This is from December 2006 - meeting new best friends
Yesterday I went from Hicksville to the Big Smoke by steam locomotive, thence using the urban subterranean mode of transport favoured by so many of the native populace, despite occuring in carriages of deeply restricted space, to the fruit and vegetable market, Covent Garden. Imagine my surprise - where had all those colourful costermongers and their stalls gone? Oh, tempus, o mores! (Mores of that later, I believe)
So, instead of purchasing a banana and a couple of apples, as had been my previous intention, for a scuptural installation I had been months in the planning, at a modest cost of 2d, I was instead obliged to conduct myself around several local establishments offering a variety of lascivious goods for sale. 'Bend forward!' instructed the lady in the lingerie boutique, coming up behind my semi-naked person - and this merely for the fitting of a lacily confected soutien-gorge (forgive my embarrassment at having to mention a lady's unmentionables here). Covering my coyness, I rapidly withdrew, and returned, breathless and panting, to what was appearing to be my natural and more comfortable habitat - the streets of the neighbourhood. At least here, for the most part, I was unassailed, with a few exceptions, by any of the passing throng, thrusting their way past me as I stood to regain my composure on one of the street corners, one hand pressed to my capacious bosom. For one moment, I thought I recognised the owner of the said hand, it being large and manly .... but no, it was in fact that of a total, and somewhat burly, stranger. Ah me!
The emporium known familiarly as Marks and Sparks was where I made my final foray. By this time, I found myself somewhat short of the readies, despite several fine young gentlemen offering me their purses and their persons, so I was obliged to dig deep deep deep into the depths of my bag, which rummaging produced a small piece of plarstic, similar in shape and size to a 'credit' card. These, dear me, new-fangled notions which facilitate shopping is proving quite a boon in my current penniless state. How kind of the Messrs Barclay to pay for my purchases ....!
And now, we move on to my intended reason for braving the excitements of our great capital city. I was to meet several people unknown to me, apart from a slight and precarious acquaintanceship via the medium of - strange concept - what I can only describe as magic!! Apparently, when I sit in the comfort of my cosy home, writing on a luminous window, other people are enabled, I know not how - to see that which I write. And I, too, see what they write in response to my slight meanderings... Very odd. Nevertheless, it appears this form of communication is becoming quite popular, and persons with similar interests band together to exchange information, among a variety of other things, of mutual interest to each other. I cannot quite bring myself to believe that these people actually exist beyond my vivid imagination, but it appears it is so....
So, at the agreed meeting place, I spotted a lady standing on her own. Rushing forward, I grasped her warmly in my arms, relief at finding myself alone no more, and kissed her enthusiastically on both cheeks. At which demonstration of affection, I was astounded when she withdrew herself coldly from my clutching embrace, declaring herself uninterested in my charms. Whatever could she have meant? I was disconsolate, until a sweet voice sounded my name close to my shell-like ear. It was her, my rescuer! - surely a goddess among women! Come to save me from inadvertantly importuning further strangers. She was surrounded by an aura of sunshine on this cloudy day, and accompanied by a lively green amphibian... But who was I to query her choice of companion...?
I was escorted to a nearby tavern, where I proceeded in my usual friendly fashion, to put my new best friends at their ease. This comprised my talking extensively, so they were able to relax under the onslaught of my wit, veracity and verbosity. And, as is my wont, I found I had to imbibe various quantities of a rouged liquid, to ease my throat - it becoming rather hoarse from exercising my vocal cords so much. Further people, both male and female, joined our table, and I discovered that their names were not, in fact, their own!! This discombobulated me initially, being unable to work out the reason for this apparent double-barrelled nomenclature. But so be it! I, too, was queried over my choice of name. 'Tis mine own, given me by my parents, upon my birth!' I averred, feeling of a sudden rather dull. And here, I must make a short aside - several of the ladies now present were quite excitable, unlike their, to me, demure appearances within the confines of my shiny window at home. I fear I have not yet grasped the entire concept hidden beneath the window's surface....
And so to luncheon, which lasted for several hours, people coming and going, much shrieking as in laughter, much unnecessary hugging and kissing - the germs! the distastefully close contact between persons of the (whisper) opposite s*x... I had to pretend to join in these excursions with an appearance of gladness upon my countenance - for otherwise, I would have deemed myself impolite. It is this wish to retain a modicum of politesse and self-worth that has frequently been the cause of unwarranted and certainly uncalled-for attentions by certain gentlemen upon my person in the past ... My parents were such that instant obedience was a requirement. To this day, I find it impossible to say 'no'...
After downing several glasses of spirituous liquor, I then found myself in the company of the ladies down several flights of stairs, standing before some cubicle doors opposite a range of basins and a mirror. Here, amidst many girlie screams and chatter, we were able to change our clothing and attend to our maquillage, in preparation for the party we were to attend later that same evening.
Enough of this rubbish!!