a night (not) at the opera

By amy ~ June 23rd, 2009 @ 11:32 am

dsc_0479Needless to say, my earlier prediction was entirely correct and the summer evening I had planned to relax in the lovely Jardin du Luxembourg with Rigoletto was washed out completely, to the extent that even the barely-two-minute walk to Pigalle metro was enough to drench me to the skin. The evening was salvaged only by an industrial-sized slice of good apple tart and a DVD box set (not of an opera); thankfully the following day the sun came out and normal service was resumed.

Ten days later and I am sharpening up my search skills on Youtube (so that I may actually see some of the production that I bought a £60 ticket for), and am having at least a little success now that I have worked out the order in which the segments should be viewed. The weather for four of my eight days was so horrendous that I have now resigned myself to any future visit I make to Paris being akin to monsoon season in the tropics, irrespective of season or timing; fortunately there are many ways to occupy oneself indoors.

Upon my return I caught up with the lovely Catherine Stephens from the IUSW, whom longer-standing readers will remember had me accompany her to the TUC Womens Conference in March where we were together treated to much ill-informed, hysterical abolitionist nonsense  regarding the evils of our chosen occupation (the gist of which I need not go into in any sort of depth here, as most of you will be only too aware of what I mean). She was also kind enough to put me up for the night at her fascinating work premises and thus my first visit to a proper dungeon, equipped with all the corrective gadgets and equipment it must be possible to need, and then some; luckily for me also a comfortable bed and a fully-functioning bathroom which after a day’s metro-hopping before my Eurostar departed Gare du Nord mid-afternoon, was the stuff of fantasies in itself. Incidentally, for those of you who may wish to partake with such a lady offering excitingly tougher stuff than I, Cat has informed me that she will be advertising again soon and is planning a new website; I will keep you informed (or she’ll spank me!)

You will be pleased to hear therefore that we got our chance to redress the balance somewhat at the GMB conference in Blackpool on the Sunday lunchtime where a fringe meeting was held ostensibly to discuss the legal and labour rights of workers in the sex industry (and also not in any small part to demonstrate that many of us are not emaciated, drug-addled crime-statistics-waiting-to-happen). Having never participated in any form of public speaking bar occasionally being called upon to read aloud at school, my paralysing terror at addressing a public gathering was fairly apparent to all present, but I am pleased to report that everyone was very kind, the meeting was fully attended and I did eventually manage to splutter out some semblance of a speech (and later wondered if I would have been closer to my comfort zone had I held forth in a state of undress as in this weeks photograph, provided of course that this would not itself constitute a public order offence).

I am this evening leisurely packing up and making final preparations for my London trip, and shall be setting off early tomorrow morning.  There is now only minimal availability left (despite and few changes-around,)but still enough to make a phone call worthwhile! Will be seeing a few of you there no doubt; to everybody else – back Monday and behave yourselves while I’m gone or there’ll be trouble! Maybe that dungeon’s rubbed off a bit on me after all…

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