you know it’s a bank holiday when…

By amy ~ May 2nd, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

…the pervasive chill filling the apartment emanates not from the open windows, the comfortingly well stocked fridge-freezer nor even from my reaction to the eleventh ‘hey babe’ text message of the weekend; in time honoured BH tradition the combi boiler has decided to join the rest of the nation in kicking back for a bit of down-time, disassociating itself with all the radiators in the process and leaving both I and the apartment feeling distinctly, well, nippy. This provided novelty in the grand-old-stately-pile tradition for all of a couple of hours (and HUGE apologies to my unwary visitor on Saturday afternoon whose arrival must have been synchronised almost to the second with the moment of switch-off, and was far too polite to point it out despite the temperature three hours later having dropped to a decidedly inhospitable level – I honestly hadn’t realised).

Being all too aware that a call to the plumber either yesterday or today would have rendered my working every day of the Bank Holiday period completely pointless, and it really isn’t that cold provided one is adequately dressed (with my trusty old halogen heater dusted off and on duty for when one is not) I am waiting until tomorrow to do anything about it; the little pool of water discovered beneath the appliance last night is not growing beyond the occasional drip and I possess more than enough clothing to insulate myself should the weather take a sudden turn for the worse. The fishes, being a temperate species, are newly energised and have been taking advantage of the cooler conditions with a spot of aquascaping – no prizes for guessing who will be replanting all the nice new (and now floating) greenery when they tire of digging it up. At least the hot water is still working at the time of writing; if the worst happens the gym isn’t far away, and their shower facilities are almost as nice as mine (although not very practical for visitors, admittedly).

The last week has whizzed past in something of a blur; my whistlestop (but no less delightful for it, thanks to some especially charming company) trip to Heathrow allowed me time to catch up with some of my favourite London ladies and a long, happy Wednesday afternoon was spent eating tapas with the ever-lovely Catherine Stephens (a good choice, since the opportunities to fortify oneself at the Heathrow hotel in which I spent the night after a two hour journey across town and out to the terminals were limited for anyone not wanting to spend the price of a Bank Holiday plumbers call-out) followed by a just-as-happy Thursday afternoon at mine and Kinky La Rue’s newest fave Yo Sushi, where in between cackling and gossiping, and thanks to the Blue Monday special offer (all plates £2.30 – yay!) we managed to decimate the conveyor and wound up having to issue our demands to the very obliging chefs when the Hairy Prawns ran out.

As anyone might imagine, Central London was not the ideal location for anybody wishing to efficiently go about their business on Thursday last week and despite the temptation to hang about for another night, Kindle and I managed to find a corner in the vestibule of the standing-room-only 1819 to Newcastle and found ourselves gratefully home for half past nine. The futility of trying to avoid the shenanigans the next day became all too clear when attempting an all-morning lie in, only to be subjected to such blanket radio coverage that it was as easy to get up, have a bath and put on the television in the middle of the afternoon (as I have also done today but only because my favourite-ever prossie flick Breakfast At Tiffanys is on, I still have some Easter chocolate left and because I knew fine well that the gentleman who rang to book a 2pm appointment yesterday had no intention of confirming before I even put the phone down). The To Do list for tomorrow when normality finally returns is becoming longer by the minute – latest addition: Buy Ipod Dock For Bedroom (in addition to the daily stalwarts of Bank, Put Washing Away and Thaw Out Peas).

And so to the coming weeks – I will be resolutely in Scarborough (please note that as ever, ‘in Scarborough’ does not mean the same as ‘sitting around in underwear twenty four hours a day waiting to be summoned’), outcalls notwithstanding until the 26th and bar this coming Sunday available for the majority of them, although the last day is technically accounted for already as I will be packing my bags for my return to Scotland the following day, and soon after my first ever trip to Inverness! On the subject of Scotland, a message this week from the good folk at Scot-PEP:

‘It was confirmed to us at Scot-PEP last week, by one of the leading abolitionists, that the intention to press ahead with the criminalisation of the purchase and sale of sex will continue in the new Parliament. With Ms. Godman’s retiral, it is not clear who will take that job on. However, we were told that it will be someone experienced and that “it” (presumably the criminalisation) “should not be a problem”.

So… it won’t be a problem, yeah? We at Scot-PEP think differently, indeed we intend to make it as much of a problem as we possibly can, just as we did last year when they tried the same nonsense. However, in order to do so, we need your help. We are an entirely voluntary organisation, dependent on the energies and time of committed individuals.

The debate in the coming months will be about you, whether client or worker. It will be about your lifestyle and your means of support. We need you to help YOU prevail.’

To everyone reading, this DOES mean you – all of us. Even to those among us who have few or no connections with Scotland, it should come as no surprise that interested parties over the rest of the UK and their accolytes will be watching proceedings closely, and are unlikely to let any opportunity slip past for trying to force a similar bill through Westminster should the abolitionists north of the border succeed. Having worked recently in a country where we would all be criminalised purely by virtue of deciding to have sex with one another for reasons that others disapprove of, and experienced first hand the feelings of paranoia, vulnerability and sheer impracticality of operating under such ridiculous and restrictive legislation (and this is from my fortunate position; the likely effect on those less so is well discussed already) I can resolutely state that you really, REALLY wouldn’t want to have this happening here. Assuming it never will, however, is looking unlikely to be good enough this time.

Scot-PEP (Scottish Prostitutes Education Project) is a small, community based project which campaigns for sex workers rights and promotes health and dignity in prostitution. They are a registered charity and the main organisation challenging the proposals, and despite having their funding cut last year, they continue funded by public donations to work supporting sex workers in Scotland. They can be contacted at:

SCOT-PEP
70 Newhaven Road
Edinburgh
EH6 5QG
Tel: 0131 622 7550
Email: voice@scot-pep.org.uk

Anybody wanting information as to how they can help, join in or donate, please get in touch. More as it happens.

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