So the country bumpkin Miss Bond comes up to London for the 'In the Flesh' erotica reading organised by the fab Suzanne Portnoy and held on the last Wednesday of every month. It was so steamy in London - they still haven't got the air conditioning sorted in the tube. I'm not really a country bumpkin - I lived in London on and off for nearly 20 years, in the mean streets of Notting Hill, Shepherds Bush and latterly Earls Court. I remember well scrambling to get my then eight year old (no 1 son, now a strapping, gorgeous 25 year old) to school and then the face-in-armpit journey on the District Line to Blackfriars.
I was trying to look reasonably hot (as in sexy, not as in sweaty, which I was as well) in a grey satin shift dress. Even so I nearly ended up in Regent Street thanks to some idiot who pointed me in the wrong direction when I came out at Tottenham Court Road, which is unrecognisable with all the cross-rail thingy work going on there.
Anyhoo, the Alleycat Club. What a perfect venue for some dirty reading! Denmark Street was new to me, a colourful row of varied shops and bars, and there it is, blue fairy lights directing you down steps to the depths, into a cosy bar with little tables and chairs and of course a stage with mike and instruments waiting for the jazz band coming after. Suzanne was there already - what a dame! Anyone who's read her sex memoir The Butcher, The Baker etc about a New Yorker's sex odyssey when living in London will have an idea of how sexy and feisty she might be, and with her throaty voice and big laugh she ticks all the boxes!
So some smiley girls and one or two boys came wandering in, including Sophie Hart of Cafe Crumb fame (Naughty Girls Book Club), my fellow readers KD Grace, Rupert Smith and Zac. Also two of my sisters, my cousin, my best mate from uni, and another girl who was at school with my sister. So the fan club was complete.
I asked Suzanne if I could read first as I was so nervous - ridiculously as it turned out, as everyone was so supportive. So she introduced me and up I went to read the scene from The Silver Chain where Serena and Gustav make love in the true sense of the word, for the first time in his house in London. I'm not a natural performer, unless I'm singing, so I hope my voice was husky in the right places, emphasis etc. Serena sees Gustav totally naked for the first time. They make love in a normal, straight way, the silver chain draped around her wrist but no other toys, no props. Just their bodies.
The applause was warm and welcome, and then I was done. The other readers were fantastic. Quick, witty, dead sexy. And all too soon I'd drained my glass of wine and it was all over. I said goodbye to Suzanne, KD, Rupert and Zac, and my 'gang' dragged me round the corner for yet more sauvignon blanc and something, can't remember what, to eat. How on earth I got to Waterloo, let alone an hour down the railway line to Winchester, I'm afraid I can't recall!