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...