Last Monday (May 14th) I spent the evening with Susie and Julia. We shared a meal together at Café Rouge in Windsor.
It was a really lovely evening and late enough in the day for the place to be fairly quiet and unaffected by the Royal Wedding preparations.
The food and service were excellent, as always.
And here we are:
Laura arrived at Windsor a little before 5 pm. I’d just about finished with the makeup and stuff.
At the moment makeup is taking a bit longer than it used to. The reasons are partly to do with ideas I picked up from a visit by Esteller and Stacey of Corinthian Spa to Surrey Swans back in September last year. And also from ideas picked up from Lauren at House of Fraser in Guildford in the same month.
The new new things include stuff like:
- using an exfoliating cleanser before doing makeup, as well as at other times
- applying a primer and letting it do whatever it does for 5 minutes before applying any foundation
- applying a little red lipstick with a concealer brush in the area around my mouth and chin before applying any foundation – the idea is that it helps conceal the grey kind of colour that guys get there prior to the formation of bristles
- using a foundation brush to apply the foundation (rather than my fingers)
I’ve also started to use a real brush to apply eye shadow, instead of using the freebie things that come with the shadow. I’ve found that the shadow brush gets thigs done better. The brush holds more shadow and also manages to generate a lot less “spillage”.
Packing a suitcase for the night was a whole lotless elephantine than has often been the case with previous trips to Pink Punters. There was no need for drab (as in dressed as a bloke) clothing an I knew what wanted to wear. I guess like all things in life, past experiences can help make things easier. Though I know that sometimes, in some circumstances, past experiences can have exactly the opposite effect.
Anyway, we set of for the Campanile hotel, just opposite Pink Punters, and arrived there at a little after 6pm.
During the journey Laura shared a story that gave me the feeling that it’s perhaps a good idea to have a pair of jeans available at a moments notice. You’ll have to ask Laura for the details, but skirts and climbing ladders come into the equation.
Soon after our arrival, text messages from Susie and Emma confirmed everyone was there and we met up in the bar. We discovered that there are places to sit and sip a drink outside, which was very pleasant on a lovely warm evening.
We decide to eat inside and discover that, thanks to the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex, there is a free small bottle of prosecco for every main meal ordered, so during the meal we raise a glass to them.
Susie thinks she may need 45 minutes to freshen up before heading over the road to the nightclub. So Laura and I feel we have plenty of time to get ourselves sorted. That is until 22:26 when the text from Emma arrives … “We’re downstairs”.
To be fair, Laura did have a problem with a disobedient zipper.
Very soon after that we’re at the entrance, having our bags examined, paying our fees, collecting a pink ticket, walking p the steps, handing the ticket over and buying a drink.
We realise that something has changed.
The steps that used to lead to the upstairs bar have gone. There are new ones, but they are roped off and lead up to the ceiling.
The prosecco can’t have affected us all so badly … so we hunt around. The only stairs going up are signposted “toilets”. We walk up the stairs and, sure enough, we discover toilets.
Susie … or perhaps it was Emma … has a little chat with a security guard. The words closed, refurbishment and champagne bar are floated. We’re a bit disappointed.
We find seats elsewhere, in the outside covered area not far from a very big open fire. Laura goes exploring and discovers some seats downstairs were the karaoke is currently happening. It’s OK, but the old upstairs area was nicer.
Emma and I reminisce. The pink room that seems to be no more. And whatever happened to the polar bear?
We chat, drink and dance.
The first dance is in the ground floor … middle … main … dance floor.
Later Laura takes us to the lower dance floor.
Oh gosh. The bass gives you an internal body massage. The lights are amazing. Mesmerizing. Hypnotising. It is very loud.
Susie and I retire from the sound a little earlier than Laura and Emma.
We chat a while with another couple. Drink a little.
Susie, Emma and I dance a little more on the middle floor dance floor. A guy there gives the impression that he wants to lift me into the air … but I’m still sober enough to decline the offer.
It’s a after 4:00 am by the time the makeup is off.
I enjoyed the evening a lot. It’s good to spend time with friends.
It’s rise and shine at about 9:30 am. There’s time to shower and do makeup and dress before we have to leave at midday.
And then, of curse, there are the police officers.
I had an email from someone that works at Guildford Police Station asking if I’d be willing to visit them sometime to speak about transgender things. So that’s all planned for May 31st. I’m planning on visiting there along with friends that I know from Surrey Swans and sharing some thoughts and experiences with people there. I’ll write something here to describe how it goes.