I’m a Leather not a Fighter

I love everything to do with leather. The look, the feel, the smell… both in my wardrobe and in the bedroom. I’ve spent years, lovingly amassing the most outrageous collection of quality goods. I love everything from quality leather shoes (Chelsea boots on men being a particular favourite), leather belts, watch straps, and wallets, to the beautiful patina on old leather furniture, the immaculately stitched interior of a luxury car, or the buttery soft leather of a driving glove. Leather bound books, and even a mans belt or washbag can catch my eye. I’m a tactile person and appreciate quality. I remember as a guest at Rolls Royce HQ, being shown how they pick out the leather for their cars – the tiniest of blemishes rendering that piece of leather useless. In my wardrobe, I have numerous leather leggings and skirts, jackets, gloves, and of course… I am partial to a handbag or two 😊

 

In the bedroom, I enjoy the BDSM aesthetic (amongst many others!). Dressing for sex is am erotic experience for me. Like strappy, minimal leather outfits, that leave little to the imagination whilst simultaneously making the imagination run wild. My favourite brand for this type of thing is Anoeses, who have made me several things in the past, including some of the outfits in my gallery. I love the feeling on my skin, it’s a beautiful, sensual fabric that has personality – it can be cold and stiff, or warm and soft. If you know me, you know I also absolutely adore leather boots. My favourite brand (Casadei) makes the most elegant, sexy heels (no zip, or elastic, just one long seamless boot with the most fine and sexy killer heel). Of course these can be worn in a very provocative way, but even with fitted jeans and a blouse they look amazing.  I love being in a nice bar, with my legs stretched over your lap in super high heeled boots and having my legs stroked through the leather. So sexy! I have also made some of my own leather pieces, which have been a labour of love – items that I have worked by hand and now no longer wear as I don’t want to ruin them.

 

I notice leather details everywhere I go – in Heckfield Place (my favourite country hotel), they have a cinema, where the seats are a gorgeous hand stitched tan leather and made by Ferrari. Sometimes when I get a new handbag I (possibly this is a bit strange!) enjoy smelling the new leather. I love interiors and in choosing the couch for my living space, spend months, searching some something vintage and very worn with a nice patina. Old upholstered furniture, that has gained softness and character with age, is a simple pleasure. Beautiful things for me, are things that exist in more than one dimension. Of course I enjoy things which are great to look at – but I also enjoy things that as well as being attractive, also smell good, are pleasant to touch, and are a joy to be in the presence of (a bit like me 😉!).

 

Here’s to a love for leather!

 

Billie x

Billie’s Kitchen

Cooking today –

My own recipe: Rack of lamb, marinated in rose harissa and orange blossom honey, minted couscous, tzatziki, heritage carrots, roasted onions. This was my first time cooking a full rack of lamb, so with no recipe to hand I had to judge the timing by eye and intuition. Pleased to say it was cooked to exactly right (just pink and very moist!) Normally when I finish trying a new recipe there is something I wish to change next time, but in today’s case I am very pleased – everything was perfectly cooked and perfectly balanced. This week I am cooking all recipes from my imagination, and am having a lot of fun plating everything beautifully and putting my dishes together.

Ortus

Sometimes a poem will come to me fully formed in my head, usually first thing in the morning, and feels more like a dictation of thought than an act of creativity. This one happened when I woke up this morning, just before by 6am alarm (waking up minuites before my alarm is my superpower, which admittedly, as far as superpowers go, is fairly useless). I reached for my phone (does anyone own a pen anymore?) and wrote this – the first draft. “Ortus” is Latin, for “Sunrise”.

Ortus

 

A hazy dream at 6:02
With memories hanging
Damp like dew
I had a moment
Sad and blue I

 

Thought about you this morning.

 

Of passionate kisses
Rough romance
Of meeting when we have the chance
Of heartbeats like a
Desperate dance I

 

Thought about you this morning.

 

The scent of your
Cologne and hair
The smells that lingered in the air
Time flew so fast it felt
Unfair I

 

Thought about you this morning.

 

Of groping hands
And steady pace
Of sex transcending time and space
Of conversation
Guilt
And grace I

 

Thought about you this morning.

 

You’d sit and smoke
And pour a whisky
Ponder life and
Try and kiss me.
‘Wonder if you even miss me

 

Thought about you this morning.

 

BF

 

Park Life

Making the most of the glorious weather! Love working out at the park and have recently added skipping to my workouts!

The gift of Glass

So happy with this thoughtful gift of my favourite champagne, some things for golf, and the Zalto wine glasses that I had been wanting for some time. The impossible force of my clumsiness, paired with the immovable object of fragility of these glasses means I shall definitely be keeping them for special occasions only (you only have to look at them too strongly and they shatter!). As you may know, I adore beautiful glassware – both fine glass and crystal. Zalto is the epitome of my own philosophy – a small brand, doing only what they know they can do excellently, at the highest possible quality… I shall very much enjoy drinking out of these! 

What’s your flavour?

Going through my wardrobe in preparation for some lovely upcoming lunch and dinner dates (please excuse messy room/shabby appearance, even Billie has a day off sometimes!)

 

Anyway, I love this new dress – its in a linen fabric and so cute and flattering with nice heels! But then also love these trousers which I had tailored for me to get the perfect fit. What style do you prefer? I love dressing up and always take (sensible!) input from you into consideration for our lunch or dinner dates. Can’t wait!

 

B xxx

Live Performances I Love.

You sort of know before she opens her mouth that this is going to be good. The band is reassuringly big, the set is reassuringly simple, and by the time you reach 3:10, you’re telling yourself you definitely won’t be attempting this one in the shower! Not many artists have the vocal range to fuse soul and opera, and make it look easy, even adding wordless humor into her performance. Many vocalists of this ilk lose their voice after time, but Jill is one of my favourites for having retained her power. When you watch an artist perform a love song, they wrote themselves, perform with soul, and grace and control, it’s something very special.

Navigating my way through the complicated highs and lows of love and life, I relate a lot to Stevie Nicks, and have always loved Fleetwood Mac (I have a lot on vinyl). When I was a dancer, it was usual to have certain songs designated to you, and I used to strip to “Rhiannon” (a thrilling experience, twirling down a pole at 2am Stevies voice with a thong full of £50’s). Anyway, I love Stevie Nicks, even her solo music which is much less appreciated. Recordings like this are rare, and it’s a joy to be a fly on the wall observing such a talented artist. I am a very sensual person and love experiencing sensuality through art and music. When you understand what was happening within the band (Stevie falling in and out of love with one member, then in love with another – and everyones writing songs about it which they all have to perform together – awkward!) you understand her songwriting and how she is using her music to express life as a creative free spirited woman. 

If an alien were to land on earth, abduct me (don’t worry, this isn’t the beginnings of a weird sex fantasy) and ask me “Billie, what is funk music?” I would show them this video. This is an even rarer video of a performance of the funk band Parliament, performing in Houston in the late 70s. I’ve never taken psychedelics but am assuming this is something like what you feel. You also see how wonderfully fluid music is as an art form – there are rock and disco influences, and visually if you squint your eyes there’s a glam rock aesthetic. Underneath what looks like effortless music is actually something very complicated and perfectly put together. It’s unashamedly funky and outrageous, the musical version of surrealism. Wish I had been there!

Arriving at this version of this song was a lengthy process. I was familiar with a fairly recent live version of Eleanor Rigby with Paul McCartney singing (and very feeble uninspiring guitar – no offence Paul) but backed by the most amazing string band. I absolutely ADORE the violin, and couldn’t help thinking “I wish Paul would shut up”, so decided to seek out a classical version without vocal. It’s a great piece of music in it’s own right so there are many classical recordings. This was my favourite for being clean and beautifully arranged. Too bad (I assume) the Proms won’t be happening this year as I would have loved to go! I also (this is just how the sillier half of my brain works) thought it was very amusing that each musician is sized in proportion to the size of their instrument.

On the list of artists no one should ever ever cover is Kate Bush. (sure I like the occasional spanking but I draw the line at trying to sing Kate Bush – I’m not a masochist). Why do it to yourself? Yet Maxwell somehow manages to improve the song (there, I said it!) What an absolutely gorgeously buttery voice. I don’t think anyone else could pull this off (okay, maybe Prince). I love soul and RandB music and what he brings to this song – he forces you to appreciate the lyrics (I’ve been a big fan of lyrics, ever since as an angst ridden teenager I discovered The Smiths). Anyway, the vocal speaks for itself, so soulful and beautiful.

Eat and Excite

Wow! A magical week of culinary delights! From fine French dining, to Persian Cuisine, from cocktails outside, to open kitchens. I love connecting with people who are as passionate about quality dining as I am.

“May you live in interesting times.”

There is said to be a Chinese curse which roughly (and humorously) translates to “May you live in interesting times.”

 

The origins of this quote are disputed, but the sentiment is very clear: nomatter where on the planet, or at what point in history, one thing most people have consistently hoped for, is a life of peace and stability. Well, unlike most, I have always lived in interesting times! And the idea of routine life, or predictable week fills me with dread. My “normal” is last minute flights where I end up running to the gate in strappy heels and a cocktail dress, dinners where I deliberately choose something on the menu that I’ve never heard of, waking up at 6am to get to the park for a workout I’ve devised the night before, or collapsing in a heap after a passionate time at a gorgeous hotel. Interesting times for me, are a blessing not a curse. Albeit I could never predict that “interesting times” in this era would translate to face masks, hand sanitizer, and quarantines, the paradox is these things are actually not interesting at all. They’re painfully boring. I love relaxation and peace but I can’t stand monotony. My idea of hell is waking up on a Monday and knowing exactly what I’ll be doing this time next week. My pleasure and passion is to open up my emails and read “Dear Billie, it’s a long shot, but I was wondering if…”.

 

These last few months have been the longest continuous time I have stayed in the UK without travelling for more than a decade. It’s been tricky – I love the UK but if I go too long without sipping an Aperol spritz on a terrace in the med, I start to get withdrawl symptoms! I have created areas of micro-chaos through really switching up my workout routine, cooking all sorts of things I would otherwise have never attempted, decorating my apartment, and other small things that throw up the little conundrums and unexpected moments that I enjoy so much. Of course, many of my wonderful clients have also broken the monotony with thoughtful emails and kind gifts, it’s been very helpful for someone that craves stimulation like me.

 

I do love my own company, but as a choice – not something inflicted on me! Of course, things can always have been much worse, but at the same time I don’t like stagnating… I love to improve myself and my life in very measurable ways, and when I think about these last few months… I feel irritated that the friendships and experiences I would otherwise have had in my new home and new area have instead been replaced by queues for the Post Office and frequent hand washing. I’ve always believed in living life fearlessly and without apology, and one pleasant side effect of the pandemic is I think many people are now coming round to my way of thinking! I love doers. I love decisive men who have the perspective to realise that life is short and pleasure is a priority. After all, locked in the house during a pandemic, so many material things are of no use at all! But wonderful memories hold their value. Experiences are the best investment because the feelings and joy and memories from good experiences stay with you forever. Many people don’t realise this and accumilate many high value items but no high value memories. Why have regrets when you can have experiences!

 

I love contrast and contradiction… my new existence as a domestic goddess/fitness guru is painfully wholesome – yes I love creating recipes, jogging through Regents Park and so on… but I also love sneaking into a hotel dressed like someone’s PA, picking out a sexy lingerie for the evening, flirting outrageously over cocktails, having my panties pulled down without my permission, deep French kissing, etc. Without the excitement and balance of my life as Billie, I’ve had a brief experience of what it must be like I guess… to be a normal girl who’s highlight of the week is watching “Love Island” and having a bubble bath. Urgh!!!! To quote Dorothy Parker – “What fresh hell is this?!”

 

Thank God it’s nearly over. A catch up and some bubbly are in order.

 

For the first time in a long time, if I half close my eyes, next week my diary vaguely resembles a normal week. Things I haven’t entered in months like “lunch date” and “hairdresser”, “Paris” and “manicure” have magically appeared, my lovely regular clients are also finally remerging (hello – this has been awful! Let’s make ourselves feel better about it!) It’s almost like spring, a real sense that things can and will only get better (I fully appreciate that due to threats of a second wave/nuclear destruction/race war, or all of the above, this feeling is somewhat naïve, but allow me a moment of delusion, I haven’t had a cocktail in months and it’s starting to get to me). I have no predictions for what will happen… or I do have predictions but they’re likely to be wrong, so my approach is more than ever to enjoy the wonderful summer season and throw myself into exciting and happy moments, whilst we can. Speaking of which, I was invited to a top secret and very fun party on Friday (all details redacted due to Official Secrets Act) and it reminded me that, good company is such a great antidote for almost anything. Something strange also happened, they had a selection of very good rum, and I previously thought I hated rum, but I tasted one named Ron Zacapa 23 (and a few others which I… ahem, can’t remember the names of) and I found it to be very delicious. I normally dont like things of that flavour profile (don’t enjoy neat spirits and gravitate towards sweet things), but this rum was so delicious! Clearly my palate has become so bored over the last few months that it’s decided to like new things!

 

I have another photo shoot coming up next week (final one!). This one is much sexier than those I’ve done over recent months – the simple reason being photo studios, AirBnBs and hotels have all been closed so it’s been impossible for me to do a sexier shoot, due to not having a location to do one in! Hence I have been shooting fashion, and using the park/nice streets as a location. Feeling somewhat apprehensive at this upcoming shoot as I don’t really think of myself as a consciously sexy person, by which I mean… I’m just me, whatever that is… I am not spending too much time “trying” to be sexy and honestly I just love being a woman so present myself in a feminine way because it’s what I like and how I like to feel. But this shoot will require a lot more sass and a lot more sexiness. I’m looking forward to it – something different and I have a beautiful selection of lingerie, catsuit, leather, heels, lace, stockings… I hope you’ll like it! Also those who contributed something towards the shoot will of course get some exclusive behind the scenes pics xxx

 

Speaking of pics, I finally got some art prints and photography that I’ve had for a while, framed and ready to hang. I’m waiting on one last piece from an artist friend in New York, and then I will have my own little collection. I love the “salon” style of hanging art which is where different shape and sized pieces of art are hung to fit together like a collage, and I’m hoping to do something similar on my own wall. Feeling somewhat inspired by the party I went to, which was at such a beautiful penthouse with some great art – I love beautiful architecture, big, modern art, modern and mid century furniture, good design. Whether it’s a sofa, a stiletto, or a sportscar, I love beautifully designed things with aesthetic detail and integrity. I always notice a nice doorhandle, or a gentleman’s jacket with a luxurious lining, and when I pick clothes for myself or items for my home, I am always taking into account small details and good quality. I would love to really learn more about art this year, as I get so much pleasure from modern art, but other than the handful or artists I know and love, don’t know much else. In some ways, art is a bit like wine – what’s most important is knowing what you like, but that said, it’s always nice to expose yourself to new things. Actually… that’s very much a motto for life!

 

Very much looking forward to next week, and can’t wait to meet you! There mere thought of a waiter saying “would you like still or sparkling water” will be music to my ears!

 

If you can’t flatten the curve, the least you can do is grab mine 😉

 

Big kiss,

Billie xxxx

Viva Calamari

Hi Yummies!

Prepared fresh whole squid and made calamari today – I’ll spare you the grusome details of having to cut its head off then pull the beak out of the tentacles! I screamed like a baby! I’m the odd combination of sqeamish, yet simultanously absolutely willing to get my hands dirty. I have a naturally terrified reaction to having to do things like this at the first time, but at the same time am fiercely compeitive with myself, and am not about to let any animal (alive or dead) beat me! The calamari was a total sucess and absolutely delicious. Not quite as amazing as the one I have enjoyed in Venice many times (where they put small fish and courgettes in the batter as well) but honestly, proud that I managed to prepare and make mone of my favourite dishes. 

 

Buon appetito!

Waitrose (fiction)

Waitrose
Again
2:30pm
The Saturday shop,
A rose tinted blouse
Heels, skinny jeans
And
A devil may care attitude.
Raising hell
Smelling of heaven
A tempting treat
At the delicatessen

Buying things I don’t need.
Talking
Enthusiastically
To the assistant about
Prosciutto.

“- Excuse me, 150 grams of that stilton please?”

Your voice runs down my spine
And settles
Gently
Between my legs.

Covertly, I
Move my head a few degrees to the right and take you in
From the corner of my
Flirtatious eye.
A yummy.
42 ish
Ginger but probably considers himself blonde
And in need of a haircut
Half curls perch on your
Square
Freckled head
Your eyes are blue
A signet ring
Is on your right hand
(you should take that off, before the revolution starts),
Nothing on your left.
I
Interrupt the assistant
“Go for the West Country stilton instead.”

I turn to look you in the eye
As you look me squarely
And conspicuously
In the
Breasts.
Your neck turns red.
“I always get this one it’s very good”
You say, dismissively.
“Well,
Exactly.
Why don’t you try something different? Something you’ve never had before. It’s cheese-“
I say cheekily, flashing you a grin
“- Not a hedge fund. No risk, no reward. Or… is your taste in cheese as boring as your taste in shirts?”
I flash you another giant grin
Pick up my prosciutto and
Strut away.
With a basket swinging
Casually
From
My
Silk clad arm.

You catch up with me near the bakery
Trying to look cool.
“I got the West Country-“
A pause,
“What’s wrong with my shirt?”

 

You are very cute.
In a kind of
Socially uncomfortable
Fundamentally miserable

Repressed-but-considers-himself-liberated
English way.

I’d love to fuck you.

You stand
Awkwardly
Between the
Muffins and the
Bagels
Whilst I bend over in my jeans
Attempting to pick a pack of
Teacakes from the bottom shelf –
I simply
Can’t decide
And my backside sways left and right as I
Deliberate between the
Own brand and the
Warburtons.
I look back at you and flash a
Particularly
Playful grin

Own brand it is.
(can’t spend £3.49 on teacakes, we’re due a recession)
I straighten myself up.

Checked, button down shirt
(Probably GANT or something)
No tie
Diesel jeans-
Tapered cut, 34 waist 32 leg
R.M. Williams Chelsea boots, in battered brown suede
A half belly
The remnants of a rugby physique
Ginger hairs sprouting from your forearms like watercress
And
Trying to think of something clever to say.
Another pause,
Then, finally, your best effort-
“So. You like tea cakes, do you?”

I laugh out loud
Guess this counts as a chat up line
Round South Ken.

The human brain is a
Mysterious thing-
Alas,
I
Still want to fuck you.

I survey your basket:
Potatoes
Some sort of protein drink
Asparagus
Tuna steaks
Weetabix
6 pack of Sol beers
Two limes
Apples
Coffee
Gillette
Mayonnaise
Rye bread
Smoked salmon
A measly 150 grams of Stilton
Asprin:

Single.

I imagine
Behind closed doors
You have a lovely leather corner couch and you fuck me on there
But accidentally cum in 3 minutes or so and I go to your fridge and
Get you
One of the beers and
You let me wear your shirt
(The one I secretly like but am pretending not to).


I allow myself a few final seconds
On the couch with you
Then snap back to reality.

“Billie.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“My name is Billie.”
“Oh. I’m er. Ha. Er. Tony”
I can’t concentrate and keep
Wondering
Ridiculous things like
Do you really like tuna steaks (yuck)
Why aren’t you married and
If you like having your balls licked.
Would you bend me over
Or sit me on top?

A card drenched in sweat is pressed into my palm

“I have to go-“
You half run away.
I stand and watch your arse as you bolt to the self-checkout.
I look down and turn over the damp card
“Anthony Clarke, Senior Partner”
And the name of a firm I don’t know.

It’s all rather predictable.
But what’s not to like about
A
Predictable romp
At the Four Seasons
Or the
Predictable quaffing of
Predictably good champagne.

Thong
Thoroughly soaked
I
Pay for my items
Desperately trying to avoid
Grey hair here
Chinos there
Brogues and a bald head by the rotisserie
A Patek pushing a trolley through the
Fruit and veg and
Almost walk
Head first into
5ft 10
14 stones
White shirt
With initials stitched on the front
A discrete gold watch
Small eyes and
Such an intoxicating
Presence of
Stress and
Testosterone I nearly
Fall to my knees
But accept
A
Wry smile and a wink
Instead.

Oh Waitrose,
Leveller of all men.
I
Couldn’t be without you.

-BF

Body and Sole

My pan fried lemon sole, with brown butter, capers, asparagus, and mash. A very classic combination, and so delicious! Nest on the menu, marinated dry aged steaks (I went for a rib eye, instead of my usual sirloin. Seasoned with yellow mustard seed, smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, parsley, with sauteed potatoes and creamed spinach (okay, I bought the creamed spinach… dont judge!) Watch this space…

 

B xxx

Quarantine Kitchen

My Linguine Alle Vongole – my favourite pasta (okay, maybe joing first with lazagne) and the most simple recipe with delicious fresh clams. I’m cooking a lot of seafood and shellfish at the moment (goes so well with the warm weather and a nice chilled crisp glass of white wine!) This was my first time cooking clams – which I bought live. The recipe was a success… so delicious!

Updates!

Phew! Have gone from rearranging my sock drawer to keep myself occupied, to having become unexpectedly busy! I’m someone who loves relaxation, but hates being bored, so it’s nice for life to be (slowly) getting back to normal. Here’s what’s been happening:

 

BillieBar

Found a lovely little Mid Century bar cart for my living space, have stocked it with my favourite spirits (more welcome!), and my lovely new Doulton crystal glasses. I love heavy crystal, and am embarassed to say I gave an entire set of very high quality to the charity shop a few years back (I didnt think it was very cool back then) only for me to be now trying to get back the exact same set. Have all the necessary ingredients to make some lovely summer cocktails – my favourite is the divisive “Aperol Spritz” which people seem to either love or hate. And peach Bellini – so delicious!

 

BillieBootcamp

Have begun an intensive outdoor workout regime and I’m absolutely loving it. Getting up early and heading to the park with my yoga mat has become an unexpected hilight of my day, and is something I will definitely keep doing, even after gym is open.

 

BillieBooks

Have finally finished that George Orwell books and am now looking for my next victim (I use these term as I am a notorious batterer and page folder of books, and they go from looking pristine to “well worn” within a matter of days). What next? I dont usually enjoy non-fiction and have had enough of novels. I’ve realised many books I’ve read are gifts, or books that have been bought up in conversation, that have sounded interesting so I’ve then gone on to buy them. Yuval Noah Harari has a couple of books I’ve read before, but I havent read the third, so that might be a good idea. I’ve also decided to make one tiny change which is to buy my books from independent stores rather than Amazon. I realised, it makes no difference to me at all, or, in the grand schemes of things to Amazon either, but it makes a massive difference to the independent book seller. I love book shops (my local Daunt Books being a favourtie) so I will make the change to only buying books from shops like this

 

BillieBoudoir

Have got so many sexy new things! Lingeries and nice bedroom things for us to enjoy. Have been enjoying them by myself for now… but hopefully you can help change that!

 

BillieBites

Have booked my first restaurant reservation in what feels like years! How lovely it feels to see a table for two email in my inbox! If you are considering a dinner date, please start looking and penciling in dates from now. I expect that the lower amount of covers in most restaurants, coupled with the countries collective desire not to have to do the washing up anymore, will mean reservations will be scarce and need to be planned ahead of time. Dinner dates can happen at my place alternatively, as everything from Hakkassan, Scotts, and all the soho restaurants can be delivered here. Okay I also found such a nice pizza place – best pizza I’ve had in London, if you prefer something casual. 

 

BillieBanker

Have started learning about FOREX and how to trade. Just something I have been interested in a while, so am doing a LOT of readin and following a very long online course before dipping my toe in. Look out Wall Street!

 

BillieBeats

Finally set up my record player (actually, I’ve been advised that it’s a turntable, not a record player, and have managed to get it to work). This is a much better quality turntable than by old Crosby one, so needs an amp, or speakers with inbuilt amps. I am in LOVE with the midcentury style ones with the wooden surrounds (the type you would get in a 90’s soundsystem) and am on the hunt for some good ones. Have been recommended so many different ones, and wow – who knew good speakers are 2, 3, 4x the price of designer shoes (very scientific measure of expensiveness). I’m likely to get what I want second hand, because they simply dont make the “look” of speaker I want anymore, so I’m keeping an eye out. Such a shame not to be able to enjoy my records (sad face) so hoping this will be the next thing I manage to add to my living room.

 

BillieBirdie

Have joined a new golf club and had my first lesson there today. Am feeling so at home and happy with this club. Everyone is very friendly! I has hesistant about playing agian after having not picked up a club for some time, but I was actually better than I remembered and am now at least competent enough to justify having bought an austentatious set of Taylor Made clubs, and matching staff bag. Still need to vastly improve my short game, and was given a putting matt some time ago so will get some practice in at home. Have an extensive selection of cute golf outfits (very important for distracting opponent, which thus far is my best chance of winning!) 

 

Can’t wait to see you soon and looking forward to our future dates.

Big kiss!

 

Billie x

Up to no good?

A new and exciting experience that I have been enjoying so much! A luxury picnic in the park – 3hrs outside in a secluded spot with bubbles and good food, £550 for 3 hours. Low risk, high reward, and a pleasant escape from life’s stresses. You bring the bubbles, I bring food, flirtation, and temptation!

A list of very believable excuses for gentlemen looking to sneak out of the house to enjoy a luxurious picnic date with me:

 

  • You’ve been contacted by NASA to take part in a top secret 3 hour mission. But first you must buy a £550 space suit.
  • A helpless kitten is stuck up the tree. You must go to the park immediately with a bottle of champagne and some snacks to tempt it down (this may take a while, perhaps three hours or so). Feul prices have risen recently, so it’s best to bring £550 petrol money with you. Just in case.
  • A colleague is being held hostage, and you need to pay the £550 ransom money to set them free.
  • You’ve run out of apples and need to walk to an apple tree approximately 3 hours away. These apples are particularly expensive: £550 each, so you’ll only buy one.
  • 550 goats have escaped from a farm in Scotland. You have been asked to help the effort to round them up. You’ll need to take £550 worth of petrol money and a cheese board with you (the farmer has advised you that goats love cheese).

What I’m listening to

If you know you you know I love my Motown, jazz, funk, soul, and disco. I always say I was born in the wrong era – I have a 70’s soul and the music from that era (all genres) really speaks to me. This is one of my most favourite feelgood songs (would love to have on vinyl) that I recently made my morning alarm song (although I have been waking up at 8am without an alarm for a few weeks now). A song made in a time when you could get away with making a song last 10 minutes. It’s a great production, I love how the song builds, and even listening to it now – honestly puts me in such a good mood! A lot of the songs I love the most require a massive band, like the Big Bands of the 20’s-40’s, or even a huge choir – there is something so gorgeous about hearing music which it build from so many different elements. In the instrumental there is a great violin – my favourite instrument… well joint first with a saxophone, and like all good songs, the instrumental stands alone as a great piece of music. At about 5:00 the song breaks down into a funk rhythm and then builds itself right back up. The perfect song for a summer road trip. It’s such a joy!!!

One of the Television Series I had been watching was “Gangs of London” a horrendously violent (I’m a wimp anyway, but even by your standards) series, but one with a great soundtrack. I discover a lot of music in films and television – the soundtrack to SHAFT, which I have on vinyl, is such a perfect compilation. One of the things I absolutely love about British gangster/organised crime films, are the gorgeous homes and clothes of the top players. It’s almost as if after you’ve laundered your first billion, a Chestefield sofa and a Saville Row suit arrives in the post. Anyway, I heard and loved this song, he has such a beautiful voice – can also imagine it would make an amazing house remix. I don’t know much about Benjamin Clementine, but am reading the Wiki now – that he was homeless as a teenager, and from the few songs I’ve heard is a talented pianist (he plays the piano in all his songs). This song is more about the lyrics. As a writer myself, I appreciate lyricism – anything from The Smiths (my favourite band, back in my teenage angst days), to Gil Scott Heron. Music has become even more important to me in these strange times! When I’m working out at home, I put this song on, zone out, and it helps me push myself. 

I have committed a murder.

Dear yummies,

I am a changed woman. I write this having cooked and killed langoustine for the first time. Langoustine is my favourite shellfish (by quite some margin). I feel almost sexually excited even to talk about them! The sweetness and prettiness, the absolutely beautiful texture. The season is short, and is coming to an end. British langoustine are something that the restaurant trade capitalises in, when in season (much like truffle, game, etc). Unfortunately as all restaurants are shut, fishermen have stopped fishing them, as they are not something people usually attempt at home – 1 because people are intimidated by shellfish, 2 because they are expensive, and 3 because like lobster, it is usual to buy your langoustine live, as I did, and most people do not want to have to kill their dinner. I had been (this is pretty sad, but alas these are desperate times) searching high and low for fresh langoustine, to no avail, checking in daily with The Chelsea Fishmonger, and realising much to my dismay that for most fishermen it is simply not economically viable to fish shellfish, if restaurants aren’t buying because unfortunately the nation would rather eat fish fingers, than such an absolutely delicious product.

 

Finally, the fishmonger gets in touch to say, he has some in, and would I like some held for me. I jumped out of bed like a child on Christmas morning, ran to the shower, put on a particularly pretty summer dress, and loafers (to mark the occasion) and made my way to SW3. As the queue inched shorter, I could see the wonderful fish stall – John dory, live lobsters, tiger prawns as big as your fist, and so on. My order is under the counter in a white bag with my name on, he discretely hands it to me (this is the Chelsea equivalent to a coke deal) and I get some of the prawns because… well… I love prawns. And some extra langoustine to freeze because it’s probably the last opportunity to buy them this year.

 

Decided to have a stroll around the area. So many beautiful cars. The Mercedes SL (one of the most effortlessly cool cars there is) is really making a comeback, I’m seeing them everywhere. I actually really love the 90’s SL, which you see less as it’s only just becoming old enough to be cool again.

 

Anyway. I get home and open up my package. 20 or so langoustine are there – all alive, and I contemplate that for the first time in my culinary career, I will be killing something. I have a very firm belief about these things. I am writing this in a pale pink 100% silk nightgown, a the fingers tapping my the keyboard of my laptop are freshly manicured with sparkly tips. So I suppose I am a “girly girl” in some ways. For this reason, people often mistake me for someone who cannot (or will not) get her hands dirty if need be. I can, and if you know me, you know I will! I’ll spare you the details, but I froze a two thirds, then killed and prepared the other third. I believe if you eat animal products you should not shy away from the fact that you are eating something, with a brain, with eyes, with a family (do langoustines have families? Discuss…). To say I enjoyed the process would be too strong, it’s more, I appreciated the process of preparing this most delicious and delicate crustacean myself.

 

Choosing how to prepare the langoustine is like choosing how to frame a beautiful piece of art. You must give the star of the show the space to dazzle you, you must be sensitive to it’s intrinsic qualities, you must seek to compliment, not to distract or overwhelm. The right accompaniments are like the perfect heel on a beautiful foot – it takes something already elegant and perfect in its own way, and elevates it. I chose to blanch them in hot water, split them (brains everywhere – I screamed!), and then to grill them with nothing but salt, pepper, butter (French) and the tiniest amount of garlic. I served with aioli, and a simple green salad that had chives, dill, and spring onions in it for that perfect delicate spring freshness, and a simple vinaigrette to cut the sweetness and fat of the main dish. My only regret is was there’s lots of meat in the little claws but I don’t have a lobster cracker so had to waste it (first world regrets).

 

This was my most delicious…

I was going to say this was the most delicious meal I have cooked this year but I’m not sure that’s true. I also think with ingredients THAT good, and a simple preparation, other than timing, you can hardly go wrong. I am missing langoustines at two of my favourite restaurants – Parsons, in Covent Garden, and Hearth, at Heckfield place in Hook. Dining out is one thing I am missing so much! I miss eating and not having to do the washing up. I miss a waiter saying “and would that be still or sparkling water” or “do you have room for cheese before dessert?” (answer is always YES obviously). I miss warm bread, cool cocktails, and getting dressed up, or down, for my dinner dates.

 

But most of all I miss you!

 

I am now available for dates, and although there will be no dining out for the time being, there’s no reason we can’t dine in. If you want, I can even smear your cock with garlic butter and pretend it’s a langoustine (just kidding… unless you’re into it!) I can’t wait to catch up, and again thank you so much for all the support, gifts and kindness I have received over the last few weeks.

 

Shall we?

 

Kisses and hugs and lots of love,

 

Billie x