Saturday, 24 September 2011
Horses, holidays and harangues
Good evening and greetings from Inverness. I'm not on tour, rather I'm in Amanda's kitchen, recovering from a trip to Jimmy Chung's all you can eat buffet which would put Bessie Bunter to perpetual shame. I decided to take the weekend off and chill out, so today we took our little people horse riding and then sat in Inverness giving each other surreptitious grins and looks every time we clocked a lesser spotted client almost going through a lampost at the apparition of us in jeans, with children and to be honest, smelling like stables. Wonderful stuff.
When I moved to Scotland, I was horrified to discover that Irish people are known as "thick micks" and have a reputation for being incredibly, um .... dense. I have to tell you, the Irish passport office in London don't do us any favours. I sent our passports down to be updated prior to our forthcoming trip to Turkey and I'm surprised they didn't ask for a DNA sample, it was a fecking farce. I had to sign a declaration to say I'm the Mother of my little darling, in spite of the fact I was her Mother when they issued her last passport, and despite the recent influx of Brad Pitt and his extended family, I remain so. I am firmly convinced that one of the requirements for employment at the passport office is to show an IQ akin to that of an aubergine. Ho hum. Speaking of holidays, Susan is winging her way back from The Dominican Republic on Sunday and she has had a wonderful time, the temperatures were in the thirties every day and she swam with dolphins, it must have been awesome. I'm not sure if she'll join me in Inverness on the 3rd but she'll almost certainly be with me in Belfast.
Next week I'm off to Englandshire with one of my guys and I'm not back until Saturday, I'm looking forward to it immensely, we have some real fun planned of the "must not mention in blog" variety, discretion being the better part of valour, innit ? In the meantime I have some very limited availability in sunny Glasgow from Monday to Wednesday, please book in advance or else I cannae see you.
Finally, I happened to be watching This Morning recently and there was an interview with a girl who was coerced into working as a prostitute from the age of 13 in an Edinburgh sauna. Many emotions came up when I was watching that interview, of course I felt pity, empathy, a maternal protective urge, amongst many others. Overall though, the one thing I felt was ANGER.
This girl was seduced by an older man who got her hooked on heroin and told her the only way to pay off her debt was to work it off in the brothel. During the interview she was accompanied by her Mother. Now, I'm not nominating myself for "Milupa Mother Of The Year" or anything, but at the same time, at least I know exactly what is going on in my daughter's life, although I appreciate she is younger. See, I get that the girl worked the backshift in the parlour from 5pm until 10pm and she was told what to say when she went home, I'm ALMOST understanding that. However, hooked on heroin and the Mother didn't notice ? REALLY ?? I'm sorry, but something stinks there. ( I really wish I could provide you with a link but I've searched high and low for a clip and I can't find it. )
What struck me during the interview is that the girl concerned said that she felt the answer was to shut ALL saunas in Edinburgh. She said that the clients were normal respectable men who ran local businesses, and that some of the girls who were working there were doing so of their own volition. Right, call me a thick mick if you will, but what purpose would closing the saunas serve ? The answer here lies firmly with the parlour owner and the parents. If the saunas were closed, all that would happen would be a shift from recognised establishments into underground grotty flats where it would be impossible to reach those who so desperately need help.
If prostitution were to be decriminalised, then regular checks could be conducted by the police and that girl's trauma would never have happened. Parlour owners would be required to check ID and further, to check that the ladies are working of their own volition.
I do apologise, but as a "thick mick", to me that makes perfect sense.