The Tempting Traveller Questionnaire.

A highly scientific and independently peer reviewed questionnaire designed to reveal your innermost desires. Please answer all questions honestly and consult the “RESULTS” section for immediate prognosis.

Your ideal destination to take your girlfriend would be:
a) A trip to the Byzantine ruins of course, where you can wonder through together and explore the history.
b) Paris. Good food and conversation on a romantic terrace, shoe shopping, and an elegant hotel where you can both enjoy a long weekend.
c) Anywhere where your girlfriend has to wear as small a bikini as possible, or ideally no bikini at all.

 

In your girlfriends carry on luggage is:
a) A map of the area you’ll be exploring together, along with her favourite book and some local currency.
b) Fendi sunglasses, and a well thumbed copy of The Economist.
c) Three vibrators, 100ml of baby oil and a butt plug.

 

Your girlfriend is watching television whilst you take a work call. On the television is:
a) A David Attenborough documentary.
b) Monty Python.
c) Pornhub (Extreme Squirting 4, one of her personal favourites).

 

You’ve caught her singing in the shower again. Of course it’s:
a) “The Hills are Alive” from The Sound of Music
b) “My Way” by Frank Sinatra
c) A song she wrote herself called “Why I Love Deepthroat”

 

After a long day exploring a new city together, your girlfriend needs:
a) A cuddle and an early night.
b) A hearty meal with a glass of local red wine.
c) Anal.

 

When your girlfriend is on the beach, she’s usually:
a) Reading her book.
b) Riding a jet ski.
c) Enticing strangers with her string bikini.

 

It’s very hot so your lovely girlfriend:
a) Suggests some time wandering inside the museums and galleries.
b) Suggests you stop at a shaded terrace for an Aperol Spritz and a cool down.
c) Suggests you’ll be very impressed with her ability to deepthroat an ice cream.

 

To dinner in the city your girlfriend decides to wear:
a) A pretty summer dress and flip flops.
b) Tight jeans, strappy high heeled sandals, and a white blouse.
c) A see-through top with no bra, a mini skirt with no knickers, and seven inch platform heels.

 

From the gift shop your girlfriend purchases:
a) A postcard with the name of the city on it.
b) Nothing at all – not really her thing.
c) A dildo in the shape of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

 

Your thoughtful girlfriend has called hotel room service to ask for:
a) A fruit salad for you both to share on the balcony.
b) A bottle of ice cold 2010 Dom Perignon with two glasses.
c) Another girl to join you in bed.

 

Your girlfriend can’t get enough of your:
a) Cuddles.
b) Conversation.
c) Cock!

 

Three times a day your girlfriend:
a) Checks the itenary to make sure you’re in schedule.
b) Pulls you to one side for a romantic kiss.
c) Needs a good and thorough seeing to.

 

Your girlfriend is an active member of:
a) The Royal Horticultural Society.
b) The Spectator Wine Club.
c) The Mile High Club, The Orgasm Liberation Front, Nymphomaniacs anonymous.

 

Travelling with your girlfriend is a dream because she’s got:
a) A way of making you feel comfortable and at peace.
b) An adventurous spirit.
c) No gag reflex.

 

Your girlfriend can ski:
a) But prefers the green slopes and apres ski
b) Off piste, black slopes, heli-ski, even backwards! 
c) But prefers being spanked.

 

You open your emails to see your girlfriend has sent you an article titled:
a) 50 Historical walks in Paris
b) 50 Best restaurants in Paris
c) 50 Best kama sutra positions

 

Your evening stroll is made memorable by:
a) A beautiful sunset.
b) Stumbling across a little known local restaurant.
c) Your girlfriend dragging you down an alley for an al fresco blowjob.

 

Your girlfriend loves to surprise you with:
a) Thoughtful gifts she’s made herself.
b) Her spontaneous and adventurous nature.
c) Roleplay, rimming, and BDSM.

 

Your girlfriends favourite Olympic sport is
a) Dressage.
b) Rugby.
c) Riding you.

 

You’ve decided to visit the Vatican. Your girlfriend:
a) Brings her SLR camera so she can adequately capture the beauty of the place.
b) Makes an inappropriate but hilarious joke about the Pope.
c) Tries to shag a priest.

 

A holiday simply wouldn’t be complete for your girlfriend without lots of:
a) Sentimental moments.
b) Memories.
c) Cum.

 

Time to head home. You’re at your gate bur your girlfriend isn’t!
a) She’ll be there soon she’s helping an elderly lady get to her gate first.
b) Oops! At duty free stocking up on Chanel perfume and bubbly.
c) She later emerges from the bathroom dressed as a sexy air hostess.

 

Time to say goodbye. As her taxi arrives, your girlfriend:
a) Gives you a big hug, shedding a tear or two.
b) Gives you a big snog and a squeeze on the bum.
c) Gives you a blowjob in front of everyone in terminal 5!

 

Your phone pings once your girlfriend is safely home:
a) It’s an email from her thanking you for such a wonderful adventure.
b) It’s a whatsapp from her, already suggesting where you should fly to next.
c) It’s a video call, she’s horny again and wants to show you how much she’s missing you.

 

***RESULTS***

Mostly A
You are a GENTLEMAN TRAVELLER.
Intimacy and romance are important to you, you like to cultivate special moments when travelling with your girlfriend. You like your girlfriend to be feminine, sweet and kind hearted, someone to share a cuddle and a coffee with, and someone relaxed and natural to be around. You enjoy the simple things in life and your adoring girlfriend appreciates your old school values and kind heart.

 

Mostly B
You are an ADVENTUROUS TRAVELLER.
A modern man, you love a girlfriend who is versatile, expressive and curious. Making fun memories and enjoying the best cultural and culinary delights are the way you like to spend your time. Spontaneous, sassy, and smart, your dream girlfriend keeps you on your toes and makes your heart race. Never one to blend into the background, your dream girlfriend is confident, funny, and adventurous. 

 

Mostly C
You are a MENACE TO SOCIETY.
Please contact Billie Farlow IMMEDIATELY for further assessment. Perpetually horny and blessed with what you like to call “Joie de Viagra”, you love nothing more than a sexy, liberated girlfriend who loves to tease and please you. Wandering through museums? No! You prefer your wandering hands exploring every inch of your smoking hot girlfriend and she likes it that way! In an ideal world you raunchy girlfriend doesn’t believe in self restraint, modesty, or wearing underwear! This is a serious diagnosis which requires urgent treatment. Billie Farlow has selflessly devised an experimental oral treatment that is said to reduce symptoms by as much as 85%, but you must act quickly to avoid potential transmission.

Vinyl Love

I was born post-vinyl, but if you know me, you know I’m in love with everything 70s. My dream car is an SL of that decade, my ideal home is temple to a midcentury modernist design. I wasn’t there, but I feel I should have been, and whilst I think it’s easy to forget the things that weren’t so great (the conveniences of the Internet are not to be understated!), the things that were great, live on. Vinyl is one of these things: The fastest growing media format, or so I’m told, and such a pleasure to experience. Not every artist benefits from this format (Justin Bieber on vinyl is probably not the best investment,) but anything up to the early 2000’s and everything of quality since then, comes alive in analogue – the crude digital edges rounded off to yield a softer, more subtle sound.

 

Each vinyl is more than a collection of sounds, it’s a tangible thing, a piece of art, a sign of the times. If I think about the new music I enjoy from the last 15 or so years, I couldn’t even tell you what the album covers look like. Nobody cares! Such is the convenience of a Spotify playlist. Another quirk of the vinyl experience is that the inconvenience of skipping tracks or changing records means you are persuaded into listening to a full album. Listening to an album from beginning to end, in the intended order, is like watching the progression of a visual artist in chronological order – the creative is telling you a story. Instead, with digital music we pick out random chapters (our favourite “solo” tracks) and too often disregard album tracks. There are many, many singles I enjoy, and I’m ashamed to say that for most of these I’ve never explored the full album. It somehow seems… like too much of a luxury… too time consuming to sit at home and listen to music and nothing else for a whole half hour. Funny because, we have never lived in more convenient times. You don’t need to cook or clean for yourself. Amazon can deliver anything you want within 48 hours. A map, a recipe, an answer, can be at your fingertips within seconds. And yet, we seem to have less time for leisure. Vinyl forces you to make the time.

 

I’ve got what could be described as a very eclectic collection: Tupac, Tchaikovsky, and Talking heads, Motown, Miles Davis and Marvin Gaye. Music is like food – or sex – you should never confine yourself to enjoying only one thing!

I thought I would share with you, 9 records that I enjoy. It’s really impossible to choose just 9, so I’ll maybe do an update with 9 more next month.

 

A Favourite Poem

“Style.”

– By Charles Bukowski

Style is the answer to everything.
A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing.
To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it.
To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art.

 

Bullfighting can be an art.
Boxing can be an art.
Loving can be an art.
Opening a can of sardines can be an art.

 

Not many have style.
Not many can keep style.
I have seen dogs with more style than men,
although not many dogs have style.
Cats have it with abundance.

 

When Hemingway put his brains to the wall with a shotgun,
that was style.
Or sometimes people give you style.
Joan of Arc had style.
John the Baptist.
Christ.
Socrates.
Caesar.
García Lorca.

I have met men in jail with style.
I have met more men in jail with style than men out of jail.
Style is the difference, a way of doing, a way of being done.
Six herons standing quietly in a pool of water,
or you, naked, walking out of the bathroom without seeing me.

 

— Charles Bukowski

LDN – EAS – BCN

A fantastic 2 weeks exploring London, Barcelona, and the Basque Country. A very special experience.

 

Thank you ❤️

Random Thoughts

First things first: having finally endured the most anticlimactic penetration of my life, I can now proudly say I’m 50% of the way towards being vaccinated. What do I get in return? Extra freedoms? The right to roam country to country? VIP Formula 1 tickets? …No, all you receive in return is a superiority complex and a sticker that looks like it was designed by a graphics intern (it probably was).

 

But now onwards and upwards (as it were) to new adventures. I’m now packing for my 2nd away date in as many months and am so excited to visit one of my all time favourite places – the beautiful island of Mallorca. How I love this place! They have some of the most romantic and gorgeous resorts. My favourite island in Europe and a beautiful country where seemingly infinite sunshine, good food, and luxurious surroundings reside. Longer dates are such a pleasure, with a good plan and great company these become life-long memories. With restaurants finally back in London, it has been a pleasure to reacquaint myself with the pleasure of conversation and flirtation over dinner. Yum!

 

Things are all well on planet Billie. A project I started as a folly has taken off, so I’m now splitting my spare time between being your adoring girlfriend and working as a writer. It’s taking a while to adjust as it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day, and I’m somewhat out of the practice of writing regularly. Writing is a use it or lose it skill – 4 years ago I could turn out a truly impressive amount of work – pages and pages of creative writing per day, so I’m trying to get back to that. At that point I didn’t own a TV and didn’t have any social media, and I’ve noticed that since getting these things (somewhat predictably) my productivity has gone down, so I’m just trying to get the balance right between being an international bad girl, this project, and my leisure time. I’ve sadly had no time for golf, but of course I’m still at the gym at 7am like a mad woman and cooking away as I find cooking and sharing my food very therapeutic.

 

I was lucky enough to enjoy a sunny day at the beach (Chichester – West Wittering a lovely beach with fine sand and a lot of burnt people! Luckily I come ready-tanned so I don’t burn- I just become even more deliciously chocolatey than before) before the storm came. Such a funny trip with my girlfriend – we are such London ladies we arrived at Chichester Station with our Panama hats and sun dresses on, expecting to get an uber to the beach, and soon realised the conveniences of London begin declining rapidly the moment you get outside the M25. 40 mins and a long walk later, we somehow managed to get to the beach. I miss beaches! I’m definitely made for sunshine. I’ve got horrendous taste in cocktails (Pina Colada, Tequila Sunrise – I know not very sophisticated and enough sugar to turn you diabetic… but so delicious!) I like my big cold cocktail, beach bag with 1000 things in it (I don’t know how but its always full!), a good book (I’ve got a Kindle, which I’ll try and use for the first time as I much prefer print but I realise in buying new books I’m probably not helping the planet (she says – about to take a gas guzzling flight to Spain – I know, I know. Still, nobody is perfect, I’m doing my best…), also some nice big sunglasses and a sexy bikini. I have two distinct looks for the beach: One is Bond Girl, the other is Playboy Bunny – just depends on my mood/ location/ my company. Do I go for the jet black designer swimsuit with the big sun hat and dark glasses? Or the teeny sparkly pink bikini that’s almost invisible from the back. It’s your choice of course! I enjoy both!

 

Now I’ve grabbed your attention with the thought of me in a bikini, dare I talk about politics? What are we thinking? I have the following 5 questions.

 

1. When is this nightmare of lockdown going to end?
2. When are interest rates going to go up?
3. How long are we going to be paying for all this furlough/ eat out to help out/ sabotage of our own economy?
4. Boris being incompetent is a given. But who shall replace him?
5. Now we’ve left the EU, will the cost of champagne go up and will one of you please marry me so I can get an EU passport? (I’m joking obviously… unless you want to 🤣)
BONUS QUESTION: Is this cryptocurrency thing here to stay?

 

Okay so I’m not exactly Jeremy Paxman (speaking of which – I wonder what he’s up to I haven’t seen him on TV in a long time. Jeremy if you’re reading this I’ve always fancied you let’s go to Capri where we can drink aperol spritz and talk about life). Anyway… I feel there is a nonsensical, hypocritical whif hanging round this whole lockdown. The G7 can swan around a “garden BBQ” hugging and feasting on suckling pig and single malt. Large sporting events can still take place, and yet… I can’t go on a short haul holiday even if I’m vaccinated. Those of us blessed with the gift of common sense know a con when we see one. I fully believe these events should take place, I just believe we should all enjoy the same freedoms, not one rule for some and another for others. I acknowledge that I’m massively fortunate to still be travelling – I’m a free spirit – I’m grateful to meet people who share my passions. I like to have adventures, to enjoy the best of life and luxury – I shall not be told by anyone that I must stay put*

 

*Well, I confess when the mood takes me I’m quite into being tied up and held down, but I digress…

 

As for crypto. It’s a tricky one because I know an equal amount of people who think it’s the next biggest thing, as I do people who won’t go anywhere near it. There are areas of my life where I enjoy large amounts of risk. I love excitement, a gamble (you’re speaking to a woman who once jumped in the back of a moving truck (the driver didn’t notice) in the middle of France with intentions of jumping off whenever it ended up. My stint as a parasitic hitch hiker was of course fantastically risky experience, and yes, I enjoy elements of living on “the edge”). But I suppose my life savings are not one of those areas! I don’t like the idea that if Elon Musk is having a bad day and decides to mouth off on Twitter, the value of the currency in your wallet can go down. I am sure he deliberately says certain things to rig the market. I think as high profile vocal individuals invest heavily in these things, we must ask ourselves do we trust these people more than our governments (who we can at least decide to remove through elections). What I mean is: Boris would never for example go on the news and say something he knew would crash the value of the £, then buy a lot of £ at the new lower value, then say something something could inflate the £, and sell it at a high. Not only would he not do this – but in real terms it’s impossible impossible do (and illegal, and even if it were legal, everybody would vote him out at the first opportunity. In modern democracies it’s now easier to oust our leaders, than it is to get rid of the “entrepreneur” who has a complete monopoly on goods and services we need daily. So who is really in charge?

 

Yes, it’s a “Free market” and we “Vote with our feet” but what is the real alternative to Google or Amazon in today’s world? For the researcher who needs quick access to thousands of studies worldwide, what is life without Google? To the disabled individual who needs good delivered to their door, what is life without Amazon? Even the most efficient process of searching for an alternative, involves Google. I’m not worried as I hope to be retired in the Bahamas by the time it all kicks off, but something about all this doesn’t “feel” right. Companies like Amazon and Google particular, are dangerously close to being essential services. If Google, and their affiliated companies disappeared overnight, large parts of the world would come to a standstill. For this reason, I doubt if it came to it, governments would allow these companies to fail because of the magnitude of employment and convenience (although conveniently for them, not tax) they provide). Billie! I hear you exclaim. You are becoming more liberal! No, I wouldn’t say so… just using my brain more. Is it really a free market if a company has a monopoly and is so big and powerful that your tax money would almost definitely be used to save it should it collapse. Why their company and not yours? Because the smaller companies are rarely saved, and larger ones usually are, this further compounds the monopoly. And I know, collapse seems unlikely… but as I walk past a derelict 100,000 square foot retail unit (formerly known as Topshop) I’m reminded that nothing lasts forever.

 

However, there is nothing to stop private individuals exercising their “free speech” in a way that manipulates the market to their advantage. I don’t particularly like Elon Musk (of all the big players he’s my least favourite, Jeff Bezos is of course by far the best one. Jeff, if you’re reading this, you’ll be pleased to know if you order me before 2pm I can arrive the same day) and I don’t really trust the man not to do something reckless because unfortunately the thing about people who enjoy disrupting markets is that they rarely limit this habit to behaviours that directly benefit you. Musk said Tesla would accept Bitcoin- which was a great confidence boost for that market. Then 2 weeks later he decides Tesla will no longer accept Bitcoin- causing a 15% crash in B.Coin value. I mean really? This is supposed to be a viable currency? I appreciate that inflation and so on are a sticking point with traditional currencies (funny story a gentleman I know asked me if I know why a £ was called a Pound and I replied (correctly) that it was because a Pound, used to be a literal pound in weight of gold. He told me no one in his investment team had known the answer to this question, and I (correctly) replied that this is why women should rule the world. Anyway, my point is, if you compare what it initially was, to the value of a pound of gold now, it’s clear to see how inflated the pound has become, so sure, traditional currencies have their faults), but still. Can you imagine £100 in your bank becoming £85 overnight because one man made one inconsequential business decision? I’d rather spend the night at a casino, where at least the crippling weight of my own stupidity can be drowned out by copious glasses of ice cold champagne.

 

So anyway I have to get to the hairdressers and I’m sure you’ve had enough of me and my many opinions! Back to Billie in a bikini: I am only travelling with gentlemen who can cover my tests and quarantine on return. So if you would like 1-4 days let’s wait until things are a little more open. 5 days+ please get in touch, I am waiting for you 🙂 Life is busy for me at the moment so I am being very choosy. I’m sure you’re choosy too so – here’s to having the luxury of choice – life’s most precious commodity 🥂

 

Big kiss and hugs,

Billie x

 

PS: Some of this blog is a joke. Hopefully you get it.

Lisbon

A pleasure to accept this invitation. A magical few days, thank you!

For the love of Silk

Silk is one of my favourite fabrics – sensual,  soft, and delicate on the skin. A big trend for this summer is beautiful bright prints on delicate silk scarves to be worn around the neck or as a head scarf – thanks to some generous gentleman for indulging me – I love these! xxx 

The Art of Travel

Okay, so I’ve stolen the title for this blog from one of my favourite books by philosopher Alain De Botton. It’s easy during times like these to look back at previously “normal life” with rose tinted glasses – leisure travel has been prohibited for so long that it’s become the stuff of legends: accepting the complimentary glass of champagne before your flight takes off, stuffing 4 days worth of shoes and bikinis into a carry on, dining al fresco in a country where sunshine is guaranteed… the travels I used to tale for granted have become something of a wet dream – but one which I intend on realising very soon, and I know you will be desperate to get our travels starting again as well!


My favourite memories of travel are always the moments that have been unplanned and unexpected: The time I booked a flight to the wrong country by accident and went with it anyway and ended up in a Swiss piano bar with someone who became a great friend. The time I befriended a shop assistant in Rome and she invited us to have dinner at the most stunning private villa (her boyfriend was a chef there). That time I pretended I could swim (less 3 years ago now) so I could accept an invite to go diving in Egypt – I took daily lessons and learned in 10 days. I pretended I could ski to accept a skiing invite also (“how hard can it be” I thought – that was until I was stood at the top of a mountain in Chamonix!! That year was my first season and I’ve enjoyed it ever since, although admittedly, the skiing is more of a means of transport to get to the promised land of melted cheese, charcuterie, hot tubs and red wine, than the main event for me). Then there was the time I tried to climb a particularly rocky mountain in flip flops, one of which snapped on the way down so I ended up sliding down on my bum. Oh and Madrid – I went by myself a couple years back (short escapes from the pace and pomp of London are very necessary to keep things in balance). I was minding my own business enjoying some tapas when I was rather aggressively perused by a swinging couple (not at all my thing, and also he seemed considerably more keen than she did). The evening was a whirlwind of live jazz, sangria, and roof bars.

 

I find the more you step out of your comfort zone, the more likely you are to experience magical moments. People often remark of others with interesting lives “oh you’re so lucky”, but having an open mind isn’t luck, and in many cases it’s a learned behaviour. How can one expect to have extraordinary experiences if you keep to an ordinary routine? I watched a film last night called Harrison Bergeron (1995), which is based on a book of the same name that was written in the 60’s by Kurt Vonnegut. The premise is a dystopian future, where the government is so obsessed with the idea of “equality” that attractive people are disfigured by the state, more intelligent people have their intelligence stunted etc – slightly Orwellian, and the type of thing I normally like. Well, the bad new is the film was absolutely awful which is why you’ve never heard of it. But one thing I did find poignant, was a moment in the film where the protagonist manages to hack the television system and broadcast to everyone living in this brainwashed state. He tells them there’s another way, a way of interesting experiences, of jazz, of a creative interesting life.

 

In the film despite this broadcast, the majority of people nod politely and go back to their regular lives, with just 1% of people considering that perhaps things don’t need to be as mediocre as they currently are. I thought this was a great metaphor for the pandemic: despite the most overt sign in living history that life is short, that we should do all those things we said we will do “one day”, the truth is 99% of people are already comfortably settling back into their pre-pandemic lives, and have shrugged off this massive event. The pandemic has been such a catalyst of change for me – new location, started a small business which is going well, and all manner of other things, that is seems absurd that such a massive event has for most people been nothing more than a temporary distraction from their dayjob. How boring!


Anyway I’m rambling on as usual. Being succinct is not one of my strong points, I’m working on it! Moral of the story: passport ready, let’s do it!

 

Love!
Billie x

Billies Kitchen

It’s no easy job being a goddess in the kitchen but somebody’s got to do it. A big thank you is in order – to a generous gentleman who has sponsored by butchery class and cooking school in Paris – I am very grateful! x

Below are a few plates I have created at home.

(From top Left)

Billie the butcher; Gorgonzola, fig, and prosciutto crostini with thyme and a honey balsamic glaze; Norwegian King Crab, with garlic butter and smoked paprika mayo; Thai (inspired) noodle soup, made with my 6hr chicken stock; Oven baked prawn spring rolls with home made sweet chilli sauce; Lamb shish kebab with garlic yoghurt, and homemade flatbreads; BBQ pork ribs in sticky glaze with purple slaw; Turkish baked eggs; Langoustine (bought live – they’re very pretty!) half grilled with garlic and olive oil, half grilled with smoked paprika, aioli; Lamb Noisette with minted yoghurt; Canned octopus (bought) with home made truffle crisps and jambon; Salad of bresaola, rocket, tomato, with garlic breads; “Egg and chips”: Oscietra caviar with creme fraiche, chive and French fries; Gambas Pilpil; Marmalade and Szechuan pepper pork belly with thyme; French onion soup; Griddled paprika black tiger prawns with red pepper and feta salsa.

Bon Appetit!

Billie xx

Vaccinated, Hydrated, Lubricated.

If you’re wondering how I’m doing, I’m doing the same as I was last week. And the week before that… and the week before…

 

Having lived now for almost a year in conditions that can loosely be described as an open jail, I have adjusted fully into my new lifestyle: I go for runs, I masturbate furiously (my fantasies having changed from sordid affairs with senior politicians, to a new fantasy: foreign travel without someone having to stick a cotton bud up my nose first, maskless trips to the supermarket, eating a meal I haven’t had to cook, etc). I plan my meals, wash my hair, allow myself small luxuries (a manicure and pedicure can be obtained, secretly, even in times like these). I read The Economist, live in an almost never ceasing uniform of bathrobes and silk negligees, I read (currently reading The 48 Laws of Power), I watch copious True Crime documentaries, sip copious cups of mint tea, I complain to anyone who will listen that this time last year, I was galivanting around Venice, feasting on steaming plates of seafood pasta, and quaffing peach bellini at alarming pace. When I’ve finished complaining, I go for a walk – perhaps around Hyde park, and consider the virtues of perhaps getting a dog (a greyhound, the only dog worth having). Back home, another cup of tea. What now? Do the laundry (I want to get a cleaner but because I’m British, I’m too embarrassed), turn on the news (Newsflash: We’re all doomed), write or develop a few recipes. And on and on and on it goes, for so long that I almost forget that in normal times, I’m an international, (un)professional bad girl, who does everything she can to never have “normal” times.

 

I’m a shadow of my former self. I wear flat shoes. I’ve started listening to Rod Stewart. Oh the humanity! However, you can take the girl from the luxury, but you absolutely cannot take the luxury from the girl. In my little corner of Marylebone, champagne is still popping, Michelin star meals are still being had, travel plans are (tentatively) being made, pleasures of all kinds are being given, received, and enjoyed. I think I am someone who could be on a desert island or on a mountain or anywhere else, and still be able to find my pleasures – no matter how simple. The richness of sensuality and imagination mean you can find luxury and joy almost anywhere. That said – travel can’t come soon enough. To make matters all the more frustrating, it would appear everyone I know in America is living a totally normal and free life. It’s a bit like when you go to the cinema during the day and when you exit you’re all blurry eyed and disoriented – you are having your little experience whilst the rest of the world goes on as normal. As friends overseas brag frequently of beach clubs, tasting menus, and weekends away, it seems almost absurd that I’m having to smuggle in a hairdresser to keep some semblance of a polished appearance. I now identify as Julian Assange, often peeking through a gap in the curtain waiting for an Amazon parcel, the end of the plague, redemption… anything!

 

I will create a master list of destinations I’d like to visit, but have become absolutely obsessed with this Instagram profile I stumbled across called “margitviews” which is simply a compilation of beautiful small hotels around the world – with many in Italy and Spain. https://www.instagram.com/margitviews/?hl=en-gb. I would love to go to Portafino, Amalfi, Majorca (have been but would love to return), Sardinia, Croatia, long overdue another Paris trip… Then there’s Marrakech, Safari (I love the look of Singita), St Lucia, Iceland, Lisbon, San Sebastien, my favourite little island in Greece, Paxos… the list goes on! The tentative travel companion emails that have reached me have been so gratefully received, and rest assured you shall be on sun lotion duty (lucky you!) the moment travel is possible.

 

I’m not yet vaccinated, but have to be honest, I’ve never been more excited to get something in me (despite what I may have told you in bed). Hopefully this will happen soon! In the meantime, I am enjoying adventures closer to home and as well as a little project I started a little under a year ago (which is going not amazingly, but very well), I’m also at the very beginning of my stocks and shared debut. Doing a lot of reading, and also benefitting from some fantastic mentorship from people who are experienced in this field. I feel immensely intimidated by starting (took me 3 weeks just to set up my Interactive Brokers account!) but I suppose learning from experience is the way most things work. I hate things I don’t understand, as being intelligent is probably the thing I like about myself the most. Starting the investment process as a verified “dumdum” is a humbling experience, but one I’m embracing.

 

Post-Spanish Flu, Kissinger called for a “return to normalcy”. I say, why return to normalcy, when you can return to a life of gastronomy, golf, and… er… well I cant think of another word beginning with “G” but I’m sure you get the picture. Speaking of golf – my lessons resume next week. I haven’t picked up a club in a long time, haven’t kept up with my putting at home, so am somewhat apprehensive at returning to the course (although that doesn’t stop me booing at the screen whilst watching The Masters, as if I could do any better!). Other than my fitness, golf is going to be my focus this year. I want a handicap that I don’t feel embarrassed about by the end of the year and know it’s really just a case of me putting the hours in. Annoyingly where I learned before had a great range but no course, whereas my current club has a course but a terrible range – I say to my pro we could just find a quiet bit of Hyde Park and tee off there – but he didn’t think it was a good idea. Anyway, so much to do and so little time, so I’ll be off and hope to see you soon! I know you are as itching to travel and dine out again as I am, so please remember to make a date in advance if you can – my diary is waiting eagerly for your invitation.

 

Until we meet again – remain and vaccinated, hydrated, and I’ll be sure to keep things lubricated!

 

Big kiss and a hug,

 

Billie x

Gourmet Girlfriend

(From my kitchen this month)

I am cooking a lot of seafood: scallop, prawn, crab etc (there is a lot of excellent shellfish around due to the issues the fishermen are having with trade), trying to make my recipes lighter as we head into spring. The dishes below are all my own original recipes – I am always cooking food which is very fresh, flavourful, and vibrant. I like to cook plates that are easy to share and easy to enjoy over conversation with a glass of wine.

 

Scottish King Scallops with nduja and green salsa. Confit garlic. Salad of blood orange, bresaola, black olive and feta. Baked Portobello Mushroom with mozzarella and nduja. Crab Cakes with dill creme fraiche and oscietra caviar. Black Tiger Prawn, chive, aioli. Conference pear, roquefort and endive salad with candied walnuts. Red Massaman tiger prawn curry with wild rice. Prawn Baggie with potatoes, spring onion, pink peppercorn, and fennel pesto. Burrata and tomato Tacos.

Car Tales

Above: The worlds smallest pair of denim shorts and I, stumble across a lovely little Classic Car show (Southampton, mostly American Cars)
Dream cars and observations.

Aston Martin
Okay so I’ve never been a fan of Aston Martin. There’s something about the brand… I feel in more recent years they’ve always stopped one detail short of creating a truly iconic “it” roadcar. An “it” car doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to have that thing people can’t resist. Part of the joy of driving a beautiful car is (whether you’d like to admit it or not) knowing that everyone else wants your car. The resale on most Astons are so terrible that you can’t help but be reminded that actually, most people don’t want your car (sorry!). If you hadn’t guessed, yes, my least favourite ex boyfriend drove an Aston and I’ve detested the car ever since.

Sometimes I wonder if my sense of humor comes across well in writing or not.
Anyway…

I’ve been to many car shows and dined outside many a nice restaurant and strutted through the driveway of many a nice hotel and you just never see someone stopping to take a photo of an Aston. Then – admittedly late to the party – I recently decided to watch every James Bond film from the beginning. The magic of this car became apparent. This car isn’t about getting your balls out for everyone to have a look at – it’s a beauty but it’s also a classy car.

All cars are comparable to women. This car is a classy understated woman with a pretty face who only wears silk, has no arse and never eats carbs. If you’re a man of ego, forget it. Get the one with the big fat, er, spoiler at the back and a massive pair of, er, headlights at the front. Pick a Lamborghini or something. The Lambo is a true slut of a car – and in this there are limitations. But if you are looking for something elegant, the Aston – The Aston is the one!

Rolls Royce Dawn Black Badge

There are very few things worth squandering your children’s inheritance on. Obviously, I’m one, and the other is this car. This is the one you turn up to dinner in. There’s only 2 things that belong in the passenger seat – nothing at all, or a hot woman in 6 inch heels and sunglasses (hi there!). It was a toss up between this and the Bentley GT, but the rolls wins because on one of those long beautiful roads (preferably in France)…

Actually having imagined the scenario I have changed my mind. Bentley Continental GT is is. Back to that long road in France (if they let us in after Brexit). So there’s not much room for luggage once you’ve crammed 2 cases of champagne in the back – nevermind, I’ll save on wardrobe space by not wearing any underwear. Handles a corner better than Theirry Henry and looks 10x as good. I’m thinking black with a black interior but “all black” is so 2005 so keep the chrome detail, and perhaps a little colour – I’m noticing many cars are offering the “Hermes” orange interior these days… is it too daring? Of course not – you’re in a Bentley, duh!

Land Rover (Mid 70’s)
So you’ve probably ascertained by now, that yes I am predictable in some ways – who DOESN’T like chocolate, beach holidays, and morning sex (preferably all on the same day)? But in other ways, I do like to do my own thing and go my own way. I don’t want to have the same boring things everyone else has. The Land Rover… you can’t argue that it’s a great car but it’s a bit, dare I say, “John Lewis” these days. The quality is undeniable but unless you’ve really specced the thing up then the Land Rover is no longer the panty-dropper it used to be. However, I absolutely LOVE the old ones. I love a 70’s silhouette in a car- everything from the Capri, to the old Ferraris to that car from Knight Rider. Anyway this for me is a stunning car and I’ve been to a few car shows where I’ve seen some which are immaculately restored. I’ve not seen the restored ones, or any 70’s one at all anywhere else – you just don’t see these around. Which makes me want one even more! Even that mustard colour with the tan interior (very of the time) appeals to me. Me, you, suitcases in the back and and leisurely drive to the New Forest for a weekend romp an Limewood Hotel (my current favourite country hotel). Vroom vroom!

Mercedes SL (mid 70’s)
Okay so you’re wondering why if I could pick ANY vintage Mercedes, why I wouldn’t go for the Gullwing, or the Pagoda. I don’t really have an answer other than that despite knowing it’s perhaps the least celebrated of the three (some might say the least pretty too)… I just adore it. I’ve been in a fair few and I quite like that it’s (and I mean this with fondness and respect) a really good woman’s car. It’s not too big, it’s racy, timeless… that mahogany dashboard and that elegant, slim steering wheel. I remember enjoying this car with a friend who has a large collection of mostly American classic cars but also 2 of these Mercedes. We were driving just past Marble Arch on a sunny day with the roof down and at the traffic light pulled up a couple of young guys in the sort of silly supercar you have to be under 25 to like. “Wow man!” They said to Mr Driver “Wow man what car is that, that car is so cool!”. I remember him turning to me as we pulled away and saying “You see Billie – some people have plenty money but no imagination”. I thought about this a afterwards. That being able to afford nicer things should afford you so many more options, yet most people still only consider the same small pool of options – the things that everyone else has because if given the choice most people would rather be recognised than interesting.

The final car is a real toss up between two lifestyles – do we go for something practical – the car you can fit 3 suitcases and 2 kids in – the Bentayga, the RR Cullinan? I’ve been in both and that Cullinan is like driving down the street in an Emirates 1st class cabin, with the the most graceful drive imaginable – you could literally run someone over and not realise, so deliciously responsive is the suspension – and given the price of the thing you can likely afford the subsequent lawsuit. It’s also the only car where if you did run someone over they’d probably use their last breath to thank you for the experience.

Or are we going for a truly flashy ostentatious super car – the Lambo, Bugatti, or Maserati – perhaps in lime green or wrapped in gold?

Well… these are dream cars after all.

Sexy, slender, and curvy with the best looking backside on any given street – but that’s enough about me, my final option is the Lamborghini Venemo. I know, I know you’re thinking Billie. Really?! The answer is yes! Like I said, cars are like women, variety is the spice of life. You don’t want a Lambo all the time. No one is going to funeral in a Lamborghini Venemo (although, I would!). But I believe in embracing your inner child and this car is an exercise of what I like to call “boyerism”. A Boyeur is one who embraces their inner boy. It’s okay to leave some space between the Art galleries and The Economist App for a silly car, a little rock and roll. Mine would be the typical yellow and I’d have a silly number plate too: “B1LL3” or something.

My Never Ever car:
My worst car experience. Actually… my worst car experience was when I was learning to drive in the countryside and I swerved to avoid a pigeon and drove the car into a ditch. I’d worn heels (because in a battle between glamour and intelligence, glamour won) and so had to crawl on my hands and knees out of the car and up the side of horse-manure coated ditch in Louboutins. I screamed the whole time and the people in this little village (Swaton, in Lincolnshire – I guess not much happens there) thought it was hilarious.

But I digress. The worst car in circulation is without a doubt the Jaguar Mk2.
It’s a long story but at my first ever car auction I ended up being in the passenger seat of an old one of these driving back. This particular car was rare: all original, one owner, all the paperwork and something like 3000 miles (which to a car collector is a bit like having an orgasm at precisely the same time your team wins the FA cup).

It was the worst journey of my life (and that’s saying something because I’ve been one of 7 tipsy girls squeezed onto the back of a half-broken tuktuk in Thailand, and I’ve also been in a hot air balloon with a friend who got their balloon licence by cheating on the test). Recounting this experience is so stressful I’ve poured myself a glass of champagne to cope with my emotions. This car had: No power steering. Meaning… turning the wheel is like trying to turn a wheel that’s buried in half dried cement. Oh and no seatbelts! Because nothing gets a woman wet like a near-death experience on the M25! Apparently on these historical cars it is perfectly legal not to have them. Even on the motorway! No side/wing mirrors – who needs to see what’s going on behind them anyway! A gear stick so stiff you needed 2 hands to move it, and the front seat is a bench so as you turned corners (each corner is like risking your life as you’re acutely aware that you can’t see what’s behind you – and FYI you never get used to how terrifying this is), if you’re medium or light weight – given the total lack of seat belt and the bench seat – you find yourself sliding horizontally across the seat into the lap of the driver! Intermittently the breaks would just stop working – meaning if you were driving towards traffic your options were to slow down to a snails pace (because also if it stopped completely you had no idea if it would start again(!)) Or alternatively turn onto a side road and drive round the block – over and over. Absurd!

Opening the door for the first time, my nostrils were rudely violated by the acrid whiff of dead people (or as car enthusiasts call it, “Lovely old car smell”). To clarify: yes, I do usually quite enjoy an orifice or two being rudely violated but this was, unfortunately, a far cry from being bent over a desk in the Four Seasons. The smell alone should have served as a big enough hint that this thing is more or less a coffin on wheels, but alas, I ignored the obvious signs and allowed myself to be driven to a fate worse than death in a car that somehow managed to assault every single one of my senses.

This vehicle is a Boris Johnson: a bumbling idiot of a car; it’s obvious and apparent flaws only made more frustrating by the fact that everyone seems to love it anyway. “What a lovely car” people remark in the streets, seemingly not noticing that you’re hanging onto the window for dear life.

It’s one thing to feel that a car is unsafe, it’s quite another to feel like the car itself is committed to taking your life (and quickly at that). To this day I’m convinced this was a sophisticated attempt to kill me, but luckily for you, dear reader, I live to fight another day! 😂

Phew – off for another remedial champagne – see you soon!

Billie xxx