It has been a busy month at The Old Doom Bar - that is, in the world beyond it. There has been The Royal Cornwall Show, a big local wedding, the arrival of early and child free summer visitors and of course the Referendum.
As with the LGBT movement, Sex Workers in various combines have fought valiantly for their corner of social understanding and acceptance. Last year they put together their first Opera at the Arcola Theatre and 29th May this year has just seen the end of their second week's run at The Pleasance.
“There is a problem for kids who have grown up with online porn on tap. Girls think that it's OK to be treated like that and boys think thats how they have to behave.” We suck the froth off our second pint. “There is a really high level of erectile dysfunction in boys under the age of 20” she informs me. “A friend of mine he spent some time with a couple of girls – they were under 20 and he was 30 – and they were really surprised because when they unzipped him he was ready to go and they'd never experienced that.”
Love is a many splendid thing, love lifts us up where we belong, all you need is love - right? But what about sex? What if love and sex don’t combine, but instead you are left with someone you love, or someone you want to have sex with, but not a combination of the two?
Elections have figured recently on our agenda in the Old Doom Bar. The most significant being that of Ukraine being voted top Eurovision nation in a clearly politically inspired coup against Russia. No-one could work out why joint hot tip Australia was in the contest until it was suggested that their population was full of former Yugoslavs. This turns out not to be true so it must be in a vain effort to bolster the meagre European pro- UK vote from the Anglophone diaspora that predominates in the Antipodes.
We meet at Cafe Zedel. It is sparkling, bubbling with conversation and really rather lovely. When she makes her entrance, Polly is equally sparkling, bubbling and really rather lovely. And so is the champagne she orders. This is exactly how it should be when one meets Burlesque Royalty. Miss Polly Rae is pretty perfect : a Rita Hayworth redhead, flawless skin, carmine Cupid's bow, matching nails and dark eyes dancing behind the raven's wings of her lashes like twin Fan Dancers. I say 'her' lashes' but they are not. And – disappointingly for my fantasies of the Burlesque Life – she does not always look like this. She is on her way back from a photo shoot.
Our new reporter from the field, Nadine Summers, might have been in High School the last time she picked up a 3B pencil, but nabbing a place at a sex worker life drawing class was enough to get the creative juices flowing again.
Now will he sit under a medlar tree, and wish his mistress were that kind of fruit as maids call medlars, when they laugh alone. Romeo, that she were, O, that she were an open-arse, thou a poperin pear!
The V&A is showing the largest ever collection of underwear to go on display, and has acquired over 60 new individual pieces for it’s permanent collection. Taking us on a lightning tour through the history of the role and function of the undergarment and indeed underwear as outerwear, we are treated to rare pieces such as a maternity breast feeding bra-let and the first pair of male “enhancing” briefs from Marks & Spencer.