destiny as a Time Lord, the women in his life — Martha and Joan — have to help him decide.
Joan is played by none other than Jessica Hynes, who played Daisy Steiner in Spaced!! Jessica does a smashing job acting, begging the audience for The Doctor to take her on as a companion, will she join the Tardis crew; or will The Doctor settle down and marry? Watch and see!
Chaz in Manchester & Lake District England
Well, it seems pointless writing about England and Ireland now, as since then I've been to Denver, Rochester, Ottawa and Washington, D.C.! But here's the basic stuff...
Manchester, England: The Great British Bear Bash was simply fantastic!! I even got "caught on tape" in some of the promo footage! Click play on the video embed to see some photos
GBBB 10 / Manchester Bear Weekend Photos
If these photos aren't enough, click here to see more videos, including the spoof videos they played on the big screen at "The Birdcage" on Sunday afternoon in-between live performances!
The Great British Bear Bash was a holiday weekend bonanza of men, fur, beer and sex! (Did I mention the foam party?) Manchester never looked so sexy! If you've never been, do plan on going next year! You'll thank me!
The "quote" of the weekend was from a gent I overheard mid-conversation in the sauna speaking about another darkly lit bathhouse, saying that "...the trolls reached out from the dark like The Morlocks out of H. G. Wells Time Machine" -- when I overheard this, I was laughed so hard, I just about had to leave the steam room!
Mists over Ullswater - Lake District
On Monday, Dave and I drove up to the Lake District -- we drove all over the beautiful countryside, saw many lovely towns and villages. The Lake District is north of Manchester and just south of the Scotland border. Photos I took in the Lake District (and Ireland) can be seen here. The photo sets start on page one with the Lake District, and then switch to Ireland half way down page two. You can tell the difference, as all of my Ireland photos were taken in Dublin (in the city.)
After two glorious nights and three days in the Lake District, including going to the home of Beatrix Potter near Sawrey, Cumbria. (If you're in the Lake District, visit her home, "Hill Top", which is a small and delightful 17th-century farmhouse where she wrote many of her famous children's stories.) It's now maintained by the National Trust and kept in excellent condition!
Dave and I spent Wednesday and Thursday at his home in Widmerpool, just outside of Nottingham. We even popped over to the local pub (I think it's called 'The Plough Inn') at nearby Willoughby-on-the-Wolds (yes, that's the village's name!) where everyone really knows everyone else! ;-)
Friday morning we were off to an early start, as Dave had to sadly return to work. He dropped me off at the National Rail station in Nottingham -- off I was to Manchester again -- this time to the Airport to catch an Aer Lingus flight to Dublin!
Chaz in Dublin, Ireland
I spent Friday thru Monday in Dublin. I did the usual tourist stuff -- "The Book of Kells" at Trinity College, the Kilmainham Gaol (Jail), the Guinness Brewery tour at St James Gate, the Jameson Distillery tour, and all sorts of the usual tourist stuff... The statue of Oscar Wilde (photoed on the left) can be seen in Merrion Square near his former home.
I stayed at Frankie's Guesthouse, a gay B&B located just southwest of Trinity College.
I must say, the one thing that I really didn't like about Dublin was it's gay night life... Every pub was pretty much alike. The crowds were all preppy-type, mostly clean shaven blokes with the latest fashions -- Barf! To add insult to injury, about 40% of the pub's patrons are straight females... not that I have anything against womyn, I just can't get into "hunt and trap mode" with birds all over the place!
The one bar I really fancied, GUBU, is sadly slated to CLOSE in June 2007. It had good music at a reasonable volume, and some bear-ish guys with facial hair! Of course, I got quite the looks in full leather kit! I guess leathermen are unheard of in Dublin! I got the usual stares, and a few folks doing the "Y.M.C.A." dance move while I passed them by on the street... But once at GUBU, I was hit on multiple times by some striking men!
Later that night, I checked out one of the local saunas, The Boilerhouse. It's a five-story bathhouse and was highly recommended by my flat-mate, Dennis. (Caution: Adult material in the link!)
All the saunas I've seen so far in the EU/GB have been nicer, cleaner and feature much more attractive men than the ones in the U.S. -- the closest thing I can compare it to is the Steamworks in Toronto.
Out of the approximately 100 men that were at The Boilerhouse that evening, I was only one of three circumcised guys. I loved the attention and the child-like questions about my circumcision. Even better, the blokes that were saying "can I touch it?", like it was going to bite them! ;-) The other two clipped guys were Turkish, didn't speak much English, and were very, very sexy!
Monday I flew back to Manchester, then with a tear in my eye, back to my current home in Boston.
Note: U.S. Airways' food in first class sucked. I was very disappointed with the quality of the food. It might have just been an "off day", but they could sure learn a thing or two from American Airlines, Air Canada, British Airways or Virgin Atlantic!!
Tomorrow, or at some point soon, I will post about my last three trips to CanAm Weekend in Rochester, Ottawa and Denver.
Today's song is Dirty Vegas - Good Times