Thursday, November 15, 2007


Back in the late ‘80s I studied for my teacher’s qualification at university and lived in strange accommodation. A three-floor and three flat Victorian house about 20 minutes from the university.

In the top floor flat was Neil, doing a doctorate in Forensic Archaeology. Essentially, this meant his flat was full of bones from medieval graveyards, which he would measure to the micrometre.

In the middle-floor flat was Aidan, a fashion-design student at the local polytechnic who I got on with great.

I shared a flat with Piers, 20 years older than me, a recently divorced liberal hippy who was totally devastated at losing unlimited access to his young children.

Aidan and I would occasionally go out together to gay clubs – and the only time I have been “queer-bashed” was on exiting a club with him.

But Neil took the biscuit!

If he didn’t score at the nightclub, or if he felt like sex on a quiet weekday night, off he would go to the public toilets on the corner of Victoria Park, a primitive, dirty, Edwardian-constructed public utility.

Before I continue with this story I should explain a bit about “cottaging”. Until 1967 male homosexuality was illegal un the UK. Until that time much illicit male homosexual contact was established in the exclusive male domain of male public toilets. Cottaging became an established cultural practice even though male homosexuality was legalized 30 years ago.

So let’s get the point of this story …

My step-nephew is marvellous. In his late twenties now, he is totally eccentric and highly intelligent! He is gay but long-past youthful cottaging episodes. And, even though I am not a person to laugh out loud when I find myself amused, he has just made me guffaw and guffaw and guffaw …

He recently went down the local municipal market at 1 pm on a Friday and, caught short, went into the market's public toilets ... to paraphrase his own words “There was this really pretty 19 year old who eyed me up so ... honest I haven't done this in years ... we went into a cubicle ...”.

And they were caught in-flagrante by the municipal market toilet cleaner, carted off to the market offices and they are now banned from the market!

Lucky not to get carted off to the police and get served an ASBO!

No comments: