Christmas fun with the team #2

Here’s another selection of entertaining answers to the questions I set the team. I must say cats seem to be popular in this instalment! Have fun reading them, check out the ‘Meet the Team’ tab above for links to everyone’s websites and/or books, and have a great time over the next few days celebrating your favourite winter festival.


Pic credit: Moondance on

What’s the one thing you’d take to a desert island?

Rebecca Cohen: a magic lamp with ready-to-rub genie in situ

Alexa Milne: Always a tricky one as it depends on the island. It says desert not deserted so I’m going with there being people there and civilisation. In this case, I’d take my laptop. I know it’s a bit sneaky.

K.L. Noone: Definitely some sort of laptop with portable self-sufficient wifi – practicality, for rescue, and also a way to read and write while waiting!

Chris Quinton: Factor 50+ sun block – I burn too easily

What’s your favourite (or least favourite) Christmas song?

Rebecca Cohen: Stille Nacht – the German version of Silent Night is a favourite thanks to 7 years in Switzerland

Alexa Milne: Favourite though it makes me cry is Christmas List. I can’t stand O Holy Night.

K.L. Noone: As a punk rock and pop-punk kid, most of my favorite Christmas songs fall into that category! Songs like the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Christmastime,” or the My Chemical Romance cover of “All I Want for Christmas,” or Green Day’s “Xmas Time of Year”…or even the Rise Against cover of “Making Christmas,” from the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack! There’s a good Rock Christmas playlist on Spotify, which we had on while putting up our tree…

Chris Quinton: I’m something of a Scrooge – I dislike them, and cheesy Christmas movies.

If you could shape-shift, what creature would you change into?

Rebecca Cohen: A cat – they have the life of Riley in my house and I want in on their sweet deal.

Alexa Milne: I’d love to be a cat as long as I could be a completely spoiled and pampered cat getting to choose what I eat, when I sleep, when I go out. Oh the mischief I could make and be forgiven every time and loved. I could even have my own social media!

K.L. Noone: Some sort of large happy house cat, like a big fluffy Maine Coon: indoor, cozy, well fed, lots of toys, and soft blankets! Aside from that, it would be fun to be able to fly, so perhaps a raven, or something along those lines – not too frightening, but clever!

Chris Quinton: Now, that’s an easy one! An otter, every time!

Christmas fun with the team

Just for a laugh, I asked all of the contributors the same three silly questions – and these are some of the answers they came up with.

Have fun reading them, check out the ‘Meet the Team’ tab (above) to find out more about all of us, and Happy Christmas!


Pic credit: Pablo Garcia Saldana on

What’s the one thing you’d take to a desert island?

Jeff Baker: Assuming I wanted to be there and already had food, water and shelter I’d say a Kindle loaded with all the books I want to read. If I didn’t want to be there, I’d take a fully-staffed luxury yacht or a very long bridge!

Jay Mountney: A boat. With an engine. And that’s one thing, not two!

Kaje Harper: A dowsing rod to find fresh water?

Fiona Glass: My first thought was a boat too but as that’s already been taken, a comfortable bed. None of this sleeping on gritty sand!

Ellie Thomas: I’d love to wax lyrical about a favourite tome to take with me, but let’s face facts here. I’m a pale-skinned Celt, so it had better be a vat of Factor 50 sunscreen.

What’s your favourite (or least favourite) Christmas song?

Jeff Baker: I’ve loved “Do You Hear What I Hear?” since Grade School when our teacher told us the song was written “just a few years ago.” Plus, it’s a wonderful song. There are days (usually days spelled with a “y”) where I get absolutely sick of “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime!” With all due respect to Sir Paul.

Jay Mountney: Don’t Stop the Cavalry

Kaje Harper: My anti-favourite is I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (especially the little kid voice version that has the kid threatening to tattle in between the verses.)

Fiona Glass: My favourite is Fairytale of New York, with Greg Lake’s I Believe in Father Christmas a close second.

Ellie Thomas: Honestly, by this stage of December I’m sick of the whole boiling lot of them, so I’ll plump for none. Bah humbug!

If you could shape-shift, what creature would you change into:

Jeff Baker: When I was younger (yes, I think about this stuff and have for a long time!) I thought maybe turning into a crow when I wanted would be handy. They can fly and are pretty inconspicuous since they are all over. Of course, I might go with the traditional wolf, as long as I wasn’t vicious (and didn’t leave a mess on the carpet!)

Jay Mountney: I would rather not have to change into a shifter but if I had to I like hedgehogs.

Kaje Harper: By nature, probably a sloth, but by preference, a peregrine falcon – I’d love to fly.

Fiona Glass: No real preference, but it would be nice to be tall enough and/or have long enough arms to reach supermarket shelves, so perhaps a gibbon. Or a giraffe.

Ellie Thomas: Ooh, that’s a tricky one. I’m undecided between something slightly scary like a leopard that would keep people on their toes or something small, nippy and easily hidden like a mouse. Plus with the second option I might get access to cheese. Win/win!

Jeff Baker: a gayer-than-you-think Laugh-in world

A thought-provoking article about the old US sitcom Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in, which seems to have had hidden lgbt depths! Over to Jeff Baker to explain more:


Pic credit: Amazon UK

   “It’s a Coo-Coo, Bet-Your-Bippy, Sock-It-To-Me, Gayer-Than-You-Think Laugh-In World.”                          

            “Sock it to me sock it to me sock it to me sock it to me sock it to me…”—-Laugh-In

            You can’t look it up in your Funk and Wagnalls but the legendary comedy show “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In” was probably a lot Gayer than you would think for a show that aired in the Sixties.

            The show, which aired from 1968 to 1973 was a fast-paced series of blackout sketches, topical one-liners and physical shtick, augmented by guest stars from Sammy Davis Jr. to Orson Welles and cameos from everyone from Gore Vidal to Richard Nixon (uttering the series’ catch phrase “Sock it to ME?!?”) And regular features like the Laugh-In News, the Farkle Family and the Party.

            And they managed to squeeze in more than a handful of Gay references into the mix.

            Start with the cast: At least one of the regulars was openly Gay, Lilly Tomlin was an out Lesbian   whose partner (professionally and in life) Jane Wagner (they married in 2013) wrote her album featuring her Laugh-In character, five-year-old Edith Ann, even though references to their relationship were excised from a Time Magazine cover story on Tomlin in the 70s.

            Alan Sues never officially came out but was survived by his “partner” and he was typed in playing campy, flamboyant roles on “Laugh-In,” including a drag version of Jo Anne Worley. One of his characters is extremely notable.

            “Big Al,” the sportscaster played by Sues is flamboyant without being “swishy” but he loves the bell he rings for attention. (“Love that tinkle!”) His may be the first portrayal of a Gay sports-related figure who wasn’t suicidal. Also in a Western sketch, cowboy Sues ambles up to the bar of a Western saloon and orders “a frozen daiquiri.” Sues later played a flamboyant Peter Pan in a series of peanut butter commercials, but lamented that he was typed in comedy as he was adept at serious roles, especially on stage. One of his serious roles is in the anything-but-funny “Twilight Zone” episode “Masks.”

            Gays and “The Gay Liberation Movement” were occasionally referenced on “Laugh-In,” not always for a cheap laugh but for satire, especially in the news segment. There are several gags where a man turns out to be married to another man!  And there are a lot of jokes about England’s “Queen.” (When the QEII docked in San Francisco, their line was “It was the second biggest Queen” in the city.) But the show could go for the cheap laugh. In the first episode after the first performance of Tiny Tim, Dan Rowan says: “It kept him out of the service,” and Dick Martin quips “I bet the Draft Board burned HIS Draft card!” (Note: from all I know, Tiny Tim was straight!)

            “Laugh-In” was a product of its time; not just the liberated Sixties but the stodgy era of network TV and cheap-shot nightclub jokes. The show’s major flaw was too many fat jokes and short jokes. But the show could be forward-thinking and ahead of its time.

            In the sixties and early seventies, times for Gays were changing. And “Laugh-In” was ahead of the curve.

            You can bet your bippy on that!

Jay Mountney: Five TV cop shows that could have been m/m

We seem to be developing quite a theme here with movies and various TV series that we feel could (should?!) have had a gay element to them. This time, it’s cop shows, many of which had a strong element of bromance in the past. I agree wholeheartedly with the first on the list, which is why I’ve chosen a scene from that one to illustrate the article (and yes, this is an actual screenshot from an actual episode)…

Feel free to add any others you can think of in the comments section – I’m sure these can’t be the only ones.


Following Jeff Baker’s article on TV shows that could have gone m/m, and after some comments on FB, here are my ideas on the subject.

Most cop buddy shows would qualify. Nowadays, at least one of the following would, I think, have been given an m/m slant. None of them were, of course, which is almost certainly due to the period when they were originally made, but we wondered why there were no current cop buddy shows. Presumably there is no need to show ‘bromance’ in an era where gay detectives are considered ‘acceptable’ as in The Long Call (recent British TV cop drama based on books by Anne Cleeves, author of the Shetland and Vera series). We also agreed that there is probably enough fanfiction out there to satisfy most people who want m/m versions of cop/law-and-order programmes. I confess to writing in the three Brit show fandoms and reading avidly in the US ones. Obviously, other shows spring to mind but I’ve restricted myself to five, mostly because those are the ones I’ve watched in their entirety!

For possible re-imagining I would nominate:

The Professionals. Brit TV series about guys working for CI5 which is a kind of MI5 but fictional.

Starsky and Hutch. US TV series featuring cop duo.

Lewis. Brit TV series featuring cops in Oxford with lots of glamorous locations.

Hawaii 5.O. American series, first shown a long time ago then reimagined as a new series. 5.O is a kind of special police department with a cop and a navy SEAL. Again, at times the locations steal the show.

Spooks. Brit TV series with a multitude of characters in MI5.

And the winner is…

Pic credit:

It’s time to reveal the winner of last week’s totally non-scientific poll to find the best m/m movie ever. I added all sorts of different titles to the list, including ones I hadn’t personally seen but that were helpfully suggested by other members of the team. (As an added bonus, that’s given me several more movies to look out for to watch myself, so thank you for that!)

WordPress doesn’t exactly make it easy. The poll feature is pretty basic, and it doesn’t remember if you’ve already voted, and doesn’t display the results unless you vote again. So I had to re-vote a couple of times to check on progress, which means the results are quite probably bollixed. *grins*

However, on paper at least, here are the top four from the list (the others were mostly ones and twos):

My Beautiful Laundrette: 13 votes

Brokeback Mountain / God’s Own Country: 10 votes each

Call Me By Your Name: 7 votes

As mentioned above, My Beautiful Laundrette got a couple of extra votes from me, so the true result is probably closer to a three-way tie between that, Brokeback Mountain and God’s Own Country. The first two don’t surprise me at all – they’re absolute classics and seem to be loved by one and all – but the third is more recent and more of a surprise. It was beautifully made, though, and had a nice happy satisfying ending, so perhaps that’s the reason so many of you voted for it.

One or two people have pointed out that Brokeback Mountain isn’t, perhaps, Romance in the most traditional sense. They’re quite right, and the same thing would apply to several of the other movies too, including Call Me By Your Name, and Priest. However, this was only a bit of fun so I’m hoping you’ll forgive me eventually!

Thanks so much for all the votes and comments. The next story should be up on site on Friday so do check back for more then.

Fiona Glass: Best M/M Movie Ever?

Here’s another bit of fun – a quick and totally unscientific poll to try to find the best m/m movie of all time. The ‘of all time’ is a bit limited because it’s only in the last 30 years or so that film producers have felt able to make gay movies without them being labelled as ‘porn’ and sold in paper wrappers from under the counter of your local video store. Thank goodness things have moved on.

Anyhoo, here’s a quick selection for you to choose from. Feel free to vote, tell us what you voted for and why, or add your own suggestions in the comments.

Pic credit:

Fiona Glass: My top three movies that should have been m/m but weren’t

I’ll be posting another story in the next couple of days, but in the meantime, here’s a bit of random fun.

We’re all familiar with m/m movies – Brokeback Mountain, Maurice, my own favourite My Beautiful Laundrette. But what about those movies that are just screaming to be m/m, but for some reason or another never quite made it?

There are loads of them around. I remember doing a whole list in Forbidden Fruit many years ago. Annoyingly I can’t now find the file, but I can remember some of the titles on the list, so here in no particular order are my top three.

Point Break I only ever watched this movie once and all I can really remember, apart from some buff surfer bodies, was being really disappointed, even cheated, at the end because surfer Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) and undercover cop Johnny (Keanu Reeves) didn’t get together. Fair enough it wasn’t meant to have a HEA, but there was so much subtext between them that I longed for something – anything – a kiss, even a wistful glance. Because Johnny was clearly mesmerised by charming no-gooder Bodhi, and it wasn’t just the surfer lifestyle that fascinated him!

Tango & Cash There are buddy movies, there are bromance movies, and then there’s Tango & Cash. You wouldn’t perhaps think of Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell as obvious gay-for-each-other main characters, but in this movie those two guys are totally made for each other. They spend the entire plot following each other from one scrape to another, one mad escape to another, and as for the ‘old married couple’ style banter – well, it wouldn’t have felt amiss if by the end they’d just fallen into each other’s arms.

The Lost Boys My own personal favourite on the list – it has vampires; it has one of the best sound-tracks of any movie ever (I will fight you on this); it has Kiefer Sutherland’s David looking amazing in a long black coat. Jason Patrick’s character Michael clearly agrees, as he’s quite happy to follow David into the world of the undead just because of the way he looks. Yes, okay, I know he’s supposed to be infatuated with Star, but he’s already dippy about David’s gang before she ever appears. I used to daydream about an alternate ending where David and Michael roar off into the underworld on David’s motorbike to the accompaniment of Foreigner or REO Speedwagon. Okay, I’m lying. I still do. We m/m fans can always dream…

So go on – what’s your favourite movie that really, really should have been m/m? And why? Stick some suggestions in the comments. I’d love to watch them and see if I agree!