Dedicated Pansyfan, Alan, decided to take Perking the Pansies on a grand book tour of Charlemagne’s old domain. He flashed my inane witterings at the fragrant French, waffling Belgians and orderly Germans. Have I seen sales soar among our continental cousins as they rush to empty the virtual shelves of the best expat book to come out of Turkey since the Fall of Constantinople? Who knows? I won’t get the sales figures ‘til October.
Dedicated Pansyfan, Alan, has decided to take Perking the Pansies on its first European tour. Watch out La Belle France and the Fatherland, the pansies are coming.
You may remember a little while back that I wrote about my new friend, Jack Scott, author of the blog, Perking the Pansies. He had written a book by the same name. Jack was kind enough to share a copy with me. I am only about half way through it – but I have decided to share more of Jack with you! The book is hilarious so far! I highly encourage you to buy the book!
Jack is a world traveler from the U.K. He and his husband Liam moved to just outside of Bodrum, Turkey and share an adventurous life which Jack writes about in his book. More...
As my regular pansy punters know, I’ve just done a gig for the Polari Literary Salon at London’s Royal Festival Hall. I was in the company of a fine cast of literati - Faarea Masud, Hugh Mulhall, Max Wallis, Catherine Hall and Tiffany Murray. The chorus line was made up of friends and regular pansy characters – Nancy, Murat, Clive, Ian, Matt and Philip. I calmed myself with a quick wine stiffener in the Green Room before I climbed the stage to perform against a sumptuous backdrop of The London Eye and Palace of Westminster. I’m not sure who was the more nervous, Liam or me. Despite the terror, I didn’t fluff too many of my lines. I was well received by the enthusiastic audience and I’m eternally grateful to the wonderful and gifted Paul Burston who made it all possible.
_The whirlwind virtual world book tour has reached its final destination back in old Bodrum Town. The imaginary train has pulled into the non-existent station. I’m knackered. My final gig is at Roving Jay’s Bodrum Peninsular Travel Guide.
"My vision of hell is being squeezed onto a commercial party boat like the Victoria Line during the rush hour with a bunch of orange-faced holidaying strangers and brats in baseball caps. We select our boat trips carefully – usually with a handful of hand-picked gals and pals. My advice is get your own group together, find a smaller craft and talk to the captain about what floats your boat. Most owners are amenable to any reasonable request and open to negotiation on the price. We’ve cruised from Yalikavak, Bitez and Bodrum; another great way to get away from the madding crowd." More…
_Ex-spook, Linda (she denies it, but I know she was), gave up her 007 career at the Pentagon and settled in the Low Countries to write about life and fret about global warming. If my house was fifty feet below sea level, I’d fret too. Linda is a prolific blogger, accomplished writer and published author. She’s also an all-round good liberal egg with the all the right values and a huge heart. Linda has been a great supporter of my blog virtually from the outset. She wrote an incredible review of my book and, best of all, I didn’t have to bribe her. This just goes to prove you can’t wet the beak of the honourable. In addition to the review, she’s written a post Pansies, Oh So Successfully Perked on Adventures in Expatland. Read it here.
_When I planned my virtual tour, I knew the book would have to take centre stage. There would be little point if it didn’t. But I didn’t want to just bang on about it and do the hard sell. People would get bored and simply switch channels. I know I would. I had to find a theme, something to maintain interest. I also wanted to say something related to the people that have kindly let me loose on their blogs. A theme gradually emerged: me. My favourite subject.
Today’s post is on Helen’s European Journey. Elegant Helen is wander-lusting gypsy-like across Europe (well, so far across Iberia – give ‘em time) in a travelling caravan with hunky husband and three pretty pussies in tow. So, folks, I give you… me and caravans. Not the dusty camel trains of antiquity hauling exotic goods along the ancient Silk Road from China to Anatolia, but the common or garden static metal type of my childhood. It’s a tenuous link, but stay with me.
Over the Helen for Trailer Trash
_Next whistle stop on my virtual book tour (are you still on the train?) is Liz Cameron’s blog, Slowly-by-Slowly. Liz writes with depth and poetry about her cross-cultural life as an American married to a Turk through eyes of a troupe of Ottoman era Karagöz shadow puppets. She’s not insane. It’s a metaphor, silly. Of greatest interest to me, though, is that Liz lives in Provincetown, a pretty little New England seaside resort which is a summer mecca for gay visitors – a kind of American Brighton. Yes, I am that shallow. My invite to the party must be lost in the post. Well, the mail in Turkey is shocking.
Hop over to Slowly-by-Slowly to catch the book review and hang out with the marionettes.
_I was really pleased when Istanbul Stranger asked me to guest on her blog as part of my virtual book tour. She’s deliciously witty, calls a spade a spade and her sharp observations about her life in Old Constantinople are a joy to read. She’s American but I think her writing style has a distinctive ironic British twist. Maybe she was a Brit in a former life. I’m there to plug my book but, as this isn’t Oprah’s Book Club, I thought I’d regale you with tales of my first visit to the good old US of A. Ladies and Gents I give you Yankee Tales.
_For generations, book tours have been a vital part of promoting the published word. The famous get to hop from country to country. The not-so-famous get to hop from town to town. Nobodies like me don’t get to hop at all. Then someone came up with a marvellous idea – the virtual tour. No hopping involved. Just sit back and let other people promote your work courtesy of the blogosphere (in the best tradition of I scratch your back, you scratch mine). Ladies and gentlemen, please hop across to the wonderfully rustic Archers of Okçular for the first stop in my stimulating, simulated tour. Enjoy!
Early retirement was never meant to be like this.
A bitter-sweet tragi-comedy that recalls the first year of a British gay couple living in a Muslim land
Best of Perking the Pansies, the Blog from the Turkey years.