Sunday, June 18, 2006

Nonchalant Strollers Ltd

Lovely Husband™ and I live near a gay cruising area. This isn't by design, although when I took the flat last year, I knew just how close we would be. If it made any difference at all, it was probably the one slightly less than ideal thing about an otherwise perfect place to make our home. Not because I have anything against people going cruising - gawd knows I did enough of it myself in my single days - but simply because it can create the odd awkward moment.

Such as this weekend, when we had been playing host to a very good family friend of my Lovely Husband™, and a friend of hers. These two lovely ladies, both retired and genteel, were taking advantage of our proximity to the beauties of nature by having a stroll in the woods next to the house. They were put off, however, by the unusual number of single men wandering around amongst the trees, or standing menacingly in every other clearing. I assured them that they had been in no danger, except perhaps of seeing something they didn't mean to.

There is also an annoying aspect to the proximity of that part of the woods. The place where we live is a bit tight on parking. There is a car park - little more than a bit of wasteland - that sits between the two "action areas", and which used to be open all the time. At some point, a gate has been erected. It gets closed in the evenings, preventing further ingres to most traffic. I suspect cruisers on motorbikes remain unruffled. Cars already parked there are free to leave thanks to a clever one-way barrier. I'm sure at this time of the year, when it stays light so late in the evening, this is as much a pain to other users of the woods - dog-walkers, cyclists, strollers - as it is to the guys who go there to cruise. However, it's even more annoying to us residents, because the cruising guys tend to park in our street, and that can get more than a little irksome, given the limited number of spaces. Last weekend, I noticed that a traffic warden was walking along the street handing out parking tickets, but I wondered at the time how he would distinguish between residents and non-residents.

It's not all cruisers, btw. My parking space has sometimes been nicked by some thoughtless 4wd-endowed parent teaching their offpsring how to respect the environment by running them to school in a car that could probably carry half of their class. Oh, the joys of having a posh private school across the road.

I suspect that the word "thoughtless" in the that previous paragraph was redundant. I don't think you can drive a 4wd car in a city and be anything other than thoughtless.

As might be obvious, to this day I have mixed feelings about the cruising area that's so close to the house. However, this evening it did afford me one of those moments for which I completely forgive all the other stuff. I was popping out to pick up my Lovely Husband™ from the station (he would normally do the stiff 15 minute walk, but was a bit exhausted). En route, I saw a guy heading into the trees. And, heavens, but he was trying just far too hard to look nonchalant. It was comical. He might as well have been wearing a T-shirt that said "Not looking for cock. Honest!" In big, bold letters. Possibly neon. Flashing.

17 comments:

jungle jane said...

i think that living next to a cruising arena would be fantastic if you are the type of person that enjoys window shopping but pretty annoying if you don't.

Have you tried leaving little printed notes on their cars? Pointing out their thoughtless parking theft? You could make one up for the 4WD crowd too pointing out that they are tools.

Or you could walk about the woods taking pictures and then leaving them under the offender's windscreen wiper...

Oh Qenny i am sure there are TONS of fun things you could do with these thrillseekers...

jungle jane said...

oh yes...yayayayay i'm first...

CyberPete said...

I never thought our tiny town would have a cruising area but we do. It's a bit strange considering how few gays are around here.

Still close'ish to where my parents live there is a parking lot next to a big road. I couldn't say I haven't gone but it was mostly just ugly truckers. Why couldn't the forrest across the road have been the cruising area and not the gross toilet on a parking lot.

Must be annoying living that close, although I agree with Jungle Jane about all the hilarious things you could do.

frobisher said...

Get a yellow reflective jacket and a peaked cap and powerfull torch and flush 'em out!
Or a megaphone would be fun - "This is the Police come out of the woods with your pants down"

Dan Project 76 said...

Quenny: Glad to see your hatred for the dreded urban 4x4 vehicles...

I want to make a gay version of Grumpy Old Men for the telly but I have no media connections. I think I could find enough talking heads for it through Blogger alone.

Jungle Jane: You can actually get notes to put on 4x4 windscreens. I never tire of using them! Go to http://www.stopurban4x4s.org.uk and get some for nowt!

Jay said...

You live near a gay cruising area?! Are you boys looking for a nice quiet tenant who erm, won't actually be home very much?

First Nations said...

lived there!
my building was right on the woods. there were smudges every few feet at shoulder height right under my kitchen window. go for a glass of water after dark and my goodness the sound effects!

jungle jane said...

I love that 4WD site!! I am going to print out a bunch of insults for distribution around my area. Although i won't disturb anyone cruising because i rather enjoy spying on them.

I would imagine that cruising the woods in the UK is really just a summer activity?

frobisher said...

No cruising is a year long activity - in fact, snow/rain/floods/drought tend to make it more interesting. Us poofs love a challenge.

Reluctant Nomad said...

Funny that I should read this post on the day I go looking for a site I'd come across before, a site that lists cruising areas all over the world. In case you are wondering why I was looking, it had nothing to do with me wanting to find a cruising ground as I was doing research for a friend. Yeah, right, I hear you say but it's true as I've never hung around cruising grounds or wanted to. I bumped into the friend in the pub last night and he has an unhealthy obsession with glory holes and was wondering if there are any in Nottingham. I said that I'd try find the site as it may have details. Well, it doesn't have specific glory hole info but it certainly lists a lot of information. Some of the places I read about for Nottingham are well-known but I was surpised about how many places there are and where they are. In fact, there's an area known as 'Fuck Alley' about 5 min walk from my flat.

NO, I will NOT be going to investigate especially after reading that the place stinks of urine, it's littered with broken bottles and occasionally raided by the police.

Qenny said...

Jane: thanks for the suggestions. I hadn't considered it as a possible source of deliberate entertainment, and waited for serendipity to presend amusing events like my encounter with Mr Nonchalant. That combined with the fake parking fines - especially given that real traffic wardens have been giving out real parkings fines - might be very entertaining indeed.

Pete: According to my research, courtesy of the extensive video archives of such halls of learning as Falcon, Mustang, Cazzo, etc., truckers and dirty lavatories go together like supermodels and eating disorders. If you want the full-on sweaty dirty trucker experience, you can't expect to have it in pristine surroundings. Or even lovely trees, it would seem. Now if it were a lumberjack fantasy rather than a trucker one ...

frobisher: If I got a yellow reflective jacket, there is a danger they'd think I was doing labourer drag. But I completely agree about cruising being a year long activity. I had a great time one New Year's Eve on Hampstead Heath. In a snow storm. And it was quite busy, too.

dan: thanks for the links. I think I'll have to get some of those and start using them. Liberally. One of the most annoying things about it for me is that I'm more concerned, and I'm not the one who's going to be ashamed when my grandchildren ask me why I ruined the planet they have to live on.

jay: You wouldn't be home much because you'd be down the gym all the time, yes, after losing your argument with the rice? Or does cruising count as cardiovascular exercise these days?

nations: fortunately, I'm out of earshot. And any other sort of shot one might care to mention.

nomad: of course it will stink of wee. That's called ambience, that is!

shiftclick said...

Good Lord. It's a bit sad that humans are so desperate for sex, isn't it...? Every once in a while we'll see a bit on the telly about such places as you describe; the newpeople stalk the poor desperate men and try to get in a photo or two... and then I think our news people are a bit voyeuristic. ::sigh::

CyberPete said...

I didn't really have a filthy trucker fantasy, it was more a case of the only place I knew about. My cicle of friends at the time didn't talk much about where to pick up hunky well endowed lumberjacks let alone anything male. It was more a 'look at how big Anna Nicoles boobs are!' cicle I was in. Tragic but true.

Reluctant Nomad said...

You're right about wee giving it the 'right' ambience - a good reason for me not to frequent such places despite being partial, so to speak, to urinating.

Tickersoid said...

Don't you just hate it, when you're in Picadilly circus and desparate for a piss and can't wait until you get to another toilet and you have to use the stations 'facilites' I mean, even if you are gay, it's hard to just go for a piss without some kind of unwelcome encounter. Like you feel appologetic for just wanting a wazz.

Qenny said...

shifty: I think we are socialised into it. I also think that sexual addiction is the new black.

pete: shame on those friends! No imagination!

nomad: I've had the misfortune to visit saunas (both gay sex venue ones, and regular ones) where people thought it was appropriate or acceptable to pee. Yuck!

tickers: I hadn't realised that Picadilly was still bad that way. The most egregious example of London cottages I ever encountered was in Charing Cross station. It was so blatant! One night there were guys standing two or three deep at one set of urinals, and one of them was being sucked off. It was only the press of bodies behind them that prevented it being obvious to new - and many of them innocent - arrivals into the place.

Anonymous said...

you ok now i think as the heath has taken back most of it's dignity now that a much fewer gays are on the heath... the quality is yucky now there are only old dirty uglies when i was there in my teens it was a DIFFERENT story
i wish only wish you could have experinced my joy excitement and wonder... it was like a different world...fairy land with red lights (faggs!!) like a club
creep for the unknowing but wow did i have fun...oh the good old days
mind i'm only 25 now...lol