1. Winter sun. What greater luxury is there than being able to simply fly yourself to better weather! Sun, sand, very very small bikinis and lots of sex would be my menu of choice. I definitely believe that the sun does change your mood. Fresh food and warm evenings are the perfect escape from the cold months in the UK. Nobody will admit it but there’s something very satisfying about reclining in your sun lounger having just ordered yourself another Pina Colada, then checking the weather back in England where undoubtedly there will be some combination of snow/flood/rain. Ha!2. Skiing. Okay so I don’t know if its fair to say I truly enjoy skiing. More accurate accurate say I see skiing as the most enjoyable means to an end, the end being red wine, melted cheese and lovely little rustic French restaurants. I love the fresh Alpine air and I never miss an opportunity to get my sexy one-piece ski suit out – even if it means I’ll be on the green slopes in snow plough taking selfies, instead of tackling anything even remotely challenging. After that, I’ll be waiting in the hot tub 🤣 3. In winter, the list of things you can steal from men is endless. Some of my favourite winter things to steal (er, I mean borrow…): Cashmere socks and jumpers. Especially the ones you never wear because they’re so nice haha. I’ll be having those! The cost of nice knitwear is like the cost of bed linen – it’s an outrageous expense that you’re totally unprepared for until one day you’re strolling through the White Company looking for a King Size Duvet cover and a few pillowcases and you end up almost having a heart attack at the checkout when they show you the bill. I mean.. How can all this cotton REALLY be from Egypt and why does that matter? A girl can spend a month’s rent on cushion covers and fitted sheets if she’s not careful. Therefore when it comes to knitwear I much prefer stealing yours 😇 What girlfriend can resist lovely soft knitwear. In a weeks time when I get the inevitable “Billie, any chance I can get my socks back?” text, I simply ignore it or pretend I don’t know what you’re talking about. 4. Game season. I try to eat all available British game each year (I see it like the game Pokémon, except, er, you eat what you find). I’m a big fan of game birds – teal (a small duck) and quail in particular, and I also love my venison (I make very delicious venison burgers). 5. Wearing sexy high heeled winter boots. If you know me you know I’m a high heel addict and love LOVE sexy leather boots. Weapon of choice: wiggling down New Bond Street in high heeled boots, super tight jeans and fur coat. 6. When you’ve got a nice car with a passenger seat that warms my bum up (it’s one of my best assests and must be protected at all costs). Some of these car seats even vibrate or pulsate or whatever these days. I appreciate it! 7. Escape to nice posh country hotel with open fire and spa. Long walk in the grounds and sex in the bushes then back in for romantic dinner. After dinner I will have many cocktails and flirt with you outrageously and give you long French kisses in public and you’ll have to take me to the bedroom for approximately three and a half minutes of drunken passion 🤣😘 8. Men wearing winter things that I personally find very sexy such as: Long coats, Chelsea boots, “lounge wear” trousers with no underpants underneath, bath robe and slippers (it’s cute), gilets, polo neck jumpers, Black tie with shiny shoes (omg very sexy), leather gloves, Barbour jackets, comfy jumper that makes you PERFECT FOR A CUDDLE 🥰
They say you are what you eat, but I don’t remember being a melt in the middle chocolate pudding smothered in hot fudg-Actually, nevermind. Today I was talking to somebody who is lucky enough to have bagged seats at Noma (I’ve wanted to eat at this restaurant for years, but it’s easier to get the truth out of Boris Johnson than a table at this place). Anyway talking about this restaurant and some other experiences made me realise that all the most formative restaurant experiences I’ve ever had have come from being a companion. I can remember with clarity, by first ever lobster, my first time trying so many things: foie, venison, even my first ever glass of wine, believe it or not was as a dining companion (I started drinking very late which is why I’m both a lightweight and a lightpalate when it comes to alcohol). There’s only one vintage champagne I truly love, and that’s the 2010 Dom Perignon – on my deathbed if I’m given the choice between more oxygen and a bottle of this, I’ll take my chances with the bubbly. Anyone that knows me know that food is a fundamental part of my life and my personality, and the area in which I have decided to concentrate my efforts outside of planet Billie. Its very unfashionable to enjoy fine dining right now – years of stuffy restaurants with sommeliers that look down on you and dresscodes that inhibit you are rightfully correcting themselves, but I will always (always) love fine dining. Classical French (and to a certain extent Japanese) cuisine, represents the height of human sophistication. For my birthday this year I enjoyed the best fine dining meal I have ever experienced, 2* Alain Ducasse in Paris, a meal so deeply sensual I defy even the iciest of women not to gasp with pleasure as they split open the most glorious baba before soaking it with your choice of rum. God knew what he was doing having me born in the middle of white truffle season – it only runs September to December – a late October birthday means you can celebrate properly with a satisfying mound of white gold on your plate. The smell, the presentation, and if you understand truffles it’s hard not to be seduced also by the story – should reincarnation exist there is nothing I’d rather be on my return to earth than a truffle pig that snaffles 20% of the produce. A lot of people don’t know this but much of French cuisine comes from an Italian chef – when Catherine de Medici married Henry VII of France, she bought her pastry chef with her, and he created a huge amount of what is seen as traditional French patisserie (choux pastry and so on). Food, like music or art is such an intrinsic part of our culture – in fact where there is no art and no music, there must still be food. I have enjoyed the culinary arts my whole life, and made my first omelette unaided, aged about 4. Over this summer I’ve had to explain to a fair few house guests that the plastic bag on the dining room table is moving around a bit as I’ve bought some live langoustine that I’ve not yet dispatched. I am not at all squeamish when it comes to these things – I enjoy country life and hope to go shooting one day; completing my butchers course (don’t be afraid haha) was so enjoyable I have decided to do something more advanced when I get the time. I love to prepare food and to cook – cooking and writing are probably the two things I’m best at, (other than being sexy as hell with a nice bum, obviously). For me, sharing my food is an expression of love, and it’s extremely satisfying to see someone genuinely enjoying things I’ve made in the kitchen. But of course quality food doesn’t need a white tablecloth and a wine list the size of the Yellow Pages to have value- In an old vineyard in Sicily I’ve had one of the best meals in my life (no menu, they just feed you and feel you until you beg for gelato), in the Shoreditch era of my life I was not above finding some doorway to sit in and enjoy whatever the flavour of the month street food was. I think at one point we feel we have something something prove, but I went through my “You’re not anyone unless you’ve got a table at Helene Darozze” phase long ago, and now my favourite restaurants are those that are very quality centric – a few of these may get a Michelin Star but most of these are “real” places, doing real things. My London top 10 (non fine dining) restaurants are as follows. In no particular order. Andrew Edmunds/ Noble rot. Both soho institutions where the menu changes daily. Fabulous wine list at both spots. No one banging on, no Gucci loafers or selfies. Beautiful hearty cooking, with Noble Rot being slightly more elevated (I ate calves brains there for the first time a few months ago – wouldn’t recommend haha). Bocca Di lipo. Another soho spot and my favourite Italian (with many plates and most of the staff Sicilian). I love to sit at the bar/open kitchen. Impossibly good small plates – supposed to be “sharing plates” but I often go alone so I don’t have to. One of the few places you can get a true regional taste of Italy (ask for spaghetti bolognaise or tiramisu and they will laugh at you) 34 Grosvenor Square. Okay so this is sort of the place you go to if you can’t get a table at Scotts (it’s the same owner) however I like it a lot more especially for a date I find it somehow the perfect date restaurant. This is by no stretch of the imagination the best food you’ve ever had, but somehow every time I’ve been here has been magical and memorable, staff are great. The sort of place you order a bottle of champagne with lobster and fries. Guinea grill. The best pub with food in London. Stuck in a time warp (old school pub, I’m often the only woman, the men who eat here have double barrel surnames and don’t know what a vegan is). The dining room at the back is the perfect comfortable and classic Gentlemen’s Restaurant. It’s a meat centric pub menu that is in no way trying to be cool – you cannot get a better steak – they are sourcing the best possible British meat available. The lamb chops are my favourite, and you must must must have the peas with onions and bacon. Sanctuary for those in Mayfair who have no interest in tasting menus and £30 cocktails. Maison Francois. First tried this year and just loved it. The Bistro of dreams, unapologetically chic – beautifully presented food, full fat, full flavour French plates, and a dessert trolley that’ll have you undoing your belt sooner than you thought you would! Upmarket but not fancy. They do this bread with mussels on top that is so good I would return just for the this. As expected from a French restaurant, lengthy, boastful wine list. Brat. This restaurant opened at the end of my road many moons ago and the first time I dined there I predicted they would get a Michelin Star. About a year later, they did. Seriously good seafood, mostly cooked on open fire. Everyone working here has a beard and tattoos, it’s that kind of place. The memory of their velvet crab with chorizo lives on, glad I moved to west London or I would eat here weekly. If you’re very into wines, they have an interesting list, with a lot of “natural wines” and so on. Sabor. Tucked behind Regent Street and here to remind you that there’s a lot more to Spanish food than patatas bravas. I love the kitchen seats at the downstairs restaurant (was walk in only last time I went). Honestly the food here embodies the Spanish spirit – it is vibrant, generous, colourful, bold. Tapas, but not as you’ve had it before. Arrive hungry, leave satisfied (I should have that written on a sign above my door haha). Quality Chop House. Downside: it’s in Clerkenwell so it’s a bother to get to. Upside: everything else. Over lockdown I would walk here anyway as they’ve a fantastic shop, deli and butcher that stayed open as is well worth making the detour for. The QCH duck fat confit potatoes are (I’m serious) the best potato in London, so good you’ll find yourself pinching one off your dates plate whilst they use the bathroom (sorry!) the smoked cods roe smeared on bread has become one of my favourite snacks, and as the name suggests, this is another restaurant that truly focuses on meat – everything is British, organic, rarebreed etc. Barbary. Masters of all things mellow and spicy. North African, “Berber” (Moroccan, Tunisian, Algerian etc) style mezze plates – this restaurant once held its spot as my favourite in London. Another sit at the bar situation, the flatbreads hit the table just seconds after being prised from the oven. I love my spice (not to be confused with heat for heats sake) and this for me is a place to get the most fantastic spiced plates I town (closely followed by BiBi Mayfair, newly opened and very cool small plates Indian restaurant that I recently tried and found to be so good that I booked another table for the next week on my way out). There are many food destinations I am yet to visit. This year I managed to finally tick San Sebastián off my bucket list. I had wanted to visit the Basque Region for years and it didn’t disappoint; the fine dining was eclipsed by the Pintxos bars in the Old Town – small bars where you’re like to have some of the best tiny-tapas you’ve ever had. I enjoyed a steak and foie burger so mouth wateringly moist it needed no condiments – just sea salt flakes and a fresh bread roll were enough to make this perhaps the best I’ve ever had. I did dine at two 2 star restaurants for dinner, one of which – Mugaritz – was almost laughably bad – the caricatures of what people mean when they say they don’t like fine dining. Some courses were confusing, others were in no uncertain terms disgusting, and the chef had gone out of his way to make things difficult to eat: one course was a slimy gel served on a piece of slate with no cutlery – you’re supposed to scrape it off with your fingers and eat it with your hands. Yes, very “amusing” but this joke repeated itself course after course until your mind couldn’t help but wonder to the Pintxos bars – to the lovely little plates of calamari and sardines and the thick slices of Basque cheesecakes (one cheesecake shop is so famous you must queue for an hour for a slice – unless you’re Basque of course in which case feel free to push in front. Even the football team, Athetico Bilbao only permits you to play you were born in the region, which if you think about it is borderline outrageous. Anyway, I waited an hour or so to get my cheesecake and it was absolutely worth it.) I would like to revisit Thailand and visit for the first time Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan to continue my food adventures. I think I mentioned earlier that Japanese food for me represents the height of culinary sophistication (along with French). I like the Japanese-ish restaurants in London- Nobu, Roka, Zuma and so on, although I do often wonder what attractive women would eat in these places if black cod, tempura, and sashimi didn’t exist. I also like some of the better places – Umu, Engawa, Kurisu Omakase (was lucky enough to know one of their suppliers and had an amazing selection of sushi there) but if I’m honest I have a lot to learn and experience when it comes to Japanese food and I feel you must be there to experience it. I really enjoy Thai food too (although I’m a bit of a heat wimp – I love chilli but embarrassingly given my background can’t take it too hot). Closer to home there are so many interesting things happening in Scandinavia, where the food is like modern art – it’s honest and clean. And the Champagne region of course (for obvious reasons, glug glug!) The French of course know how to live and how to eat and I’ve finally worked out the secret to anything French and tasty: Butter. I bought back a pat of beautiful Normandy butter that I’m slowly chipping away at. Its so perfect you feel bad using it as an ingredient – it’s best appreciated spread on hot toast with nothing else (if you’ve not had a dry champagne with toast and butter after sex you haven’t lived!) But to clarify, sex and food (together) is a big no for me. I am sure parts of you are delicious enough without the need for whipped cream and all these other things people use to try and make bad sex good. Adding food to sex is like adding Tomato Ketchup to a sunday roast – it is quite against nature, and makes a good thing bad and a bad thing tragic. With good company and natural chemistry the very very last thing I’m thinking about is whipped cream. I am thinking oooh I would like some more of this (sex, not ketchup) and also please kiss me again. The food comes after. It’s a lovely feeling to enjoy a delicious meal having just had an exhilarating experience – it feels well deserved and I believe that dining is the worlds love language, the perfect accompaniment to conversation: a way to bond, indulge, and create memories.
Perhaps we shall create some food-memories of our own in the new year?
Getting invited to see the show at the theatre, gave me the extra nudge needed to finally start the book – a book that has conveniently been sat in one of my cases for a few years now. You only have to read the first page to already appreciate the quality of the writing. Cracking open a book you’ve owned for a while is like opening a bottle that’s been gathering dust for years on your wine rack – the joy (when it’s good) is somehow intensified. It’s a revelation to realise in that thing you’ve been neglecting for so long, lies so much joy and pleasure. It’s the perfect example of searching far and wide for something that may well be under your nose. I should have started this book the day I bought it, but it was one of the few books I own that I purchased myself (I’m terrible at choosing books for myself) and my main reason for buying it was because it’s one of those books you should have in your case – like Dickens or Orwell. Anway, she’s a chunky number, but I’m enjoying her already.
I feel it is important to confess something that may not be immediately apparent when perusing my profile. I’ve been hiding this for years but finally I have found the inner strength and shaken off the stigma and am owning my truth.I, Billie Farlow, am a filmgin. Filmgin (noun); a person with little or no film watching experience. Yes I’ve watched some films. Talk to me about Polanski, talk to me about French cinema or Scandi noir and sure I know a few things. This isn’t pretentiousness by the way, years ago I used to go to the Curzon in Bloomsbury by myself almost once a week on a Sunday morning and they would almost always play an arthouse film at that time and the screen would almost always be empty. I remember watching a documentary about Pina Bausch that was so beautiful I dreamt about it. I remember “Elle”, French film that would and could never be produced in English, such were the sexual themes explored. Another French film I enjoyed was “Polisse”, gritty and with a dark, French ending. I remember watching a truly bizarre film, I think it was Norwegian that I didn’t realise was supposed to be a farce until after I watched it, but with the cinema totally empty (other than me) there was nobody there to laugh at it, so I interpreted the film in a totally different way. I watched “The Turin Horse” an arty Hungarian film and marvelled at its beautiful opening scene, in black and white and allegedly shot in one take. This year another Billie-esque film was released called “Pig”. The plot begs belief (I haven’t watched it yet), the synopsis on the Curzon website reads: “A truffle hunter who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness must return to his past in Portland in search of his beloved foraging pig after she is kidnapped.” (It’s like “Taken” with Liam Neeson, except it’s, er, not an innocent girl that’s been taken, it’s a pig). And before you ask, I haven’t actually watched Taken, I just know what it’s about. Anyway, I’ll be watching Pig, and I’ll be on the lookout for more arty films as I always am… but for some reason any normal films (including the worlds most iconic films) have completely eluded me. I feel ashamed of my filmginity and recently decided to write the wrongs of my shamefully filmginous past. I’m in the process of creating a master list of the most iconic films of all time. Here’s what I’ve ticked off my list so far, the last three I’ve watched for the first time within the last 2 weeks. Braveheart Final thoughts: Definitely now support the SNP after what they did to him. Much more fun if you imagine it’s a documentary. Made me cry. The Matrix Final thoughts: #1 I cannot believe I’ve gone this far through my life without watching this film. #2 add long leather jacket to wishlist. #3 probably need to watch again to fully appreciate. The Shawshank Redemption Final thoughts: Wonder if Morgan Freeman would consider adopting me. Beautiful film that can’t be improved. Made me cry. Gladiator: I’m half way through because I started watching last night and the violence and tension made me feel nauseous (I’m a wimp!) Will finish today. Great plot, Russell Crowe is of course welcome to ruin my empire any time he wants. Wonder if the excessive violence is totally necessary. I’ve got others on my list: Forest Gump, The Godfather, Sideways, Trainspotting… if you can name an iconic film I can guarantee you I have never watched it. I know the ideas – in fact the password for a gallery on my website was “Rosebud” from Citizen Kane, another film I haven’t watched. Schindlers list? Haven’t watched it. Titanic? Goodfellas? Pulp Fiction? Nope nope nope! Feels good to admit it. I’m a filmgin and I’m no longer ashamed! Catholic School has a lot to answer I’ve been self-flagellating over this issue for years. I’ve stood mingling at cocktail parties and managed to talk for HOURS about these films. Ha! Never watched them! I can take a few guesses as to why. One is that when I was much younger I simply couldn’t afford the cinema. Another thought is some of these (most of these) came out when I was a child so I would have to have made the effort years later to watch them, but I had by then made the decision not to own a television (I got my first TV less than 2 years ago) and with the cinemas not playing 90’s films the opportunity to watch them sort of missed me. I think the third contributing factor is that I don’t usually enjoy sitting still watching a screen. I often put the radio or TV on in the background whilst I’m doing something else, it’s extremely rare I will be sitting down and watching anything, when I could be writing or cooking (or whatever) at the same time. I’ve watched whole TV series’ where I barely know what the characters look like because I only glance up from the other task I’m doing every few minutes or when I hear an explosion. There is however, something very exciting about having never watched any films others would consider noteworthy, and that is that I get to enjoy all these amazing films for the first time ever now. That’s the magical thing about truly great films: you DIDN’T have to be there. The gut wrenching hand sweating fear I feel watching Gladiator today, is no less than what I would have felt watching it 10 years ago when it first came out. Lying in bed after watching the Matrix, the pseudo-psychological conversations I began having with myself were probably the same ones other people had when they first watched it. I was 8 when The Matrix came out and in some ways wouldn’t have wanted to have watched it for the first time when I was, say, 20 years old. I understand ideas better now, I see it as a deeply philosophical libertarian film, and yes, I will be procuring a leather jacket and trousers at the soonest opportunity. I’m asking my dates for their favourite films to add to my list and hope to slowly tick everything off. Film is one of those things I feel I should enjoy – if fact I do enjoy – I’ve just been enjoying smaller films, films with subtitles, films that make me appear far more windswept and interesting than I actually am. But when it comes to the big name films, when you tell people you haven’t watched any of them they look at you like you’ve just said you don’t know who the Beatles are. After much luck with travel, finally some bad news – my new years plans have been thwarted by our good friend Omicron, meaning I’ll be in London over the new year with plenty of time to enjoy more films (the posh M&S snacks to accompany said films are on their way in in Ocado van as we speak). So that’s my confession over and done with, spank me of you feel you need to, I quite understand. Feels great to let you know my secret shame and I expect my ascent from filmgin to filmslut shall be a speedy and pleasurable one. Now off to finish Gladiator (if my nerves can take it!) I genuinely have no idea how it ends, but I’m hoping they don’t kill him off or I’ll be reaching for the tissues again haha. Kisses from my home cinema, Billie x
PS: I’ve just finished watching and I’m crying like a baby they KILLED MAXIMUS! Who writes this stuff?? As if real life isn’t bleak and tragic enough without the fictitious worlds we create compounding the misery! Could they not have let him live and go back to his little farm and his wife and kid get resurrected and it ends with them all having a big roast dinner (if such a thing existed during the Roman Empire) and hugging each other? Is that really too much to ask! I’m not being high maintenance but they should definitely make alternative feelgood endings for sensitive souls like me. I’ve nobody here to cuddle and cry on so I’m self medicating with ice cream and masturbation (boohoo).
PPS: Dear American readers, “film” is English for “movie”. I implore you to use the word “film”: it’s a far better word. Book a date and I’ll say all kinds of sexy English words in your ear.
1-4: Dinner at 1* Portland Restaurant, boxing – my new obsession – such a great workout, one hell of a negroni at the London opening of Il Borro, 2nd private plane experience in the Caribbean – always get extremely nervous taking off but loved the experience.
5-8: Merry Christmas from The Bulgari, babies first Private Island (staying on a private island is the same as staying on any other kind of island except the bragging rights last longer), three whiskys to add to my bar cart (Oban, Lagavulin, and The Balvenie – thanks!), Sashimi at The Ivy.
9-12: Peking duck the traditional way at Mimi Mei Fair, Christmas pressies, test driving the new British Airways planes and business experience (I hate BA with a soul consuming passion but begrudgingly have to say, it is excellent, now in line with Emirates and other premium airlines – about time! The staff weren’t miserable either it’s a miracle haha), dinner and live jazz? yes please.
13-16: Fantastic seats at Les Miserables, dinner at the Guinea Grill – my favourite pub for food, hello from beautiful Paris (what woman can resist!), oysters and good company.
(Long read; please scroll down for parts 1-5)
What happened that night between Mr Mersault and I will remain etched in my memory. For weeks the guilt, and shame hung over me like a life sentence, consuming my free thoughts and my fantasies. Mr Mersault had since moved out of the city, taking his car collection and his business with him. It’s been a long week, one of those Wednesdays that feels like it should be Friday already, I lie in bed in my old grey T Shirt, Mersault crossing my mind yet again. I squirm under my sheets and fall asleep, wet between the legs.By 6am the next morning I am already on my way to work. Willie B Hardigain was on it’s way out, it was an open secret, yet most of the staff had decided to stay, a collective loyalty we all had to Mr Hardigain for the opportunities he had afforded us, a bunch of talented misfits who for one reason or another were unlikely to get hired elsewhere. Our last shot at saving the business, a merger with the next leading competitor, had fallen apart last minuite, leaving the company in a bad way and with no way out. Hardigain had called in every favour owed to him, but now the last of his generation in the city, faces were changing and favours were hard to come by. To add to this, a former PA who worked for the firm in the 80’s had decided to press for an (almost definitely credible) workplace harassment suit, claiming inappropriate contact and sexist language was used against herself and other junior staff members. This matter had been settled out of court in the 90s with a six figure payout and an NDA that Mr Hardigain was unfortunately finding out wasn’t as airtight as he thought. In his emails I’d noticed him selling off two of the higher value pieces in his art collection, even the lavish business dinners had begun to run out of steam – our Thursday table at Petrus, regretfully given to someone else by the very apologetic maitre’d for the first time in 15 years. And not just the business had changed. Mr Hardigain, my rock, my mentor had unfortunately gone soft. The weekly spankings I was contractually obliged to receive, ceased after a few weeks- I stood, bent over his desk at precisely 4:15pm, waiting for the sting of his big, warm hand, but one day it did not arrive. “That’s enough of that Billie” he said, gesturing for me to pull my skirt back up over my white lacy suspender set. I stood there awkwardly, and instead he pulled me towards him and kissed me. I was secretly annoyed – part of me had very much enjoyed those spankings, but the dynamic just wasn’t the same. I supposed he liked me too much to fuck me like he used to. Now, we made love twice a week, went to the Opera, we’d finish tail ends of his whisky collection in the office and sometimes fall asleep there, other times check into Claridges, strolling into work the next day at 10am in last nights clothes. He had become a formative part of my career in the City – well liked and formerly well connected, Mr Hardigain had moulded me into the consummate PA. Occasionally he could escape for a weekend, to a plush country hotel, or his Villa in Mallorca. Save that one, unforgettable night I had remained (mostly) faithful. Sure, there was that broker I met at Coq D’Argent, but that barely lasted five minutes so hardly counted as “cheating”. Oh, and that moment of madness during one of our weekends away at Limewood – the property developer… a fumble in the hallway whilst Mr Hardigain slept just meters away! That was exciting!!! What was his name… “Billie?” I jump slightly at the sound of Mr Hardigains deep voice saying my name, I’d barely heard the question, completely lost in thought “Er yes, so er…. anyway it’s a possibility we could still get a bail out from JTL, but they would be relocating half the office to Hong Kong so it would save the business but ruin the company if you know what I mean…” I say, absent mindedly. Yet another idea that wouldn’t work of course, and I suspected Hardigain would stay in this office until the bitter end. Until the bailiffs were prising art off the walls. I look at Mr Hardigain, tired but not yet defeated, sat behind his beautiful desk at what used to the the most influential office in town. From under his desk he reaches for a bottle of Lagavulin, just the tail end left, and pours the remainder into a Waterford cut crystal glass. He downs it quickly and beckons for me to come over. I sit on his lap and he buries his face into my hair, breathing in deeply. I’m wearing an inappropriately high Louboutin, my favourite pencil skirt and a pink-ish silk blouse. Stockings and suspenders of course, Tom Ford glasses, my hair straight to my backside and a tempting slick of shiny red lipstick. I feel Mr Hardigains cock harden beneath me. He pulls me close to him and kisses me deeply. Lost in the moment, I kiss him, bearing my soul through my lips. I kiss him to remember what it’s like to be in love, to forget what it’s like to be bored and alone. I kiss him with a mad passion, my hand frantically unzipping his trousers. He stands me up, facing the beautiful desk, and pulls my skirt down to my ankles, revealing a lacy pink stocking and suspender set – one of his favourites. He pulls my panties to one side and slides two firm fingers inside me. I collapse onto the desk and allow him to roughly finger me from behind to the point of orgasm. Still fully clothed and with one hand around my neck, he pulls his sticky fingers out, rubbing them over my clit. I beg for him to stop (but not really) as my body is consumed by an earth shattering multiple orgasm. “Fuck me harder!” I scream, my fingernails clawing the desk for purchase “Patrique!!! Fuck me harder Patr… “ “What did you say?” The moment stops at once, and a deafening silence grips the room. “I er… well I was just…” “Patrique?” I hear an undeniable shake of anger in Mr Hardigains voice, an icy eruption bubbling inside of him “As in, Patrique… Mersault? …Are you two? Have you…?” Oh fuck. “No!” I lie, unashamedly “No I just… I don’t know why I said that I was just thinking about something and I….” It’s no use. We both know what I said and it can’t be undone. A knot tightens in the pitt of my stomach as I turn to watch Mr Hardigain swiftly zip back up his trousers and reach back under his desk for another tail end of whiskey, Habiki this time, swigging straight from the bottle. I try to catch his eye but his won’t meet mine. He is deeply offended, as is to be expected when in the throes of pleasure, the woman you’re madly in love with screams out your enemies name. I pull my panties and skirt up, reapply my lipstick and try to be cool. Mr Hardigain still won’t look at me. I reach for his hand but he slides it away and pretends to be typing on his laptop which is clearly switched off. I have hurt him, and I sense now more than ever, that we are coming to the end of the road. I’ve this habit you see, of fucking things up unintentionally – such is the case when you’re a slave to lust. “So anyway Billie” Mr Hardigain says, in a rushed, business like tone, “We have a meeting in Board Room B at 3pm, it’s on the thirteenth floor. Now get out of my office.” He might as well have spat the words in my face, not that I’d have minded. Passion, any passion has to be better than this. I gather my belongings and turn to leave, hoping to catch Mr Hardigains eye over my shoulder, (he always watches me leave,) but not today. Not so much as a glance. Just before my hand reaches the door handle, he speaks “I would have expected loyalty from you of all people, Billie.” This time his voice does not waver. “Afterall, you were a penniless whore when I met you.” The words reach my ears like a cold hard slap at the altar. I turn around, my hair swishing past my backside and over my shoulder. “I think we both know,” I retort, and this time our eyes meet – his ablaze with anger and mine with indignant fury, “That this time next year, Mr Hardigain, you will be the penniless whore.” I turn on my heel, slamming the door behind me, and strut, in all my confident magnificence, to the ladies bathroom, where I sit in a cubicle and cry for ten minutes, deeply wounded by his words. It has all gone wrong. But what good is feeling sorry for myself? I must pull myself together. I blink the tears from my eyes and adjust my blouse; I’ve a 3pm to make. – It’s funny you can work in a building your whole life and not know what goes on behind certain doors. At 2:50, the lift door opens on the thirteenth floor and it occurs to me that I didn’t even know there was a Board Room B. I’d been sure this room had been rented by another company in the building… a storeroom for office supplies or something. Anyway, I had resolved to apologise to Mr Hardigain and beg his forgiveness. He has been so kind to me, he took a chance of me, my weakness was not his fault, and my hypocrisy embarrassed us both. Yes, I’ll book us a table at Scotts for tomorrow evening, where he will without a doubt order a Dover sole off the bone and it’ll be like old times. I felt sure I did love him, but scared of commitment had always tried to keep my options open. The thought of being boring and married terrified me even more than the collapse of the business. It disgusted me, the lives some people lived, every day the same as the last, no desire for adventure, content with lights out and missionary twice a yea- It took my eyes a moment to adjust to the bright strip lighting that illuminated Board Room B. Hearing the click of the door close behind me, I immediately reached for the door handle to let myself out again, only to find there wasn’t one. It took but seconds to realise something wasn’t right. Board Room B was a white room that appeared an almost perfect cube, the walls, ceiling and floor painted in high gloss white, other than one wall, which from what I could see was made from dark tinted plastic. Confused, I walk to the wall and tap it with my nails – it’s glass. There is an outline of the door I entered through – the door with no inside handle, and another door to the left of the dark glass wall, also with no inside handle. In each corner of the ceiling is a security camera, and other than a bench and two chairs in the middle of the room, it is completely empty. “Mr Hardigain???” My voice echos off the walls. “Hello?” From behind the glass wall I hear a scraping of chairs and I run to the wall, hammering the glass with my fists. It does not break. “Hello? Is anyone there? I think I’ve gotten the wrong room I’ve ended up locked in here somehow. Helllooooo?” No response but my own echo and the scraping of yet more chairs behind the glass. I sense that from behind that glass, I am without a doubt being watched. I walk back to the door I came in through, and hammer it loudly with my fists. “HELLO? HE-LLO!? I’m locked in this room is anyone there?” It’s no use, now I think about it I don’t think I’ve ever even been on floor 13 before. I thought it was all maintenance rooms or something. I reach into my handbag for my phone. No signal. Great! I guess I’ll be waiting until 6:45 when the cleaners finally arrive to let me out. Mr Hardigain’s going to think I’ve let him down (again) but I’m sure he’ll forgive me if I explain. I take a seat on one of the chairs and wait for a cleaner to find me. Then without warning I’m blinded by light – as if someone had turned the strip lighting up from 0-100. Disoriented, I instinctively crouch down on the floor, trying to feel my way around. “Hello? Is anyone there? Hello??” Still no response. The light is so blinding my eyes are pressed firmly shut as I desperately reach for a way out – crawling along the cold concrete floor. But I am not alone. Suddenly I feel at least three pairs of hands grab and lift me upwards. Terrified, I scream, arms and legs lashing out in all directions trying to throw them off. My resistance makes no impact and within the space of minutes, I find myself lying on my front on the bench, hands tied behind my back, completely naked. A blindfold is bound tightly around my head, shutting out all light and vision, other than a thin sliver of vision when I look directly down past my nose. Currently I see nothing but a tiny, bright slice glossy white floor. I stay lying front down on the bench for what feels like forever, my ears listening intently for any signs of movement, but none come, other than the ever present scraping of chairs to the left side of me – from behind that mysterious glass wall. I know in my sinking heart that Mr Hardigain has set me up somehow, that this was retribution for having broken his trust. My palms sweat with anxiety, every hair on my body prickling with fear. I know that Mr Hardigain would never hurt me, or at least I think he wouldn’t, but I also know I have betrayed him so completely, and in such a humiliating way, that his love for me may not be strong enough to grant forgiveness. I hear footsteps coming towards me, my breathing deepens in anticipation. Suddenly I feel a warm hand running down the cool flesh of my back. I try to kick out wildly but am bound so tightly to the table I can barely move an inch. My shouts are muffled by a gag made from my silk blouse, I see nothing but a slim sliver of light, where occasionally a fine slice of a shiny black Jefferey West shoe can be seen. The hands move slowly at first but then aggressively, one fist grabbing my hair and the other groping my backside. I hear the person move towards my head, and the unmistakable sound of a zip being hastily undone. I brace myself, then unexpectedly the gag is removed from my mouth and I have barely a moment to scream or catch my breath before a rock hard cock is stuffed unceremoniously into my mouth, probing the back of my throat. I choke, but my desperate gasps for air are ignored by the stranger, now pounding my throat with his cock, holding my head with both hands, harder and harder, until finally I feel the my mouth being filled with his hot sticky cum. The stranger leaves for around twenty minutes, but soon returns for more, the unmistakable slice of his shoe just visible from beneath by blindfold. At first I try to deny my more carnal urges, but before long am sucking greedily on his cock, licking his balls, swallowing every drop of his cum. This process is repeated over what feels like hours, no fewer than six times until he is fully drained, my my lipstick smeared across my sticky face. The silk-blouse gag is replaced and I feel the strangers hands once again exploring my body, running down my back and between my legs, feeling my wetness. He begins gently stroking my clit with two fingers. My pent up frustration gets the better of me and I bite down on the gag trying not to scream. I want more cock, I long to feel the stranger inside me, to have him use my body. I feel a warm finger enter me from behind. The finger, now wet, then moves upwards, first nudging then gently probing me from behind. Then, something much larger than a finger pressing into me. I gasp, biting down into the gag with my eyes pressed shut, as the stranger straddles the bench and slowly fucks me in the ass, his hands pressing the small of my back firmly downwards. My face is hot with pleasure and embarrassment, (I was saving anal for marriage, obviously,). The stranger is gentle this time, moving slowly and tenderly, until finally he erupts with passion: He leans forward, using his weight to pin me to the bench and I hear his breathing quicken as he cums deep inside me, staying there for a few minutes, the sweat from his chest, soaking into my back. He says nothing, but I hear a deep heavy breathing as he gets to his feet. I see the sliver of shiny black shoe and the sound of the zip being pulled back up. The struggle has caused the blindfold to slip just a few millimetres, my tiny sliver of vision widening ever so slightly. Looking directly downwards, I see – I gasp. I see the clear initials WBH embroidered on the crisp, white shirt tail of the stranger. Mr… Hardigain?? The sound of at least twenty scraping chairs echoes in the room, but after that – total silence. Once again the room fills with the consuming light and I feel the three pairs of hands this time untying me. I lash out, trying to grab one of them, but weak from nearly four hours in Board Room B, my attempts are futile. I hear the heavy door slam shut, and finally a cool darkness behind my eyelids. I open my eyes, and take in the room. It is exactly as I remember it, my clothes have gone, a heap of new folded clothes sit neatly on the end of bench. I search for my phone but it has been taken. Slowly I change into the clothes (red shiny high heels, black pencil dress with high neck, black stocking and suspender set) and head for the door. This time it swings freely open into the silent corridors of floor 13. I take the lift back down to the office, it’s now 7:30pm and the floor is quite empty, with the exception of Mr Hardigains office, where I can see through the door panel he is sat at his desk, downing the end of a bottle of whisky. Taking a deep breath I head to his office and knock the door. “You know you don’t have to knock Billie, come in” My Hardigains voice responds from behind the door. I step into the office, unsure of what to say. Does he know that I know it was him? I thought he liked missionary these days? Why would he have other people man handling me like that? Or maybe it wasn’t him? Does he really know what happened with Mersault or perhaps he was just guessing? Consumed by my thoughts it takes me a few seconds to realise Mr Hardigain and I are not alone in the room. I look to his right and survey an impossibly tall blonde, dressed in a smart blue office skirt, white sheer blouse, a fuck off Hermès handbag and smart black Jimmy Choos, a pendant just like the one Mr Hardigain gave me hangs lazily from around her neck. “This is Cindy.” Mr Hardigain says brightly. “Cindy will be taking your job from tomorrow morning.” I can’t look at her. I can’t look at him. My heart and my eyes conspire against me. Big fat tears bounce onto my blouse. “Mr Hardi-” I beg “You’re fired.” He says without so much as a glance at me. Instead he looks to Cindy, who positions herself on his lap, smiling at me with a smug maliciousness. To be continued….
“What we find exotic abroad may be what we hunger for in vain at home”
(Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel)
It’s several weeks later and I’m mostly settled into my new role. 5:45pm and I step out of the lift at City Social. I’ve decided on a smart but fitted Victoria Beckham pencil dress, a simple nude Casadei pump, and a Max Mara 108801 coat slung over my shoulders. At Mr Hardigains request, underneath I am wearing a tiny, platinum butt plug, and no underwear.I notice Mr Hardigain hunched over his usual dirty martini at the bar, and strut towards him, tapping him on the shoulder, with an immaculately manicured nail. “Oh!” He looks over his shoulder and turns around “You’re early! You look fantastic…” in a deliberately conspicuous advance, he grabs my bottom with both hands, squeezing and groping several times, whilst the rest of the restaurant pretends not to look. Our waiter arrives and guides us to our table, but just as we pass the first set of banquettes, I notice with the corner of my eye “Mersault!” Hardigain exclaims “Fancy seeing you here!” a steely, fake smile spreading across a face otherwise pained with irritation. “Hello Billie!” he replies, completely ignoring Mr Hardigains greeting “You are looking… ah, sensationale!” I reach out to shake his hand but he gently guides it towards his mouth and kisses it instead “Enchanté, Billie” he whispers, kissing my hand again. The table shifts uncomfortably, glancing at Mr Hardigain, who looks on seemingly cooly, but not cooly enough to hide an unmistakable tinge of bright purple jealousy flushed across his face. I laugh, girlishly “Anyway, Mr Mersault, a pleasure to see you again -“ Mr Hardigain takes my hand and leads me swiftly away towards our table. We sit down, silent for a few moments. I wonder if I should say something but sense it’s probably best to stay quiet. I order a glass of LP Rosé, and for Mr Hardigan, another dirty martini. I excuse myself to the bathroom, under the pretence of needing to powder my nose. “You don’t need makeup.” He says, angrily (not really at me, but perhaps at his biggest business rivals second not so subtle attempt at making a pass at me) “You don’t need a six bedroom house with tennis court in the Surrey Hills” I shoot back, grinning. “You don’t even play tennis!” “How did you know about that?” “It was in your emails. You gave Savills your work email instead of the personal one. You’re always doing that by the way, last week I was going through the urgent folder and there’s about ten from Aston Martin asking how you want the car specced.” “Well,” he smiles back “That is urgent”. I snatch up by handbag and make my way to the bathroom, each table of boring business diners, stealing a glance as I wiggle by. I push my way through the double doors, my stiletto skidding slightly on the brilliantly polished floor, the door swinging and narrowly missing a gentleman in a white shirt, no tie, and perfectly pressed navy trousers. “I beg your pardon – sorr- oh -“ It’s Mersault of course. I stop in my tracks, surveying him with distaste. He grins. “Billie! A pleasure again. We must stop meeting like this!” I blink at him, coldly. “Coucou…” he steps closer to me. Grabbing my hand gently yet firmly enough for me not to attempt pulling away, and brings it towards his crotch. I feel his rock hard throbbing cock beneath my palm. He lets go and I swiftly withdraw my hand. “You know. Mr Hardigain, he is not forever” Mr Mersault takes another step towards me: a kind of contactless violation, getting right in my space. A smattering of anxious sweat prickles on my upper lip. “He will sell the business in 2, 3 years then what will become of you? He has the perfect life. He already has a wife. Is wife is very beautiful…” “I’m sure she is.” I say curtly, glaring up at him. “An ex ballet dancer. Very slim. Very tall.” He says deliberately looking down on me as if I were 2 feet tall. “Really, the man has the perfect life. Nice house. Nice business. His PA is the biggest slut in the city. But what do you have?” Says Mersault, displaying his curious ability to make almost anyone impossibly uncomfortable. “He got you this?” He asks pointing to my necklace, an 18 karat Van Cleef pendant encrusted with VVS1 diamond, shining brilliantly under the restaurant lights He takes a further step towards me, now as close as he could possibly be. I don’t step back. “Yes. Yes he did” I say, a wave of hot and inexplicable anger passing over me “Pah!” Mersault laughs, a bitter look “Is nothing. He will give you these things to try and keep you. But I can give you other things Billie. I can teach you ow to make your own money. I can can teach you how to invest. Ow to buy stocks. How to become a boss yourself.” “Or, just a thought Mr Mersault and it may be something you haven’t considered… but an alternative option is you could always just fuck right off and leave me alone.” “Ah,” he says casually, stepping back. “Think about it.” He hands me a business card. “Dont trust Hardigain.” He says “He is not all he appears.” “It’s rather curious Mr Mersualt he said the exact same thing about you.” I retort, in my most brilliantly clean English accent. “An ‘obnoxious cunt who would sell his own mother for a trading tip’ I believe were his words, if I remember correctly”. “Mais biensur” Mersault smiles and nods, turning to head back to his table. But before he does – “Billie?” He says, as if as an afterthought, his hand holding the door ajar, revealing a truly ugly and ostentatious Frank Muller watch. “I will heve you. One day.” He says, dropping all pleasantness and politeness, looking at my body with an aggressive hunger “And when I have you, I will fuck you in that ass all night.” So taken aback am I by this approach, I stand there completely unable to think of a suitable response. I’m disgusted, obviously… sort of. He straightens his shirt sleeve, turns and leaves, the door swinging casually behind him. By the time I reach the bathroom my nose really does need powdering, but something else is bothering me. I sit in a cubicle, my heart pounding, my knees pressed firmly together. Why? I ask myself, almost saying it out loud. Why do I feel so deeply aroused by Mr Mersault? I indulge myself in imagining us in a beautiful hotel suite, me in a a beautiful lingerie set with stockings and suspenders with my face pushed into a pillow and my ass in the air.. Jesus. I powder my nose quickly and return to the table. Mr Hardigain is on his third martini. “I’ve ordered us the tasting menu” he says “Was very good the last two times I had it and yes I’ve gotten you the truffle supplement.” “You know me too well!” I flash him a big, pretty smile, my hand sliding up his thigh under the table, and gently fondling his cock “Yes I do you you too well. Which is why I feel the need to say Billie, if you shag that French bastard you are fired and I will see to it myself that you are personally ruined beyond the point of recovery.” My hand freezes mid motion. “You are under contract. Don’t you ever forget that.” Mr Hardigain downs his third martini in one go. “Now that’s quite enough of all that” he says “You’ve done an excellent job this month so I’ve bought you a little something. He nods towards a small orange gift bag on the spare seat. “Go on, open it.” I place the bag on the table, and lift out a small box, the unmistakable orange and brown hues of Hermes, contrasting with the stark white tablecloth. A few people on nearby tables look over, curiously. I pull the ribbon, then open the box. Inside is a perfectly folded silk scarf, I gently lift it out, holding it up to admire the pattern. It’s my favourite colour palate, mellow browns and earthy tones, and looking closely, intricately embroidered are hundreds of tiny – “- I remembered you said you love Bradley Theodore. Hermes partnered with him to make just 100 of these, if you look closely they’ve stiched in his signature 400 times by hand.” “Wow! Thank you! It’s beautiful” “Like you. I…” Mr Hardigan carefully refolds the scarf and puts it back inside the box. His face flushes deep purple “I am very fond of you Billie.” I reach over and plant a massive soft kiss on his lips, then embrace him in a hug, over his shoulder my eye, for the shortest of moments, making contact with Mr Mersault, who just so happens to be looking over from the other side of the room. After our meal (an excellent meal with fabulous wine pairings) I take my Uber home to my now upgraded flat in Marylebone. I pull my heels and dress off, leaving the butt plug in and slipping into a silk La Perla dressing gown. I pour myself a glass of Chablis, recline on the sofa, and sigh. “Caught Between Two Narcissists, a memoir” I joke to myself. What could possibly go wrong? No time to worry about that now, I put on Chefs Table and spend the next hour enthralled in the delightful intricacies of Thailands street food scene. By the time the episode is over it’s gone 1am, time for bed. Hair tied up and makeup removed, and now in nothing but an old grey and very washed out Ralph Lauren t shirt, I head to bed. Whilst setting my alarm a WhatsApp message flashes up on my screen from a +33 number I don’t recognise. It reads: “I’m outside.” My stomach turns. A stalker? Surely not. Postman? Too late. Hardigain? He has to be in by 12. Lenses now removed, I feel around in my bedside cabinet for my glasses, and tiptoe to the front room. As inconspicuously as I can I very slowly open just a millimeter of a crack in the blinds, a beady eye surveying the street below my 2nd floor window. Parked outside is a Porsche 912, with the number plate I can just about make out to read “MSLT 912”. A figure shrouded in the darkness looks directly up towards where the tiny crack in the blind has released a beam of light. He smiles, waves. Immediately I close the gap in the blind, breathless. My back to the window, that uncomfortable feeling returning to me. Mr Mersault! My phone buzzes in my hand. I look down and a message flashes across the screen. “Open the door.” I wait in my living room for a moment unsure of what to do. I briefly consider Mr Hardigains words, but the excitement gets the better of me and almost unconsciously I feel myself tiptoe downstairs to the front door, carefully opening it. “Get in!” I whisper “You’ll wake my neighbours up!” Without my heels Mr Mersault towers over me in an intimidating fashion. I blink up at him through my glasses, pulling the hairband from my in a desperate attempt to look more attractive. I don’t like him of course, but a part of me would like for him to like me. He follows me upstairs; I flick the light on and feel suddenly embarrassed at all my girly nonsense strewn everywhere – lipsticks and fashion magazines, fluffy scatter cushions and in one corner a “Manifestation Board” that I pray silently that he won’t notice- but of course he does. “What is this?” He says, spotting the pinboard overloaded with stick on images of my hopes. I feel every hair on my body prickle with deep embarrassment. “It’s nothing, I -“ Too late, Mersault is at the board, surveying it with a mild amusement. His eyes glance over the many images: The Maldives, pristine vintage Mercedes SLs, of big houses in the countryside with huge kitchens and acres of land, a Safari in South Africa. He looks to the bottom corner of the pinboard, at photos of big diamond rings, dinner at Noma, a beautiful silver greyhound, an Eco Lodge in New Zealand. “So this is where you live…” He says, turning around and looking at my apartment as if it were a cheap Motel. “And these… these are your dreams…” he glances over his shoulder at my Manifestation Board. I stand there foolishly in my washed out t shirt. “I don’t look very nice right now.” I say clumsily, like a stupid child. I feel suddenly self conscious, I should have never opened that door. I’m in my own home but he has the upper hand so completely that I feel as if the space were his. “I prefer natural look anyway” Mr Mersault steps towards me, gently removed my glasses and puts them to one side “I don’t care what you prefer” I lie. We both know what’s going to happen, but I try to hold out, thinking of my contractual obligations to Mr Hardigain, who after all has been so good to me. Mersault steps closer to me, backing me slowly into a corner. Cornered, I stare defiantly, the cool of the buttplug pressing against my flesh.
To be continued…
Re-reading one of my favourite books – “Ask The Dust”, by John Fante.
This is one of the extracts I love the most; Arturo Bandini (a struggling writer) talking about his desire for riches:
I’ve been uncharacteristically quiet, travelling non stop, and finally packing for my final stop – diving! Some secrets are best kept unspoken, but safe to say, it has been a phenomenal month. Don’t want to sound like one of those insufferable people, but I am grateful! Okay gotta go pack now for the 100th time this month byeeeeeeee xxxx
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
– 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.
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