Wood in Traditional Building 1: Oak

oak-framing
Pic: Rod Fleming

Wood is, along with stone and earth, one of the principal materials used in the construction of buildings, and particularly older buildings. The principal varieties used are oak, poplar and beech, known as hardwood in UK.  Spruces and pines(softwood in UK) are also much used, especially in new-build.  It is important to have some understanding of the nature of wood, its uses in the older house and some sympathy for its virtues as well as its limitations.

Wood is used in a wide variety of applications, and the most important of these are the support structure for floors; the roof timbers and associated work; and the interior finishing timber. Timber is also used in the construction of interior walls and in many areas in the construction of supporting walls.

There are three timbers commonly found in older buildings in France, namely oak, poplar and pine. Other timbers are often found as parts of outhouses and sheds.

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Continue reading Wood in Traditional Building 1: Oak

Originally posted 2014-02-18 12:54:42.

Is the New Gay Man a failed transsexual?

New Gay Man transFor many years now, the New Gay Man, speaking through activists from Jim Fouratt to Peter Tatchell have claimed that HomoSexual TransSexuals (HSTS) are a form of ‘failed gay man’. But is this true or even a reasonable position to take?

In a recent Twitter conversation a correspondent proposed an alteration to the conventional understanding that placed homosexual men as a subset of HSTS. In other words, she suggested that, far from transitioned HSTS being ‘failures’, all homosexuals are in fact also transsexual but for various reasons some repress or deny this.

It might seem surprising, but I had never considered this inversion, or the implications of it, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made.

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Tele-series, ladyboys and love

tele-series white wedding
The dream of every ladyboy — the white wedding to the perfect Life Partner. Pic: Rod Fleming

March 2016. Jelly I are sharing a studio condo in Maybunga, in Pasig City, Metro Manila. Previously we were in a larger condo and things were much easier. Now the place is like a pressure-cooker.

As ever the television goes on after our morning sex session. This is when I usually try to work and it appears that Jelly has hearing difficulties.

The diet is monotonous. At noon, it’s Showtime, a variety revue hosted by Vice Ganda, a well-known gay performer. Needless to say, Jelly is mesmerised, smiling. There is nothing coming out of the television – even though the volume is full blast. It’s like an anaesthetic.

Curiously, I am reminded of Grampian Television’s ‘One o’Clock Gang’, hosted by Larry Marshall, that was the daily accompaniment to lunch when I was a child. It shows the depth of the penetration; that was 50 years ago and I can still see the faces of Marshall and Andy Stewart in flickering 405-line black and white.


Nothing has changed; The One o’Clock Gang has emigrated and transmogrified into ‘Eat Bulaga’ and ‘Showtime’. But Showtime has a trans anchor. It’s a killer selling point.

The real televisual clue to the lives of ladyboys, however, is in the ‘tele-series’.

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Continue reading Tele-series, ladyboys and love

Originally posted 2017-09-11 19:54:09.

Letter from an American womyn in dystopia.

womynMy dear sister, it is some years since last I heard from you now. I am worried, my dear. There you are, far away, outside the loving matriarchy, where you would be safe and never oppressed. I don’t even know if you receive my messages, but again, as I do every year at this time, I write to you, womyn to womyn.

Today, things are very different from what you had become used to in the years BM (Before Matriarchy). You were used to the not-womyn roaming freely and oppressing womyn at every turn. You were used to them having the vote and a political voice. But the problem was that allowing them a political voice also allowed them to exercise their masculinity and through that their violence. Society could not progress as long as we allowed not-womyn to influence it.

To combat this, it became necessary to strip the not-womyn of executive power and to replace them with womyn. This was always the purpose of the Feminist movement, following the words of the Great Prophet Karl Marx (PBUH) and his Holy Priestess Gloria Steinem.

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Continue reading Letter from an American womyn in dystopia.

Originally posted 2017-11-04 18:59:37.

The Church of Hedonism

funeral
Funeral in Laoag

I’m going to become a Hedonist. No really, I am. Seriously. I am going to join the Church of Hedonism. Yup. Before this happens to me.

Of course, no such church actually exists, and most religions seem to be mainly concerned with stopping people having fun. But anyway. If there isn’t one, I think it’s time we started one.

I am rapidly approaching that watershed in life, the dawn of my seventh decade. I don’t have that much time to waste any more. I quick demographic of my parents’ families suggests that if I remain a non-smoker, keep the drink to a moderate level and eat reasonably healthy food, I have maybe another fifteen years of active life, and another five or so of winding down, before parting the mortal coil and becoming one with the Earth again.

That is not an awful lot of time. And I am beginning to resent every moment of it that is not spent, basically, having fun.

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Continue reading The Church of Hedonism

Originally posted 2013-10-23 03:08:02.

That Must Really Really Sting

gay male bonding
Bonding. Pic: Rod Fleming

A random and I must admit mischievous Google search—the masculine gay male is a fraud—really turned into an eye-opener for me.  I was just amazed how many men seem to have bought into this crap.

Masculine behaviour is no guide to sexual orientation, and never has been.  I spent nearly two decades as a very high level sports photographer, and if it taught me anything it was that sports—in particular contact field sports—while often considered the epitome of masculinity, are about the most strident expression of male homo-eroticism that exists in our culture. I have long since lost count of the number of times I have seen men cuddling, kissing, gazing into each other’s eyes, feeling each other up, rolling around on the ground, you fucking name it—all on a soccer pitch. And rugby? It’s worse. And that’s what goes on in public—let’s not mention what happens inside the dressing-rooms.

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Continue reading That Must Really Really Sting

Originally posted 2013-10-19 23:47:37.

This Must Stop: Cruelty is evil

camel halal must stop
A camel being killed by ‘halal’

I am proud to be a European. Our culture has many faults, yet at the same time it has given the world so much. Science and democracy, equality under law and social inclusion simply would not exist without it. And across culture, art, science, engineering and technology, our culture remains a brilliant star, without which light, we would still be in the Dark Ages. I am very proud and lucky to be a part of that.

Despite this, I believed, for many years, that other cultures were equal.

But I was wrong. Culture is not a level playing field. The very qualities that define Western culture represent a system of morality, which allow us to judge other cultures. And we definitely should judge them.

Continue reading This Must Stop: Cruelty is evil

Originally posted 2013-10-11 11:44:54.

Transsexualism: A position statement

transsexualism-manilaMany people don’t quite understand my position on transsexualism, which is fair enough because I have never stated what that position might be. I have been asked why I talk so much about transsexualism here, in general writing  and on my YouTube Channel. So here we go.

My background is in photography and journalism. I had a scientific education but was always propelled towards practicality, so I studied things that could make money, like photography and journalism (duuh.)  I did consider reading English but then discovered that this was a pathway into academic insanity and it is not  a reliable route into journalism (if you want to be a journalist, study a subject of public interest, like politics, economics, law, medicine…not English. They all assume literacy and if you can’t write to the style of the New York Times, with a reading age of 13, you are too challenged to be a journo.)

I have always been interested in human sexuality, since the time I was at Art School. This was because there, I was exposed to a myriad of different ones. People today forget how open the culture, at least in Scotland, was in the 1980s. New Romance was the big thing, everybody wore mascara and it was rightly called the ‘gayest era ever.’

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Continue reading Transsexualism: A position statement

Originally posted 2017-10-29 15:07:12.

Moser’s mischievous intervention.

mischievous mayhemIn 2009 Dr Charles Moser entered the discussion about Blanchard’s Typology of transsexualism. It is worth revisiting Moser because his mischievous intervention not only hindered the progress of the science of transsexualism, but damaged some people, while favouring others.

As you may know, Blanchard separates male-to-feminine (MtF) transsexuals into those attracted to their own sex from their earliest arousal, and those who are either not attracted to their own birth sex or who develop such an attraction, usually partially, in later life. These are called, using Blanchard’s terminology, ‘HomoSexual Transsexuals’ or HSTS and ‘Autogynephilic Transsexuals’ or AGPs. (We will later quote studies that call the latter ‘non-homosexual’.)


Blanchard’s underlying thesis is that both these forms of transsexualism are stimulated by male sex drive. MtF HSTS are, essentially, seen as extremely feminine homosexual males. This is relatively easy to understand and this type was formerly known as the ‘Primary’ or ‘True’ type. The other type is much more complex and shares an aetiology with fetishistic cross-dressing men. These individuals are romantically or sexually attracted to themselves, but as women.

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Continue reading Moser’s mischievous intervention.

Originally posted 2017-09-10 12:28:09.

Elephants in the Room (and Crocodiles)

They’re the elephants in the room, where relations between transwomen and men are concerned.

Almost without exception, the assertion is made that the men who like transwomen are straight. Yet when you talk to transwomen in private or read their blogs, a very different picture appears. Half at least of men who seek out transwomen far from being straight or anything close, are closet autogynephiliacs (AGP) (and homophobic to boot).


We would not expect honesty from these men about this; after all, look at the lengths they go just to deny their own sexuality and maintain a false façade of hetero-normativity. Their words may be taken with a moderately-sized bucket of salt. But what about the girls? Why do transwomen ever lend credibility to this falsehood? Why don’t they just call these guys out from the get-go?

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Continue reading Elephants in the Room (and Crocodiles)

Originally posted 2013-09-30 15:05:59.

Non-Politically Correct Writing and Photography by Rod Fleming and Guests