Journey through space to the Planet Fabulous, where the Ruler of the Universe will see you shortly.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Disjointed Weekend

"How do you feel like getting your arse utterly pummelled this weekend?" asked the Wife.
I twiddled the phone cable coyly and looked around the office to see who'd noticed I'd gone a vivid red. It was late Friday afternoon, so everyone was either 'in a meeting' in the shops or busy playing Solitaire.
"Well, you dirty bugger," I said in a low voice, breathing into the receiver, "I'm game if you are. What you wearing?"
"Eh? What? Oh. No. Yvette's over. How do you fancy going horse riding?"
"Oh," I said, before romantic images of white stallions riding off into the sunset overtook me, bare-chest adventurer by my side. "Well. Go on then."

Yvette was someone the Wife had gone to art college with years back over in Oz, a petite brunette who had used her design talents to get some of the more lucrative client base in Australia. She was very pretty and very, very well off and was obviously regretting letting us into her room in the Savoy to look around.
"Lee! Look at this the shower! Ooohhh."
"The size of the shower head! It's like a dinner plate!"
"It looks like you could use it as a colander."
"Or a Star Trek transporter... Out the way, let me have a go."
"Look! They give you slippers! And look at this little card!"
"They've ticked what the weather's going to be like tomorrow. 'Rainy. 14 degrees'. Right. Oh fab! They've left you an umbrella! I'm having that..."
"I saw it first."
"Get off!"
We left before Yvette called security.

"Have you ridden before, yes?"
I shook my head, the riding helmet slipping slightly over my eyes and the strap biting into my neck.
"Oh," said the stable girl, and turned to talk to her colleague. And while it was in Dutch, her animation great was such that the message was clear: this horse is clearly broken, and we should really give him another.
Her co-worker shrugged and gestured around the empty stables, meaning there was a pause while my instructor collected herself and turned with a forced smile on her face. "You will be fine with this horse, yes? He's called James. And I'm going to be riding very close to you so nothing would happen, yes?"
"Yes," I mumbled into my chin-strap.
"This is good. You will be good, yes?"
"Tally-ho," I replied weakly.

"How come you had an Australian millionairess visiting and you didn't invite me?" asked Kimberly Lesbian, poking at the ice-cubes in her gin with a straw.
"Because she's not one of yours," I replied. "She wore Vivian Westwood, not Army Surplus."
That earned me a kick for 'enforcing stereotypes'.
"I used to have Vivian Westwood many years ago, mister. I gave them all the charity shop when I put on a little weight. They sold them all for 50p."
"Good lord, is that true? Weren't you sad to see them go for that?"
"Not really. I am in love with the idea that there are some elderly housewives somewhere scrubbing their steps in haute couture."
I nodded slowly, rolling my empty glass between my palms. Kimberly pointed in the universal gesture of 'want another?'
"Naw. Thanks. Besides, I've run out of money so couldn't get the next round in."
She concurred and moved to pick up her handbag. "We should go and give blood."
"Why? They wouldn't take it. Besides, ours is 60% proof at the minute. We may as well hand over a bottle of strawberry Hooch in exchange for a biscuit and a cup of tea."
"Did you never used to do it at university? Give blood and then go get drunk?"
"No. Why? What happens?"
"Oooh, Lee. You get soooooo drunk. And so fast. Two pints down and once I ended in the duck pond."
"There are many reasons why I heart you, Kimberly Lesbian. But that may now be reason number one."

It would be stupid to say that my horse had a mind of it's own as they all do, clearly. It's just mine was a little more stubborn about using it, being the only creature of the whole... heard? Pack? Whatever... that decided he was going off to eat daises.
So I was on top of a horse called James with no control in the middle of Hyde Park that kept veering towards the bushes.
Oh the irony was not lost on me.

The weather was a good deal hotter than what the little weather card had predicted at the Savoy, with nary a cloud in the sky. We'd taken the Savoy umbrella with us anyway. Yvette carried herself with a confidence that shop assistants recognised, and the bright red umbrella opened doors that the Wife and I previously couldn't have crowbarred open.
The shopping trip was our idea as sightseeing didn't seem to impress her. In fact, little seemed to impress Yvette - she absorbed all, said little, and radiated a beautiful calm as we walked from shop to shop. It all rather bordered on the dismissive, so being the gays that we were, we just loved her more for it.
The only reaction the Wife had gotten out of her for that morning was her loathing of the London Eye apparently.
"You didn't like?" I asked. I'd managed to get the umbrella for a while and had taken to using it like a walking cane, walking by the side of Yvette in the manner of a country gent. Or twat, if you weren't in my head.
"Not really, no. What's the point?"
I shrugged. "You go up, you go down. You see London."
She h'mmed and looked over to the Wife, who was running into a patch of pigeons and causing them to scatter.
"It's the number one tourist attraction in London, you know," I added, hoping this clearly glossy sales technique of mine would help convince her.
"I really can't think why," she said after a pause. "It really is just a slow ferris wheel. Where you're trapped with children."
"Ah," I said, like this explained all.
We walked on for a bit, the umbrella tap-tap-tapping between us.
"Ah, the Savoy was wrong!" I said, brandishing the brolly in front of us. "It hasn't rained at all."
Twenty minutes later, the heavens opened.
That place has powers, I tell you.

As a thank you for taking us around London, Yvette took us for dinner at the Savoy Grill. Which was utterly marvellous, with the service polite, unobtrusive and bordering on the humorous. All was elegant, with the most notable thing being the ballet-like whirlings of the functionaries as they served you, pirouetting plates in front of you with an inhuman grace.
A complete antithesis of what had gone on in the fifteen minutes prior to me leaving the house. I'd fallen asleep in the bath after soothing my poor backside from the thorough punching it had received from being on the back of a horse.
"Ak!" I cried. "Gallagher! I'm meant to be at the Savoy in an hour! What does one wear?"
My erudite housemate glanced from his cookery book. "What have you got, dear boy?"
I paraded a selection of black jackets and coats in front of him. Each one was deemed 'too...' something.
And then we realised that every single jacket I wear just makes me look like a magician.
I just wore a shirt.

The instructor stopped my horse, which was no easy feat as I think it thought this was his chance to escape and was making the most of it. I was glad of the rest - we'd just done trotting and I hadn't got the hang of standing up when the horse dipped yet meaning that as we'd sped up for the trot, I'd been hammered up and down like a teenage boy's bedsheets.
Then I realised something was wrong.
"Someone fell off," shouted the Wife from the horse in front. The bugger was sitting perfectly gracefully on his mule. Humph.
I looked past him to see the fat, orange-haired little ten-year-old girl who'd been at the stables when the horses were doled out. Her father had been fussing over her, making sure everything was fine, and taking photos of everything she did. Spoilt.
She was lying on the sand, looking sorry and half-sobbing to herself, waiting for daddy to come and pick her up. But he was back at the sables, waiting to record the moment of her triumphant return on as many recording apparatus as he could carry around his neck.
"Don't worry," cried the Wife as the instructors jumped down to help. "I saw the whole thing. She bounced - she'll be fine."


cyberpete said...

"It really is just a slow ferris wheel. Where you're trapped with children."
Good point actually! I rather liked it but there could be less children...

kim said...

ViviENNE Westwood.

Bloody Oik, can't take you anywhere.


SL&V said...

The London Eye is a beautiful piece of Tourist bait. God forbid anyone local should try and utilise it.
Although I do think every single person registered as living in Londonshould get the chance to ride the Eye for free before it's torn down and relocated.

cyberpete said...

They are going to relocate it? Oh no!

Vampire Librarian said...

Lee, your ADD's showing.

Lee said...

Is it? Good lord. Must buy a longer petticoat...

Southern Bird said...

""Tally-ho," I replied weakly."

Very funny.

Skip said...

ha ha ha ha ha.
*shakes fist*

I hate how you get the moral high ground.