Ivy Paige and The Chaps

Friday, July 31, 2009

Just a quick little update for you on a very wonderful weekend.

Friday night was the first time I ever went to see Ivy Paige's Scandalous. I tell you that girl is inspirational. It was the first time I'd seen the show advertised down in Brighton so I jumped at the chance to get in an infamous show without the trek up to London. It certainly didn't disappoint.

In fact at one point I think I may have picked my jaw off the floor and was so astonished by the sheer talent and spectacle that I forgot to keep taking pictures (I was trying to get a couple of good pics for the promoter).

I shared my table with Therese la Tease, Baby Bones (when she wasn't busy organising as the promoter of the night), and Emma of Peep Toe Magazine, along with a few lovely ladies I was introduced to that night. However as they don't have performance names and I'm not sure if they'd want their names in my blog I'm sure you understand I can't share them. We were even lucky enough to chat with Ivy after the show when she could impart a little performer wisdom.

Ultimately, as I have already come to understand, it comes down to plain, damn hard work and a whole lot of creativity.

Moving swiftly on, my plans to finish making my polka dot dress were foiled as it was already very late by the time I got home and I had a very big day ahead. The Chap Olympics!

I met Infinity Favour on the train up to London on Saturday with one of the lovely ladies who I met at Ivy Paige. Let's call her Princess Shoes for now...she'll know what I mean!

We must have looked a very interesting sight indeed. Three ladies who looked like something out of a period 1940's film complete with picnic basket. I managed to finish my hair on the train, rather impressive considering the lack of mirrors. Although I must say, a train window in a tunnel does make a pretty good substitute.

It was a great trip up as we debated the merits of bullet bras and non stretch versus stretch fully fashioned stockings. Lipstick on, hair done, gloves in place and skirts tugged and smoothed we arrived like a whirlwind into London Bridge station and began the underground battle to the gardens. After going the wrong way for a turn and discovering a 'voluptuous underground station' we made it!

What a day! It was the most fun I've had in such a long time. We laughed at the Bounders event where the gentlemen had to approach ladies on the track and say something so caddish as to receive a slap, stuffed ourselves with cupcakes and cherries, promenaded to check out the talent in the tweed jackets and bowler hats, and danced in the rain with cups of tea until it was dark. As far as 'the scene' goes, the Chap Olympics is really one of the events of the year and you can see why.

When we finally left in search of a pub before the journey home, walking out onto Tottenham Court Rd was like walking through a portal into another world. I love the city as much as the next girl but after a day of gentle manners and tea and cake in the gardens it felt overwhelming, loud and garish. The old-fashioned pub with it's stained glass windows and beautiful vintage looking bottles of tonic water was a blessed relief.

Alas, but all good things must come to an end. After such a busy weekend it was nice to spend Sunday drinking milo and planning out the rest of my year and looking over my acts to make improvements while BW worked on his scripts.

In addition to all of this I have come to understand that I don't seem physically capable of writing a little update. Isn't it wonderful to learn new things about oneself?

Finally, I have a few more bookings to update shortly for August and October so keep your eyes on the events page if you want to make any of the great new shows coming up.

Have a lovely week you lovely people.

The Knickerbocker Glories Show

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A great little montage of the wonderful Knickerbocker Glories, who performed at our spring fling in Notting Hill. It features the wonderful Rocky routine that they performed for us. I saw it performed at the LBF's Battle Royale and I contacted them to insist that they HAD to perform. Of course, they said yes. x

Beatrix Von Bourbon

Beatrix did the most amazing geisha fan dance for our Burlesque Against Breast Cancer show at the London Festish Fair last October. Here's a recent TV appearance. we LOVE it...

Guest Blogger: Capella Silverangel

Saturday, July 25, 2009


My boobylicious boobs
Are a source of inspiration to blokes
I’ve heard their silly jokes
And puns
About my soft round buns
Cherry nippled on top
Just missing the icing
But you’d never guess
From the size of the areoles
Which mimic warm melted chocolate sauce.
Ouch don’t bite that hurts you horse!!!

Some guys just stand and stare
As I walk by them down the street
One guy once pursued me through
Istegade – (prostitution avenue in Copenhagen)
Wanting me to do what exactly?
I don’t know
But I dodged him and ran into 7’11
I roll my eyes aghast
And exhale with exasperated breath
Oh breasts,
Do you need to cause so much

It’s cold
You’ve guest,
The cherry topped bits
Stick further out of my chest!!

Some guys get kind of rude
And ask
“You don’t have a boyfriend
With those boobs
How is that possible???”

Others describe and define me by them
Capella…. they say
In that man gossipy way
“The one with the great smile,”
“Funny, boisterous,”
“The one with the big tits?”

Yes, that’s me.
With my curves
And bumps and mountaintops
That always make car drivers stop
And turn and look and beep.
Ahhh, when I left heaven
I knew I should have picked that
Cane (stick thing) for the sheep
And been a Bo Peep
Instead of asking for boobs
That can’t fit in a boob tube
That make a man lewd

But I love them (now)
My boobylicious boobs.

Double D (Part I)

Men have been programmed
These days before birth
Faintly hearing from a midwife or nurse
Through the wall of the womb
Breast is best
Breast is best
Breast is best
Which like Chinese whispers turns into
Double D chest
Double D chest
Katie Price, Jordan
Double D breast

Capella Silverangel is a singer/songwriter, artist and poet. You can find her at: www.myspace.com/capellasilverangel

Guest Blogger: Justine Hardy

Sunday, July 19, 2009


This is the story of dancing with the body, but there needs to be a bit of an introduction.

One of the strange phenomenon of surviving cancer is that a lot of those who live on long after the cancer has been defeated do so, not by going to war with the disease, but by adopting the survival mechanism of kindness.

Let me explain. Say a woman goes in for a check-up because she has found a small lump, tiny, almost indiscernible to anyone except her, but she is just playing it safe. Her view of the world is fairly balanced as she walks down the street towards the doctor’s clinic. She got up as usual, and she has gone through her day as usual up to this point. She goes into the clinic with a sense of herself, and where she is in her life.

She emerges a while later with an appointment for a biopsy.

Her world has changed, utterly and entirely, as though one minute she was looking down onto a familiar garden, and now she finds herself looking out onto a harsh desert where nothing is recognisable. When she next looks at herself in her bathroom mirror she does not see herself as she really is, but as someone with breast cancer, someone whose body has let her down.

It is at this point that a woman just diagnosed with breast cancer, or indeed anyone diagnosed with cancer, makes a choice. They either reject their body, seeing it now as their enemy, the thing that has turned against them, or they embrace the human machine as their greatest ally and friend in the healing process.

The shock of the diagnosis itself can further compromise an immune system that is already weakened as it tries to deal with the invasion of cancer cells. To decide, at this vital point, that the body has let you down is to betray the greatest ally we have, and to let go of the most powerful tool of recovery.
Where the mind leads, the body will follow. This is just the way that it is. If we mentally turn against our body the relationship between mind and body breaks down, the sympathetic dialogue ends and the body begins to fail, literally. In a sense it gives up. But if the mind encourages the body, constantly reassuring it, the body responds. In simple terms the mind is shoring the body up to do what it does best —to heal itself.

I have been based in India for a long time now, and in several different part of this kaleidoscope mass of peoples and cultures. I spent part of one winter in a village up in Ladakh in the very north, high up in the Himalayas, living with a farming family. I did not speak Ladakhi, and the main reason that I was with the family was that I was supposed to be teaching two of the sons of the family English. The Dorjay’s was a traditional Lakakhi farmhouse, the yaks below, the people on top, the loo a hole in the floor out the back so that everything tumbled straight down into a pig sty.

As the snows fell it became almost impossible to get out of the house.

Increasingly we were reliant on the supplies of dried food that had been stocked up through the summer: strips of meat, apples and vegetables that had been dried on the flat roof through the long dry-skied summer, all moisture wicked away by the altitude and the intensity of the sun. As the weeks passed the family settled back into their winter routine, bundled in thick layers, and taking up very sedentary residence in their particular corner of the main room of the house. It was where everything happened, cooking, eating, sleeping, arguing, chatting, and sometimes periods of silence as the family sat in winter somnolence, peering out occasionally onto the high white world beyond.

The surviving grandmother of the house became my most constant companion as we shared the job of rehydrating vegetables, and churning salty Ladakhi butter tea in a long wooden churn. This woman was only 57 but she had lived a hard life. The altitude and harshness of the region made her look about twenty years older than she was. Her flat Ladakhi face was a map of recent history and geography, deep lines drawing her story across her forehead. She had also been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer a few months earlier, a common cancer in the area because everyone inhales so much smoke from open fires throughout the winter months. Yet in spite of the diagnosis she did not seem to be deteriorating, even though had been told she had a matter of months to live.

Often I would see her stroking her chest, her arms and her legs, talking to herself as she did. As I got to know her better, and once I had mastered the art of butter tea-making to a level that allowed her to regard me as worthy of her attention, I finally asked her what she was doing when she was stroking herself and chatting away at the same time.

‘I am thanking my body for doing its job so well.’ She began to stroke her chest again. ‘See, I am telling my lungs how proud I am that they are giving such a good fight. I am dancing with my body, see.’

And she stroked and jiggled, laughing so hard that her eyes disappeared into the merry folds of her face.

She lived on for several years beyond her diagnosis. She chose not to take any of the prescribed conventional treatments or medication. Instead she ate large quantities of a local berry, possibly what we now see all over the place being sold as the superfood, goji berries. She outlived one of her sons, and certainly for a large multiple of the time predicted when she had first been diagnosed.

Thinlas Dorjay of Stok village was quite a teacher of kindness to the body in which we live, love, heal and die. She was a woman who did indeed dance with her body.

Justine Hardy is a former frontline correspondant and author of fiction and travel writing. Her latest book is called "In the Valley of the Mist", a story of a family in Kashmir. You can find out more at: www.justinehardy.com


Friday, July 17, 2009

Burlesk was absolutely wonderful! I've only been to Hastings once before and this time I saw a very different side of it. Venue is tucked down the sweetest little lane of cute stores and relaxed drinking spots.

I arrived after making a mental note to take the train for a day trip along the coast one weekend. I didn't realise how easy it was to travel from Brighton to Hastings and beyond. It was my blessed luck to be doing a prop free act and one without a corset to boot, as it was ticking on past 7pm and the sweltering heat hadn't abated.

Domino and Severine run a burlesque taster class for beginners before the night begins so I tried to find the dressing room inconspicuously but it wasn't to be as a gent out the front had directed me to the first door on the left which led to the tiniest dressing room I've seen. Realising there was no way they could squeeze 10 girls in there I gave Honey Wilde a call. She laughed and explained they were up the back above the bar and gave me a little wave from the window.

This was more like it! Dumping my bag down on one of the chairs I proceeded to pull my costume out and make some last minute alterations of an extra clasp as it had been popping open during rehearsals.

While I stitched Honey and Khandie Kisses were getting made up as they were in the first act and before too long the two of them had me in stitches. Discussing false eyelashes, Khandie mentioned that she had so many in her bathroom cabinet she thought they might turn into one big eyelash and crawl around her apartment. Which wouldn't half make a bad short film!

Before we knew it the girls for the first act were hurried off to the backstage area and as the show rolled on I managed a peek at the acts while I attached pasties, covered myself in body shimmer, backcombed my hair and untangled my tassels (the ones on the dress not on my chest!).

Piratica did a brilliant debut performance to Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend from Moulin Rouge and I'd seen Honey's 'How to Burlesque the British Way' at LBF and it was as hilarious as I remembered. I hadn't seen Khandie's Blitz Belle act, man that girl has energy! I loved the fact that she got down into the audience and all the more incredible considering she wasn't feeling very well. The sign of a true showgirl.

Unfortunately I missed Domino's first act as I was hurrying to do my final touches before interval.

The girls of the second act were warned by the girls of the first act that it was VERY hot backstage, which wasn't what I wanted to hear but at least we were warned.

Waiting backstage I couldn't help but feel a dose of nerves. I had created the Psycho GoGo act for a pulp press launch and we didn't end up using it, going with Na Touche Pas instead. So this was actually to be the first real performance of this act and I felt like a new performer all over again. It's been a very long time since I debuted an act.

I needn't have worried, it all went brilliantly. One of the girls said afterwards that she wished it had gone on longer which is nice!

Throwing on my new 60s shift that I bought last week in London I dashed out to catch Domino's act which was just fantastic, and Sev's inspiring finale on the Burlesque ban in Camden. I'd love to see a licensing officer go a few rounds with her, she'd have them under the point of her stiletto before you can say Burlesk!

After the show I popped upstairs to sort my things out. Due to the heat no-one had opened any of the wine so I uncorked a red and poured myself and one of the girls who'd been helping out (and a budding burlesque contortionist!!) a glass and went down for a mingle and a nose through the Equilibrium stall onstage.

I contemplating spending my earnings from the night on a pair of sailor shorts and then thought better of it but did have a lovely chat with the owner who's other half was an absolute gentleman and helped me down the stairs with my bag and put me in a cab to the station.

I settled in for an uneventful journey back to Brighton but it wasn't to be as three lads jumped on the train about halfway along. You can always tell if people are safe or not and they were harmless enough, although one was exceedingly drunk and very amusing. In any case, listening to his drunken tangents passed the time until I arrived in Brighton and jumped in the first cab home. There is something to be said for performing mid week and that is that no-one is lining up for the taxi's at the station.

Oh the bliss of flopping into bed, exhausted after a long day! Now who says I'm not rock'n'roll...

Bella de Jac is a performer for BABC

Guest Blogger: Rosemary Furber

My mother was in hospital in Belfast having her lungs drained on the day I gave birth for the first time in London in 1984. We didn’t know as we cried down the phone to each other that she’d have nearly three months to live and would hold her grandchild only once.

I was 17 when she was finally diagnosed with breast cancer, after two winters of excruciating back pain. That’s the first thing I see that has changed where breast cancer is concerned: medics know what they’re doing much faster now. I’ll never forget answering the phone after school one day to find my best friend’s father, who’d just been the anaesthetist at my mother’s mastectomy, telling me that not just the lump but the whole breast had had to go. It was a dizzying moment that still haunts me, but surgery and follow-up are more subtle now. There’s less to fear.

My mother went from the north coast of Northern Ireland where we lived to stay with her sister in Belfast while she had radiotherapy and chemo, and she’d come home to us at weekends. The 60 mile journey nearly killed her: she’d become a frail little old lady in her mid-40s. The chemo removed her hair, as it still does, and as people still do, she toughed it out with scarves and laughter. The radiotherapy also left burns on her chest for months.

Two years later, a secondary lump appeared and I want to emphasise this to all you breast-lovers: the secondary grew from beneath her scar. That’s why I, 32B, would never have implants. Every time somebody mentions them, I remember sitting beside my mother while she was in the bath (one of her favourite places for us to chat), watching her soap that double, purple scar over where she’d once held us and fed us as babies.

One thing has changed enormously over the years and another thing has stayed the same. What’s changed is this: battling breast cancer is always a brutal business but nowadays I see more and more people survive it. People don’t just ‘survive’ as my mother did, with ever shorter remissions between torturous bouts of treatment – giving ever more heart-breaking opportunities to show how deeply courageous and wonderful these women can be - until the end. Nowadays people are genuine survivors, back to full health. Breast cancer is not Death Row any more. Not at all.

The thing that has not changed is the MacMillans. My mother decided on a Friday that she’d had enough and summoned us all. By the Sunday morning she had been gliding in and out of consciousness, but was still alert. The nurse came, as usual, to cleanse and soothe, and as she left, we said ‘See you later’. The nurse said ‘I don’t think so’. She was right. By 6.30pm that night, we were all sitting around my mother’s bed watching her last breaths. I can’t describe how deeply we appreciated those nurses being there. We knew our mother was in safe hands, and so were we. Their knowing gentleness is something I will never forget.

Rosemary Furber is an author based in London. Her latest book is called 'The Most Intimate Place' and is very good indeed. You can find out more at www.rosemaryfurber.com

Guest Blogger: Miss Glory Pearl

I remember the moment last summer when I discovered my mother had kidney cancer. I remember my heart falling from my chest and hitting my stomach with a thud. I remember the flash of abject fear that suffused every cell with dread. And I remember fighting back the tears, swallowing the grief and trying to control myself because this wasn’t about me, it was about her, and I had to be strong.

I sat at my desk, phone in hand and listened as she told me everything. It seemed so cruel; only in the last year had our relationship approximated anything normal and now it was to be tested again and, who knew, even taken from us.

Cancer, the ‘Big C’, is a byword for suffering; a cruel disease that eats us alive and whose rapacious grief devours the lives around us. I heard the fear in my mother’s voice and I heard the fatalism. The second, I challenged. The first, sent tears stinging to my eyes.

That conversation was a catalyst in so many ways. For a short time it brought us closer together. Treatment on the NHS was painfully slow and frustrating and I found myself growing angry at my mother’s ‘don’t want to make a fuss attitude’. Colleagues would ask how she was and I would say that I didn’t really know because I was pretty sure she was keeping things from me. But that didn’t stop the dynamics of our relationship shifting back along similar lines to those that had marked my childhood; where she was the one that mattered and a whole conversation could be had without one question being asked about me, or me ever saying how I was feeling.

How I was feeling was an interesting question. My mood sank steadily and by the end of the summer a deep depression engulfed me. I felt useless and guilty and a total disappointment. At work, my manager grew angry with me; he’d already been pretty pissed off that I’d had time off to go and care for my mother after her surgery, and instead of thinking he should go fuck himself, I felt culpable and scared.

I, too, sought medical advice and was diagnosed with Type II Bipolar Mood Disorder – or manic depression, if you prefer. The effect of the diagnosis was akin to a landmine detonating under my identity and the sense of guilt and failure intensified. How, in all conscience, could I tell my mother of my illness when she had so much to deal with herself? Of course, inevitably, I had to tell her, because I wasn’t at work, and because my cognitive function was so impaired only a fool could think I was okay.

As the leaves fell and the days grew shorter, I worked my way through the canon of anti-depressants, dutifully checked in with the doctor every week, and felt equal guilt and gratitude for the good friends who surrounded me. Everything scared me. Everything. But some force propelled me along to a local burlesque show and in the interval I asked the compere if there were any open spots.

It was the first week in October when I first took to the stage as Miss Glory Pearl. That night, more than all the drugs and the therapy gave me a sense of myself again. I was utterly terrified, not least because my medication slowed me down and made me clumsy – two things you don’t want as a pole dancer – but I got through it and the audience loved me. My best friend cried, and I cried, too, because despite all the shit and the trauma, I did it and did it well.

From that point on, my recovery began in earnest and I discovered something I was born to do; take my clothes off in front of strangers and make them laugh.

Miss Glory Pearl creates genre-defying acts that blend classic burlesque, pole dance, static trapeze and aerial hoop with humour, sparkle, and a healthy dose of British self-deprecation. She teaches exotic dance for Cardiostriptease in Kent and performs regularly on the UK cabaret and burlesque scene, introducing audiences to Burly-Pole, her unique fusion of two great traditions. She has also performed for Burlesque Against Breast Cancer.

You can read more of Puss at The Pole Affair http://pole-dance-affair.blogspot.com

Guest Blogger: Tim Wells

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Her breasts sang loud. I mean, she belted it out from the heart.
The give was fine folksy longing, cider, Sandy Denny, and scarlet ribbons.
But the nipples, the nipples were rawk.
To see her sashay was to feel the beating of joy in the world.
All Bonham and John Paul Jones.
The swing robbed many a young man of doubt.
To see her racking pool balls, oh walls come tumbling down!
Page ran a swathe through her cleavage, crashing chords and walking guitars.
And yes, I was there, caught up in the crush with the rest.
Adoring, and desperate, and feeble.
My hand outstretched, straining but never reaching.
But, I admit, to Houses of the Holy, I bought it all.

Schoolboys have a master to teach them, grown-ups have the poets.
Aristophanes – The Frogs

She is beautiful and slight; not weak, but finely turned:
Much as a precise pair of scales will balance all that is put upon them –
First this way, then that, and then speak true.
The way a leisurely man cups a welcome pair of breasts
And deliberates on the fluctuations of fortune that may be his fate.

Lately she has been cracking comedy, a tough game.
We talk hecklers, You must have had them before? I ask.
She tells of a burlesque she did as a comedy turn
And was barracked by shouts of Show us yer tits!
Did you riposte, You’ll be disappointed?

Her eyes narrow, reveal no humour as she says, They wouldn’t.
As ever, in the hang of the balance, she speaks true.

Tim Wells is a respected face on the London poetry scene, with a number of collections published by DoNut Press. He can be found at: http://www.myspace.com/12caesars

Kiki Kaboom performs for BABC at the Book Club Boutique

Kirsty Allison performs at the BABC Book Club Boutique night

Guest Blogger: Kirsty Allison

Tits Are Great

Wah Tit, Wah Tit, Wah Tit
I’m a baby just born and I want it
Mummy milk, booby feed
I dream to suck bouncy breasts,
Oh, I just wee-ed.

Gah Tit, Gah Tit, Gah Tit
I’m two years old and I luhve it
Bubbling bountiful dewy heaps
Drip feed me mummy! Oi, stunner! No?!
Weeping sag bags, I can’t let go, stitch up the bloody milky bites rinsed flow

Woar Tit, Woar Tit, Woar Tit
When I grow up I’ll be big like Barbie - fit
What? Is this a cock between my legs?
A spot before my eye, I, I, I, I love breasts,
Wow, milk down there, not eggs?

Phwoar Tit, Phwoar Tit, Phwoar Tit,
I’m a teenage boy obsessed with girls bits
My hands are in my trousers, 24 hours a day
I’m a spunk making machine, I think my mum’s got x-ray

Dewy tit, Dewy tit, Dewy tit
Flashback neon rays of birth shoot as young girls permit me to spit,
To lick their chrysalis nipples, like jelly in a silken scarf,
Afronted, ahoy, pirated I am, by sexual dominating zeppelin ships,
Their precipice of slutdom thirst, first class, first, class first

I want Tits, I want Tits, I want Tits,
Every night since I was born I’ve dreamt of mitts on starlit teats
Waifs to chafes, I will adore, Tug those bra straps, amour, more, more, more
Breaking records for my orienteering of mounds, quests obsessed for perfect speciwomans sound,
A knife will sell me the cleavage soft, the solution is surgery, I get the lot, purrr, purr, purr,

Hurt Tit, Hurt Tit, Hurt Tit,
Silicone Everests inside my pecks bleed and beat,
I did it, I’m a half-op sextaur, best parts of men and chick,
Dick with Cleopatra sphinx rack, married to myself, a wife for life
My chest sits pert and hung, sorry mum for what I’ve done

Feel my Tit, Feel my Tit, Feel my Tit
Grope it, Tug it, Worship it,
I’ll play with yours if you pay for mine.
Slap my perfect sugar lumps, I’ve never earned a dime beyond my breasts
Everything I own is thanks to my ambitiously aware lovely lady chest.

Middle aged tit, Middle aged tit, Middle aged tit
Suck it, lick it, wobble, jump it
Eh, don’t you want to strap up this brainless pair
Of paid for accessories that used to get in anywhere
Underneath disease lurks, leather mask, karmic rot, for what?

Boozy tit, boozy tit, boozy tit
Floppy, blobby mammaries, nipples chewed wine stain red,
Chew these fatty funny mother lumps, you sick twisted harlot chemo drunk
Go on take my youth, my despair.
Rape me like I ever cared.

Dying tit, dying tit, dying tit
Forgetting to rub, the devil crossed my Mount Si-nais
Realised the sin had got inside
A cancer thumps this pumped up rack, disaster sacks
Happy I never got fully woman made, my false titties are buried alive, alive

OAP Tit, OAP Tit, OAP Tit
I’m an ancient lesbian loving demented freak man again, still a hit
With my cock still intact, I’m back, to being the full diamond in the rough, just a man who begs to feel, who wants to steal, a look, a sacred secret touch of heaven mounds on earth,
Whatever the size or girth
Tits, tits, tits, tits, tits, glorious dreamy whipped cream heaps of love.

You can find more of this on Kirsty's website.

Recent Burlesque Adventures

BABC performer Miss Dolly Rose:

The 'post-finishing my degree' feeling of being at a bit of a loose end and not having much to do has thankfully been avoided so far, thanks to a nice busy few weeks with lots of fun shows in a variety of exciting locations (Well, the west country and Croydon, but still, lots of fun!) Only one of them has been in the usual central London type area, and that one was made special by being one of the events put on by the wonderful people who are the reason behind this blog, so it’s been a good month of burlesque adventures for me!

The end of June took me off to sunny Devon, Exeter to be specific, for Kinky and Quirky…

I was performing with my wonderful partner in double act related crime Lena Mae, and also the lovely Fleur Blanche. Points for wonderful looking after of the performers goes to the Bells, who run the night, for many reasons but in particular for providing me with a hay bale for my West Country act so I didn’t have to drag one all the way to Exeter with me. I do love my West Country act but if I’d really thought about how much effort dragging a large, heavy, awkward, shedding hay bale with me everywhere I performed it would be I might have re-thought the idea somewhat!

My secret burlesque ambition is to one day create an act the costume of which can be fitted into a shoulder bag, but I seem to be drawn to thinking up ideas that involve heavy scales/hay bales/A1 posters and easels etc. However, in this instance there was no need for hay bale dragging, which was most wonderful and being an act based around an appreciation of farming, The Wurzels, and excessive cider drinking, it went down very well to a Devon audience. So well, in fact, that my performance became somewhat over-enthusiastic with the end result that I chipped my tooth slightly on my bottle of cider - oh, the perils of burlesque!

Myself and Lena’s double act was it’s usual shambolic but highly entertaining self; I got stuck in my dress, Lena got stuck in her bra, I accidentally hit Lena so hard in the face that I injured her jaw, but other than all that it went very well and everyone seemed to enjoy it, so all’s well that ends well!

The following weekend took me down to Devon again, this time to Plymouth. I stayed in Cornwall with my parents for a few days for this one and I am very proud of myself for braving the perils of swimming in the icy waters of the English sea whilst there. Although if I am completely honest, the only thing that got me in the water was mentioning to a friend before hand that I was going to attempt it and not wanting to admit to being defeated by the cold.

But still, I am proud of my stubbornness if nothing else!

The shows in Plymouth were fun, not as easy a crowd as some as it wasn’t really the usual sort of burlesque audience, but I think it’s very good experience to perform in front of crowds that aren’t as easily appreciative as a crowd who are all specifically there to see burlesque and know what to expect, and it was lovely to meet Coco Deville who was also performing.

My next show after this was the Super Summer Breast Awareness Night at the Book Club Boutique, for Burlesque Against Breast Cancer. I thought this was such a great night. Everyone there and the general atmosphere was lovely. I really enjoyed the fact that the night managed to very much stay on the topic of what we were raising money for, but in a very positive way.

Everyone who spoke, read, played or burlesqued on the night was brilliant so it’s very hard to pick out highlights, but it was great to see Kiki Kaboom’s chav act as I had wanted to see it for absolutely ages and it did not disappoint, one of the funniest acts I’ve seen.

Enjoyable for the opposite reason (in that I had not previously heard them and wasn’t expecting them, was Lola and the Clic; beautiful music with sweet and funny lyrics, really good.

The following weekend took me down to my hometown of Bath for Geisha Go Disco’s Fight Fire With Fire Night. Unfortunately we had to battle with the venue being quite far up a long road on a night when it was absolutely pouring with rain, so the night wasn’t as packed as it deserved to be, but it was still a really nice night and really well organised by Gem. I love doing gigs down in Bath anyway because my parents are generally happy to drive me to and from the venue.

Yay for not having to negotiate buses whilst carrying giant suitcases and easels and all the awkward to carry objects I love to fill my acts with!

After far too little sleep it was off to the magical land of Croydon for Dj Suave’s night the Glitter Room. As per usual with Keith’s nights it was really enjoyable, very well organised and made even better by the providing of a backstage table of crisps and lollipops and triangular sandwiches!

At risk of sounding overly obsessed with lollipops and sandwiches, I must admit that free supplies of them backstage make me extremely happy, particularly later in the night when one is done performing and has had a glass or two of wine and sandwiches that have become slightly stale by this point suddenly become incredibly appealing. After the slightly tipsy hurrah for sandwiches incident, it was off on the train back to London for a very long sleep to recover from a busy weekend of Burlesque adventures.

So yes, that pretty much sums up my recent burlesque related exploits, lots of wonderful times had and lovely people met, and hopefully there will be lots more fun this month for me to write about!

Guest Blogger: Ruby Fortune

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Dressing Room

A ladies dressing room is her palace, where transformations take place. It holds a mystique. A glamour, a sensual power. The routine of dressing carries its own pleasures, dress up for grown ups.

Satin robe descends to the floor as smooth pale skin is dusted softly with sweet smelling powders. Delicate puffs leave limbs and stomach glistening. A drawer is opened in a grand mahogany cabinet. Inside its treasure boasts the finest lace and satins. Its colours of gold and jewels are inspected with glee and admiration before a fine set of Parisian lingerie is prized from its nesting place. Smoothness encapsulates, caressing breasts and womanhood and sending spirits soaring. A glance in the mirror. A knowing smile.

Manicured hands move to the next drawer to reveal its delights, a fine pair of silk seamed stockings. Each is first slipped gently over perfectly painted, red toenails, before smoothly sliding up a shapely calf and porcelain thigh. Delight comes with each stroke of their fragile fabric against equally perfect skin. Seams are straightened as suspenders snap, enforcing their grip and holding secure until ordered to send each stocking floating to the ground.

Next comes the favourite part. A velvet corset is lifted from its gleaming box. It is admired at arms length, its glorious shape and soft fabric wrapped around strong whalebone. With anticipation, it is held to the body. Marshmallow stomach eager to be encased in its firm embrace. Each pull of the lacing sends another thrill racing through the body. The discipline, the strength of it, reducing the waist to graceful, waspish proportions. Body gasps for breath with exhilaration making breasts heave and fall.

She admires herself for a moment, beautiful figure wrapped in luxurious fabrics, presented perfectly. As she pulls on her fitted dress, the split up the back provocatively moves to flash a perfectly placed stocking top, a tease to those who see her. A glimpse of what they desire but may never know. Each small foot into a daringly high, pencil thin stiletto which clasps tight to her. Each step throws hips from side to side, a hypnotic sway.

With a final spritz of evocative perfume, the transformation is almost complete. A final slick of red lipstick to soft, full lips promising warm kisses and deep pleasures.

A door opens and closes and a dressing room is left alone with simply the scent of a glorious woman.

Miss Ruby Fortune first stepped on the stage in 2005 with burlesque troupe Lady Luck's Burlesque Beauties. The troupe sadly split after a successful run of shows but Ruby went on to a solo career shimmying her way around the world with comedy, dance and music.

As well as live work Ruby has featured in 2 documentaries one of which was used by ITV and to celebrate the Capital of Culture in Liverpool. Ruby was one of 10 figures selected as important to the cities arts and alternative culture. She has also featured in the press including the cover of Total Tattoo and on BBC Radio discussing the rise of burlesque. You can find her at: www.myspace.com/miss_fortuneburlesque

Returning to an active lifestyle

Monday, July 13, 2009

Well I did it, I jogged/walked my first race since going through treatment and reconstruction. It was a 5K, which I never would have even considered pre-cancer and it was about 10 minutes slower than what I use to do for that distance, but I did it. It even feels good in a painful way to have my quads sore from jogging on pavement after a three year layoff.

I jogged almost 1 1/2 miles before I took a walk break. So, it was a humbling and happy experience. I thought for sure I was pretty much not going to be able to run anymore. My energy level was still in the toilet a few months ago and what energy I did have I was saving for riding my horses.

But things have improved since I changed some of the medications I still have to take for the next five years.

I feel hopeful that I will again run 10K's and half marathons. I have decided that whatever I can do I will do. I won't worry about my times. The fact that at 53 I am still able to get out there and do my best is a gift.

So keep on doing your best no matter what. Moving a little is better than not moving at all. Be thankful for the days you get to enjoy the good tired you get from exercise. Not only the physical benefit but the mental ones too.
Trot on!!!

Triple Negative Breast Cancer

My friend started her breast cancer treatment this past Friday. It is always, at least to me, easier on my brain for me to be the one affected by something instead of my family or friends. It makes me feel very helpless to not be able to 'fix it' for everybody.

I only learned about Triple Negative Breast Cancer about six months ago. What that means in a nutshell is that the cancer is not hormone receptive. So the normal drugs used to surpress estrogen, progestrone or HER2 won't work.

My friend is taking part in a clinical trial at Stanford. She is doing the chemo treatments first and then they will determine if she will still need surgery. I hope she doesn't, but I think, I myself, would always be afraid in the future that the cancer had a better chance of coming back if they didn't just get it out of there.

On the other hand I know my friend has done her research and is taking the treatment course that has the best possibility of success.

Maybe one day there will be no more lumpectomies or mastectomies and we can keep the boobs we were born with. Some women may not be happy with their real boobs but I for one would have liked to have a better option than mastectomy or die.

I hope for my friend and all the women to come that the medical community will continue to make strides so that more women in the future don't have to consider these choices.

Guest Blogger: Lana Citron

The Fantasy Bus


And late

Girl exists London Underground

Bound for the office

Short skirt strides shortened

Clickitty clack heels upon pavement

Clocking in for a day of interminable boredom

Girl takes up appointed position

As temporary city company receptionist

'Good morning.'

Duties consist of sitting with a smile on her face

'Good morning.'

Harder than you may think

So you mustn't

Security guards take it in shift to sit bedside Girl

On this fine,

'Good morning.'

Arnold, a Northern, racist, homophobic

Not his fault environment in which he grew up

Keeps Girl company


The morning rush subsides and strange

A slow bus trundles along the road

Strange it is painted blue

It is noticed

Eyes are averted from papaers, screens, coffee machines, office seats

And.... oh la la

the big blue open top bus comes to a stopoutside Girl's glass doors

Drum roll and a cough to clear the Maestro's throat

'Ladies and Gentlemen behold the beautiful the sensual, erotic, exotic...

Three lovely ladies

Fun gals come to brighten up your day,'

The Maestro pinched a proffered bum


Come take a closer look-


'Caught on camera by the TV crew

''Looksy, we know you want to.'

Girl gets distracted and red-blooded Arnold has already fled

She goes to have a decker

It's not every day you get to sample the best of British journalism


Smoked glass doors are opened wide

Girl and Arnold step outside

'Woah, she's a ride,' says Arnold to Girl.

'Go on gorgeous, give us a twirl.'

'Awight boys,' calls out Titty One, 'We sure gonna have fun.'

And slowly and oh so teasingly

She pulls her t-shirt up over her body revealing her...

And the crowd yell

'Cor, look at the knockers on that.'






And tastefully exhibited

The important bits hidden behind a golden bikini thingy


A good crowd has gathered

Fun for all means men and Girl

She doesn't seem to notice, neither do they

Otherwise preoccupied with Titty One

Her hips, bra straps, and her bum

Sway in opposing directions

man calls out, 'get a move on some of us got work to do.'

Titty One satisfies

Her great big boobies are espied

The bikini thingy cast aside

How dutifully displayed

Titty One is most refined

Shows them off like a good little girl

Like she's a good little girl

Flutters her eyes, never done it before

then switches to acting like a dirty whore

In tune, the bleating audience sing the all time classic

'Get your tits out for the boys.'


Like vermin they appear out of nowhere

Tools down, headed for the spectacle

the crowd has grown like a pregnant woman

Lines of males at windows

Windows opened for the first time ever

Cheering and the like

Then Titty Two joins her pal

She really is a horny gal

'All for you,' coos Titty Two

'But mustn't tell the wife.'

And she pouts out her tush wagging it like a puppy bitch

'Could do wiv a piece of dat.'

'Wouldn't know what to do.'

'Would too.'

Fisty cuffs are formed, punches thrown

'Boys, boys there's plenty for all.' says Titty Three

She lifts up her top, 'See, see.'


An enormous blob of dribbly drool

Descends down the building forming a pool

Titties titillating, tight trousered crowd

Girl taken in goes along for the ride

She cheers those ladies on

'Bravo... bravo...'

Focus switches, Girl comes into view

Full frontal, fully clothed


Males are disconcerted, don't know what to do

Very unbecoming behaviour

From a proper lady

Most unsettling

Definately not right

Girl should be behind her desk

Out of sight

The men feel cheated

It's their show

They attack her with cries of

'Lesbo... Lesbo...'

Girl shouts back,

'Would you blame me, look at the state of you lot.'

The Titties laugh

'Good on you Girl,, they shout their support

men lose face, bosses lose money and it's back to work boys


The crowd disperse and the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round...

Author of five novels, Lana Citron is also a consummate hoarder of kisses and currently working on; 'A Life in Kisses', check her out at www.oneoffkisses.com or at The Big Chill this year or should the fancy take, on the 4th plinth in Leicester Square on Agust the 9th between 9-10am. This edited piece was originally published in Lara's first novel, Sucker and kindly donated to Burlesque Against Breast Cancer, not to mention performed last Monday at the Book Club Boutique.

Guest Blogger: Den Rele

Breast is Best

I remember a time when a handful was plenty
and all that you needed was a perky pair
but these are the days of the mammoth mammary
of humoungous hooters and big bags of air
of gigantic goombas, GGs and Jordan
and yayas stretched far as a yaya would dare

And I long for a time when a handful was plenty
and all you needed was a perky pair
A time before plastic and silicone implants
a time before big baps became a career

when a boob was a boob and it didn't much matter
whether yours were beestings or bosoms or boulders
as long as you had a nice pair of jubblies
happily jiggling down from your shoulders
before gigantic goombas, GGs and Jordan
and yayas stretched far as a yaya would dare

If only, If only, we'd all band together
us women with chesticles varied and rare
and tell all the lad mags to stuff their bajongas
and take to the streets, fine tittied and fair

With our bristols and bombs, our norks and our jugs
badoinkies, bazoombas, bethas and dugs
highbeams and hummers, honkers and hooters
melons and numnums, knockers, bazookas
our ying yangs, our yazoos, our racks and our wah wahs
babaloos, cha chas, torpedoes and tatas

We'd all spread the word, and start conversations
about all those excuses for self mutilation
like "My body needed more symmetry"
or "my bigger boobs make me feel more womanly"

We'd kick Wonderbra in the "hello boys"
fling out the chicken fillet - oh, joy of joys!
We'd demand bras that fit, not that we fit the bras
and tell all those stupid car show wankers
that our mounds were not made for selling their cars

And we'd take a look at our endless variety
and accept at last that all boobs should hang free
Because every woman in her heart knows this best:
That a breast, is a breast, is a breast, is a breast.

Guest Blogger: Graham Buchan

Friday, July 10, 2009


The peach dribbled down your breast
and I smoked my last ever cigarette
inhaling your beauty
and stubbing out my future
under your lowered eyes


Your breasts, holy
an altar, a font
receive baptism of my ejaculate
and I kneel
and we share
Holy Communion

To Serena

I want to be your sports bra,
As you zip about the court,
'cos there's one thing you can count on:
my unwavering support.

Oh let me hold you firm and tight,
as you smash the opposition;
I can guarantee your boobs
will not stray from position.

And after final victory
as you unwind in the shower
I will sigh, on the locker room floor,
That was my finest hour.

Oh I want to be your sports bra;
I really couldn't be keener
to hold your boobs, big and bold
my beautiful Serena.
Having graduated as a Chemical Engineer and after slumming it for thirty years in the film industry, Graham Buchan finally got round to writing poetry, short fiction and reviews. His books include Airport Reading and There is Violence In These Vapours (both from Tall Lighthouse) and has been on the radio and the telly.

Guest Blogger: Naomi Woddis

Come, Sleep

Once each nipple was a weathervane,

my pert sun rising beneath a clavicle horizon.

Now an estuary of stretch-marks inks me.

When your calendar is a theif, stealing

all your hours, I'll be the pillow after the dirty

washing of your week. You, who have sucked

the day dry of all its milk, rest your head

between the bookends of my breasts. Come,

sleep with me.

Naomi Woddis has featured at the O2 Wireless Festival, Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the London Literature Festival. Her innovative collaboration online invention, Poerty Mosaic (www.poetrymosaic.wordpress.com) is gaining in international popularity. Her pamphlet "Life is Music" was published in 2007.

Guest Blogger: Emily Breen

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My name is Emily Breen. I'm a columnist for Essex magazine The Edge and contributor to movie site HeyUGuys.co.uk. I recently completed my first novel Trading Up and am working on the second. I live in Chelmsford and I am a regular at the Book Club Boutique. This is my recent contribution from the Burlesque Against Breast Cancer night there.

Boobs Have the Power

In the kingdom of the working flat, the breast is truly King

(or Queen) I mean good looks are nice but boobs still reign supreme

Boobs have the power to make grown men do stupid things

Like spend their cash pursuing them, eschewing wedding rings

(A client left the flat one day so lost in thoughts of chest that the following night he struck up a conversation with me in a bar... and then remembered where he had seen me before)

Boobs have such power

One guest star was an Essex girl - a record breaking bird

And when she dropped her H's none among them said a word

Boobs have the power to make a grown man speechless

Jaw agape, Medusa-stoned; some portions of their features

(Some we just wished were silent - when ringing a flat do try to observe etiquette and avoid using the word titties. Remember you are on the phone not appearing in a porno)

Boobs have such power

GFE required a C to conjure girl next door

Others rather pickier denied that less was more

Boobs have the power to make a grown man want to spend

The less bashful of the species often recommend a friend

("It was an F he said, but young and perky, no sag" Certainly Sir that pair is sitting right here, but there is a woman attached - would you like to hear her description?)

Boobs have such power

I really think the ladies of negotiable affection

Have much to teach us amateurs of cleavage misdirection

Those boobs have the power to make a grown man want to vet

Praise or cuss them and discuss them in a land called Punternet

(We might not yet have mastered alchemy, but a good balconette will make even an A cup runneth over. Still, for some, anything that prefixes double-D is the magic number)

Boobs have such power

Boobs have the power to make a grown man cry

And if they try to claim they don't? My dears, the grown men lie

Boobs have the power to make them all confused

We have all the power... because we control the boobs

(When weilding a pair of your own do try to heed the words of the man in the red catsuit: With great power comes great responsibility!)

Boobs have such power. Be sure to use it wisely.
Picture taken by Rae Jenkin of Emily performing 'Boobs Have the Power' at the Breast Awareness night at the Book Club Boutique at Dicks Bar in Soho, on behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support.

My Dream Come True...and then some

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Celebrity Makeover Part 1

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Here it is--what y'all been waiting for! Yeah, it was kinda weird to watch myself on national tv, and in high def no less (who knew I had so many freckles? I didn't.). And what was extra weird for me was seeing how emotional I was. Maybe it was just so shocking and surreal at the time that I had no memory of what I was saying or how I felt (other than the shock). I'll admit it--I teared up a bit. Yeah.

And in other news...my fab friend Victoria Namkung, who is journalist to the stars, posted an entry on her amazing Las Angelenas blog about my makeover. Thanks, Girl!

Guest Blogger: Sabrina Mahfouz

The Lady with the Amazing Breasts

My boyfriend left me the other day
before he left there were a few things he felt he had to say
He wasn't leaving cos he felt stressed, it wasn't that he didn't like the way that I dressed, it certainly wasn't even that he didn't like what we did in bed...

it was because he had met the lady with the amazing breasts.

Beach brown and round as a pound coin; firm as his dick
as he reached out to touch and she gave him a kicking;
nipples that crippled all feeling in his crotch
and were as dusky pink as his blush

as he began to think about the lady with the amazing breasts.

As he carried on and on I looked down at my own which hadn't grown
since me and Melissa watched Grease in 1993
and held 'I must improve my bust they will get bigger still' Olympic heats
in the heat of a summer house

which would never play host to the lady with the amazing breasts.

Two bags of fat, I always said, who really wants that
hanging heavy off them, banging, bumping
diverting eye-to-eye contact, inviting 'oh what a nice... necklace chat'
I used to say no thanks, not me, I'm happy being able to see my feet.

But I do wonder about the lady with the amazing breasts.

I wonder what she looks like in the mirror as she takes off her clothes
I wonder if she can sleep on her front when she goes to bed
I wonder if she's really aware of what she does to some men's heads
I wonder what it feels like to press a hand, can I quickly squeeze please?

I wonder if, after all, she thinks she's the lady with the amazing breasts.

Sabrina is a performance poet, freelance journalist and currently the Entertainment Editor for Chic Today. You can see her perform on Monday July 6th at Dick's Bar in Soho for Burlesque Against Breast Cancer at The Book Club Boutique. She has a Myspace.

Burlesque Against Breast Cancer comes to Soho

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

On Monday evening, Burlesque Against Breast Cancer moves to the spiritual home of London sleaze, Soho as we bring our travelling showcase of debauchery promoting 'Ultimate Burlesque' and raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support by hosting at the established literary night, The Book Club Boutique, situated at Dick's Bar, in Romilly Street from 8pm.

Joining us will be cancer survivors, erotic fiction authors, burlesque performers and a whole host of London-based poets who have specially written contributions to perform and contribute to BABC very kindly. These contributions will be featured on here and the BABC website in the near future.

We will be joined by burlesquers... Dolly Rose, Duchess Divine, Jubilee Swoon, Beulah Bell...

Pamina Caruso Brassey will be talking about her fight against breast cancer...

...but we will also be joined by the wonderful Naomi Woodis, Dfiza Benson, Kirsty Allison, Lana Citron, Sophia Blackwell, Tim Wells, Sabrina Mahfouz, Capella Silverangel, Graham Buchan, Den Rele and Joe Duggan...

Entry Free, come and play....