Monday, 23 April 2012

Land of Saints and Scholars - part one.

Good afternoon and greetings from LL towers, where I have finally arrived home after an exceptionally enjoyable week away, to a rapturous welcome from the zoo. Firstly let me apologise again for the (albeit temporary) outburst yesterday. Sometimes we all have to release what I call my "inner fishwife", I don't like doing it, it's not befitting the person that I am but hey, when pushed far enough it's in all of us.

If the truth be known, that's twice I've had to do it this week, allow me to explain. J and I arrived in Dublin and checked into our beautiful five star hotel, situated as it was not too far from Grafton Street (which is where the posh shops are, innit) but also just a stone's throw away from some of the grottiest tenement flats in Dublin's inner city. So if you turned left, you could indulge yourself with your credit card, but if you turned right, you could be met with the traditional Irish welcome of a needle to the neck and a stamp to the head, thereafter someone else could indulge themselves with your credit card.

Come the late evening, I stood outside the front door of the hotel to admire the passing shiny tracksuits when I saw what can only be described as an advertisement for rehab, trying desperately to steal some bikes from across the street. When he couldn't free them from their stands, he proceeded to start to kick the crap out of their frames. I deplore anyone who wilfully destroys the property of other hard working people, it drives me mad. Dublin's answer to Tristan Smedley Smythe was beside me, on his Blackberry. He said that he was going to call "The Guards". Now I knew that was never going to work, the only way to get the Irish police to respond is to tell them that shots have been fired or that a perfectly happy and independent escort is working in an apartment, (whoops, did I say that out loud) ?

I will (again) apologise for the ensuing filthy language here, I'm just glad J didn't hear me because I think it would have frightened him to death, being the genteel soul that he is. I should also point out that real inner city Dubliners drop every 'd' and 'h' available to them, if you're not familiar with the dialect then you can view our own Mrs. Brown
here. So, I took a deep breath, moved towards what we Irish lovingly refer to as the "scumbag" and shrieked -


I'm delighted to say that seemed to have the desired effect and he scampered off, presumably to see if any of his esteemed friends had any Tesco value weed to spare.

Tristan Smedley Smythe was flabbergasted.

"I say, bloody well done. Did you go to theatre school?"

"Something like that, yes".

Wearing a large grin, I went back to join J for dinner.

I will pop back later in the week to finish my holiday tale, in the meantime I'm off to launch the Spanish inquisition, whilst I was away some fecker ate my Double Decker Easter egg, and they needn't bother blaming the cat this time, heads are going to roll.

LL xx

Friday, 13 April 2012

Inverness, Intimations and Ireland

Good evening from a very quiet LL towers. Boy cat is snoring and farting gently on the footstool beside me and La Princess is at a sleepover, (I did suggest some diazepam for the parents concerned but was met with a weak smile, I know the feeling.) I've had quite a mixed week really, firstly I was in Inverness for a couple of days and my hairy Highlanders didn't let me down, I had a whale of a time. From there I had to arise at 6am on Wednesday, (I have witnesses) to scoot down the A82 to meet S. When I say scoot, it was a four hour drive fuelled by lucozade and some very dodgy looking own-brand caffeine tablets, but I made it to Kennacraig, from where we left for Islay. It was my first visit there and I thought it was simply beautiful. The picture above was taken from the boat and is of Jura, when we sailed by.

Also this week, Dr. Brooke Magnanti, did a rather brilliant interview with The Telegraph, link here. I loved this quote -
"Her new book, The Sex Myth, fuses her personae as research scientist and sex worker. And it’s good: powerful in its exposé of knee-jerk reactions and shoddy science, social or otherwise. The chapters challenging feminist assumptions about pornography and the sex trade look likely to prove constructively controversial." Good, because that is exactly what is needed, an intelligent and well thought out challenging of society's accepted norms from an academic who can underpin and substantiate her work with real statistics.

Interestingly, the journalist concerned spoke to Dr. Magnanti about a lady who was "outed" insofar as she was exposed as having accepted cash for sex, although in fact she was underage, so it was actually rape. She had this to say - "Her exposure a couple of years later provoked an animal savagery among her peers and she felt forced to leave. I think of her often, appalled by the loss of potential that I hope she has been able to confound." Could there be anything more appalling than ostracising and casting out a child victim of rape, whether or not money changed hands ? I don't think so.

Dr. Magnanti had this response for the journalist -

“So be an ally. In terms of how you’re treated by the law and how you’re seen by society, there’s a lot of similarity between being a sex worker now and being gay 20 years ago. And what really changed that was family, friends, members of the public coming to know people who were gay. We need people like you who say: 'I myself am not a sex worker, but I do not object to their existence’.”
“If you want to identify a population that has been consistently discriminated against, it is up there with racism, with religion. There is the assumption that, once you have crossed this line, you never go back and that it says something about you as a person and your ability to do other things.”

Well said, that lady.

I'm off to Ireland with J for a week come Monday, it will feel very strange travelling around Southern Ireland without visiting family, but I don't think The Mother would appreciate meeting for afternoon tea when I have J on a lead and in full gimp regalia. Actually, I think she'd find it kind of fascinating, it would be more about what other people would think, which reminds me of that rather brilliant quote from Fr. Ted -


LL xx

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Positivity and Pythons

Good afternoon and greetings from home where I am gathering my frillies for Edinburgh.

Lots of good tidings this week, firstly I found this article in the Australian news which talks in very positive and incontrovertible terms about sex work in New South Wales, in fact NSW is described as the best place in the world to work if you are in the sex industry. The article goes on to say -

The decriminalisation of sex work in NSW has resulted in the world's the healthiest sex industry, the research released today found.

"Jurisdictions that try to ban or license sex work always lose track as most of the industry slides into the shadows," the report's lead author, Professor Basil Donovan from the University of NSW's Kirby Institute, said in a statement.

"In NSW, by contrast, health and community workers have comprehensive access to and surveillance of the sex industry.

"This has resulted in the healthiest sex industry ever documented."

The report, prepared for the NSW government, found there were at least 101 brothels within 20 kilometres of Sydney's CBD and estimated that between 3000 to 4500 sex workers operated in the region in any one year.

On the whole, sex workers surveyed also reported being "well adjusted and comfortable with their occupation".

Hurrah, further support for what we have been campaigning for for so long.
In the interests of proffering a fair and balanced discourse, I should say that the report also said -

"While most of the 201 sex workers surveyed by The Law and Sexworker Health (LASH) team reported good mental health, 10 per cent had high scores of psychological distress."

However, we are not to know what the root cause of that distress is, it might be completely unrelated to the fact that they are sex workers. After all, we know that a small proportion of doctors self medicate, but that shouldn't give rise to a moral panic and an attempt to criminalise ALL doctors, should it ?

The next piece of positivity was the debate on BBC1 this morning which featured Catherine Stephens of the IUSW and Charlie Daniels to name but a few. The question being asked was whether raising the legal age of prostitution to 21 would in any way protect more vulnerable entrants to the industry. The link to the debate is here, it's about half an hour long and begins at about 33 minutes into the program, presented by Nicky Campbell. I thought that both Catherine and Charlie came across illustriously. :)

Also this week I got a new review from one of my Belfast guys here. Thank you very much Sir, I certainly did enjoy pushing those boundaries. ;)

Finally,(and on a lighter note), from this Monday onwards, I will be charging admission to LL towers, enough is enough. "Gypsy" the corn snake arrives this evening. Now, I was going to wax lyrical about how it's standing room only at this point and there is more food in the feckin' fridge for the animals than there is for us mere humanoids when I came across this rather brilliant post from a lady on an animal forum. I visit there from time to time and lurk, hoping to pick up some pointers on snakes in particular. Anyway, here it is - enjoy.

So today it's my day off, and I'd arranged to go and collect a (to me at least) rather expensive new snake which I've been dreaming about for some years.

Picked up the snake no problem after a 1.5 hour drive to the other side of London. Sellotaped it into its Braplast tub, and drove home again.

On arrival at my flat I excitedly got my camera ready for pictures, made sure his new faun was ready, opened the tub and was greeted by..... nothing. Snake was gone.

Legged it back to my car and carefully start sorting through all the assorted rubbish that's in there (mainly horse riding gear and empty Dr Pepper bottles) whilst cursing my way through the Oxford Dictionary of swear words.

In my panic, I hadn't realised that my ever-useful Honda, Harold, had locked the doors whilst the car was open, meaning that when I shut the passenger door to go to the drivers side, I was locked out, with my car and flat keys locked in...

Ran to the local locksmith to beg them to break into my flat, which they did, grabbed my phone and rang the RAC, only to be told I'm no longer a member because I no longer live at home.

15 minutes and £203 later, I'm a member again, and they were even kind enough to boost me to top priority because an animal was involved.

Went to stand by my car and await the arrival of my knight in shining RAC van. Whilst trying to kill myself with cigarettes, I'm approached by a friendly Asian man who asks what's wrong with me. I give him a quick debrief and whilst peering through my windows he makes a joke that my car is so muddy it looks like I've been farming in it. I explain that I work on a farm as a horse riding instructor and he then proceeds to tell me that he is an actor and he needs riding lessons, then asks if I'll give him a discount if he "makes me his girlfriend", an offer which I politely declined.

He then tells me that his brother was recently murdered, having been lured from right outside my flat late at night, and was then buried in a flower bed by the murderer and his accomplice. Wondering why he is telling me this, he explains that he is on his way to the hospital with his toenail, which came off last night, to have his feet checked for fungus. Nice.

Anyway, the RAC man turned up, followed by my somewhat bemused boyfriend, and got me into the car within about 10 minutes, before running back to his van and shouting "Good luck!" at me as he sped off.

So now, here I am, sat in my car with some Jaffa Cakes and a Red Bull, trying to lure out said snake with a nice fuzzy.


LL xx