Friday, 17 April 2009


I went to Brighton last Sunday with a male mate. Took the train. Much more relaxing. He could read the papers, and I could do some work. Or so I thought.

The town itself is a bit sleazy, like a rundown suburb...London-on-Sea. We walked from the wonderfully ghastly Palace Pier - how did they manage to fit everything that's tacky about Britain onto one strip of wood and metal and point it at France? - all the way to genteel Hove, where lonely, maiden aunts live out their days listening to the waves wash over the beach, the stones rattling against each other like bad memories.

On the train home, we sat opposite a beautiful young couple. As we pulled out of the station, I asked my friend what he was planning for Sunday evening.

"I'm going to the Torture Garden" he joked.

The beautiful couple looked at each other then at us and smiled, and for the rest of the journey, they regaled us with details of the World's Greatest Fetish Club where weirdos in creatively-outrageous rubber outfits parade about with their bits hanging out. Fascinating. We agreed to meet them there one evening. I'm wondering how I can adapt the Marigolds 'cos I'm damned if I'm going shopping at House of Harlot.

In complete contrast, I was taken out last night to Harry's Bar, the most delightfully decadent dining experience since Nero's Rome. Everything was perfect - the peach bellinis, the sycophantic staff, the luscious menu and the excellent company.

I managed, with much hilarity, to slip in the story about the failed Viagra purchase in Spain. My host was so charming that not only was I right-royally entertained, I also ended the evening with a couple of little tabs in my handbag for free.

The night of experimentation grows ever closer. And you'll never guess who I'm planning it with...

Saturday, 4 April 2009


One of my young chaps and I had discussed the entertainment value of experimenting with Viagra. He, of course, doesn't need it and I've never had to do with it.

They sell it over the counter in Spain so as a little treat, I thought I'd buy us some.

There was a bit of a queue in the pharmacy. An elderly male,a middle-aged woman and young Master Monobrow were serving. As I inched up the line, I prayed I would get either of the first two. Did I? Did I, buffalo!

"Si, senora?" Monobrow asked.

I lowered my voice to little more than a whisper and croaked "Viagra, por favor?"

He looked at me with an expression that said I'll try not to change my expression but I noted pity in his eyes.

"25, 50 and 100 mgs?" he asked in hushed tones.

Bugger! I didn't know it came in soft, medium and hard. I went the middle route and he brought a little box out of a drawer. To give him credit, he kept them concealed in the palm of his hand to spare my blushes.

I wanted to scream: "They're not for me! I don't need them! It's just a joke. My lovers are young and virile and up all night and...and..."

"Cinquenta y tres con noventa, por favor" he requested.

Whaaaat! 53.90 euros? At today's rate? With my reputation? No way, Jose!

I cleared my throat: "Oh. Er. Sorry. I'll er...I'll leave it thank you..." and scuttled away. He shrugged, this time definitely pityingly, probably thinking: Poor Cow! She's not getting any tonight.

I never realized sex was so expensive. What do the poor pensioners do? I hope it's available on the NHS. I'll bring my bus pass next time and see if I can get it free but meanwhile, we'll just have to carry on without the dubious pleasure of fun-enhancing drugs.

I didn't much like JR referring to me as his dealer anyway. Not at my age!

Thursday, 2 April 2009


I'm currently in Andalucia - my second home. On the coast, the sky is blue, the sea is calm, the palm trees are wafting in the breeze, the sunsets ignite the sky with spectacular displays of fiery red hue and the sweet aroma of orange blossom fills the air around the cobbled square. I'm in heaven!

This morning I travelled up to Sevilla and am staying, as I love to do, at the Alfonso XIII Hotel, an exquisitely romantic location from which to explore this jewel of a city.

I'm here to research a passage for my forthcoming novel, a chapter already written which I need to verify. I enter the vast portal of the world's grandest Gothic cathedral and proceed up the aisle to the Altar Mayor.

A Major Event takes place here and I want to make sure I've got the details right. I make a few amendments, climb the 37,952 steps to the top of the clock tower and admire the splendour spread out below. From here I can see La Maestranza - the bullring - which also features significantly in the book.

Fortuitously, my first toyboy lives nearby - fat and forty now - but keen to meet up. He is a sentimental 'friend' and we pass the afternoon together reminiscing about times gone by, marvelling at the fact that we are still in touch 21 years on from our first encounter that heady New Year's Eve in the Sierra Nevada when he seduced me as the clock struck midnight.

Tomorrow it's back to the Costa to continue editing 'Blood on the Sand'. With the mountains to the right and the Med to the left, inspiration abounds...