Thursday, February 11, 2010
Good Evening Everyone,
London was next and you are probably asking, “Why was Jeffrey in London? What was happening there that had anything to do with IML?” Easy! The Mr. Hoist contest had been on previous Saturday night and since I had already obligated to the Antwerp Leather Pride Weekend, I thought I could at least stop by London, congratulate the winner and the participants before heading home. It, also, gave me a chance to spend some time with my IML brothers, Donal, Stephen and Ralf, as well as tour the city.
So I arrived on Monday; however, due to being overly tired and having not slept in 36 hours, I did nothing except sleep and answer emails. However, on Tuesday, I met up with Ross and Ralf and they gave me the grand tour of London! First, we headed up to Big Ben, then Parliament; crossed the bridge and walked to the London Eye. We decided against taking the ride as it was a bit cloudy and the view would be better upon my second trip to London in May. So we then walked across Jubilee Bridge and on down to Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. It turns out the Queen was not home, which explains why no one answered the door when I rang the bell. I should call ahead next time.
We then walked back to Trafalgar Square and headed to SoHo for a bite to eat. We then walked the theater district, Piccadilly Circus and then hopped a bus (one of the original double-decker buses, not the new modern double-decker buses) and went down to St. Paul Cathedral and then the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. We did not go inside of the Tower of London to see the Queens jewels; I will do that on the next trip. We then saw City Hall (for London) and then walked back to the train station where Ralf and Ross dropped me off. I walked off any poundage I had gained from the chocolates I had eaten in Belgium on this tour! It was an incredible tour and I am grateful that Ross and Ralf were able to join me and give me such an incredible tour.
That evening Donal, his roommate Simon, and I ordered takeout and I just rested my feet because my dogs were barking!
Wednesday, I awoke, packed and headed down to meet Bonn at the hotel. Bonn and I boarded the Tube (a.k.a. The Lube; I’ll tell the story in a moment.) and headed down to the theater to see Wicked! I had seen the show in Dallas at Fair Park; however, the acoustics in Fair Park are not that great (understatement) and I did not hear the production. It was like watching a silent movie or rather a noisy movie that made no sense most of the time. Bonn and I sat 9th row center! Hell, I heard the entire production this time! Awesome seats! I so enjoyed the show this time!! While we were waiting for the show to begin, I was talking to Bonn about taking the Tube; however, I called it the Lube. “Well, Bonn, I got on the Lube and rode it . . . “. He stopped me and said, “Did you say the Lube”? So the official name of the Tube has been changed to the Lube. I’m sure people will ride it now more than ever; or at least they will enjoy it more. ;-)
After the show, we then headed back to the hotel and picked up Kip (Bonn’s friend from American Airlines) and we headed to SoHo to meet a bunch of my London friends for my birthday dinner. In attendance were Bonn, Kip, myself, Donal (last years Mr. London Eagle), Stewart and his partner Mark, Ralf (last years Mr. Europe Leather), Stephen (last year’s Mr. Hoist) and Russ (the current Mr. Hoist). Absent were Mark and Ross (Ralf’s partners) as Mark was under the weather and Ross was taking care of him) and Mark (another Mark; the current Mr. London Eagle). Although it was my birthday dinner, I was particularly interested in meeting with Stewart, as he was the first runner-up at Mr. Hoist. Ross (the current Mr. Hoist) has suggested that he would not go to IML this year, since he has already been (two years ago). Mark (the current Mr. London Eagle) has also suggested he would not be able to participate in IML. Well, that basically would knock out the UK’s leather representation at IML and I did not like hearing about that. So I spoke with Donal, and subsequently Stewart, about participating in IML this year as the representative from the UK. I think it would be more than a shame if the UK had no representation at IML this year. Stewart is very handsome, very well spoken, an upstanding representative of the community and would do very well at IML. I will continue to work with Donal and Stewart and other members of the community to ensure that the UK has at least one representative at IML this year!
After dinner, which was extremely wonderful, I headed back to the hotel and got on the computer to answer some emails and correspond with the family a bit. I headed to bed and then was up early in order to catch the bus to Heathrow for my flight home.
A special thank you to Bonn and the entire American Airline flight crew! Coming to London and going home, everyone showed me such hospitality and warmth and it was appreciated more than they could ever imagine. David worries about me when I travel, even more so when I travel internationally, and it is a great comfort to him to know that I am being taken care of when I am away.
And so you guys know, I am on the plane flying home typing this and just as I was typing the last paragraph, the crew came up and gave me a HUGE piece of chocolate cake and a bowl of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and a wonderful card for my birthday! They are so wonderful! Thank you , thank you, thank you!
Okay, I must know go eat this huge piece of cake! I’ll be on a sugar rush the next few days by eating this whole thing. But that’s a good thing because guess what is happening this weekend?
Mr. Texas Leather 2010! My second step-down and 2/3’s way through my IML title year!
Your Leather Brother, Jeffrey