from regular guest blogger Colm Redmond
Just once when visiting New York, I made a special trip to Upper Manhattan to visit Eve on her lunch break. We sat on the steps outside her brownstone office drinking cappuccinos and eating these sensational chocolate and black cherry croissants. … I was working in a ‘fusion’ restaurant owned by the Mafia, and she was business-lunching with writers and publishers in New York’s finest restaurants. …
Near the end of the visit a gang of loud teenage girls with menacing intent came marching our way. From where we sat at the top of the steps we couldn’t help but watch them as they approached and came to a deliberate halt. The leader of the gang, a girl of maybe thirteen, wearing a track suit and flashy trainers, put her arms akimbo, lifted her pugnacious chin, and called up, ‘And what do you think you’re staring at?’
I sort of snorted. … I was about to tell her not to flatter herself, that we weren’t looking at them, or something, and it would have escalated, no doubt, but it was Eve who came forth with the diplomatic masterstroke. Beamingly friendly while retaining her dignity, she called down, ‘We were admiring your shoes.’
I saw the child’s face freeze for an instant before blossoming into a proud smile. She called up, ‘Why thank you, they’re new.’
Eve is a friend who has started “working at a literary agency by day and as a dominatrix by night.” This idea of leading a double life fascinates Winemaker, who talks to Eve when considering going into the domination business herself – although they end up talking about the literature business and not at all about the other one.
The book is great on food and cooking, and little vignettes - like the second extract - and lightning pen-pictures of people she meets along the way. It’s also fascinating and extremely explicit (although not erotic; and definitely not for the faint hearted) about what goes on inside the dungeon, and vivid on the effect of various events on Susan Winemaker’s own psyche.
There is plenty about the women’s clothes many of the clients like to dress in, which seems as good an excuse as any to roll out this pic. It’s the US picture sleeve of an English group’s single. If you can’t work out who they are, the answer’s at the bottom.
The main pic is of an amazing gang of girls, in 1980. Not teenagers, and not particularly scary either, although some people thought they were at the time: L-R top - Debbie Harry (Blondie), Viv Albertine (The Slits), Siouxsie Sioux (Siouxsie & The Banshees); bottom - Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders), Poly Styrene (X-Ray Specs) and Pauline Black (The Selecter). Photo Michael Putland/Retna.
The other is of a gang of girls – impossible to say how old they are – in 1930, assuming the photographer’s mark is to be believed. Flashy trainers not yet a thing.
And those five gents in drag? It’s the Rolling Stones, on the cover of Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?
Another gang of girls came in this recent entry.
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