Fallout from the Erotic Meet Christmas party, stylised as "WITH BELLS ON!".
Bells, that is, although not much else in some cases. I arrived myself in a classic shirt-and-trousers combination; Jilly, who was accompanying me, in a lovely top and with jewellery that we'd only just bought, but which worked incredibly well. However, Rose's costume... well... needed to be seen to be believed, and Shalla looked like she hadn't even got a top half of her costume. I also met Silver, boyfriend of Bunny White, who was in possession of both a walking stick and an inrgained love for Sapphire and Steel. Seemed like a genuine guy. Due to a balls-up by the Green Carnation, the first hour-and-a-half of the event has to be held in the small VIP room, but that was worth it for the experience of sitting on the comfy sofas while these amazingly-clad guests arrived...
The performances were varied, as always, but there were some absolute standouts (for different reasons...) One, in particular, stands out in my memory: SP Howarth, the first performer, whose poetry was both inspired and catchy - and suitably erudite enough in its language to satisfy the English graduate in me. Lolo Brow was a pleasant and sexy surprise, Lilly Snatchdragon made us all laugh as well as stare, and Rubyyy just looks fantastic whatever she does. The food, too, was good - I developed a particular liking of the chocolate penises which ejaculated mint cream whenever you bit into them.
We live in an age where one can type that last sentence on a public blog and be taken in utmost sincerity.
Two particular moments stand out in my memory, though - and things that I hope I can still look back upon and smile. And maybe there are visual souvenirs. Or something. The first is Holly Revell's darkroom photo workshop. It's been an idea of mine to get "the gang" together (for the uninitiated, these are the people I've connected with most via sex blogging: Lady Pandorah, Blacksilk, Jilly and Rose) and get a group photo taken (although obviously not for public display on my blog; if you want a full photo of me, I look like this), and this was the ideal opportunity... although it took me a while to get all of us in the same place at the same time! The process was complicated, and resulted in a sort of anarchic mess, chaos yielding beauty as always. I remember being draped in angel hair, clutching a star-on-a-stick like something out of the Kirby games, one arm around Rose and one holding the hand of Jilly, who was cuddling up to my other side, while Blacksilk and Lady P sat on the floor, bedecked with Christmas paraphernalia. The photos were taken in the dark...
...and came out incredibly well. I can't wait to see the finished product, if only for the costumes.
The second specific memory was a little more calm. After the performances and once drinks were flowing and the volume was being cranked up, I gathered up some friends and absconded to a little café down the road for some respite, quiet, and food. The staff seemed a little bamboozled as we entered - three couples: Jilly and I, Lady P and Mister, and Blacksilk and Crush. We commandeered a big table in the centre of the room and enjoyed the relative quiet after the thumping beats of the mix in the Carnation, diving into not only toasted sandwiches and onion rings that Crush refused to touch, but also deep conversations about the sex blogging world as a whole, roleplaying and movies, and how mystified I was that the staff misinterpreted my request for tomatoes as a request for ham about three times. It may have seemed a little odd at times - three musketeers becoming six - but, in the end, I think we all worked well as a group, proving once again that the dynamic's there if you will it so.
I had to bid farewell pretty soon after this, and it's a good thing I did, because it took us blummin' ages to get back home. It's 20 minutes from Central to North London usually, but in this case it took us a little under two hours! Still, at least it guaranteed us a little sleep when we got back (although when I say a little sleep, I mean a lot of sleep, by which I mean ALL THE SLEEP IN THE WORLD).
And, above all, following sleep, it re-energised me. Here's to next Christmas, huh?