- 24 December, 2005 -

This is the second of a two part article on my trip to Germany, the UK and France; covering the visit to see Geoff Ridgway and his lovely lady Elaine, in Manchester, then the hop back across the English Channel to visit with Maitresse Francoise and Patrick to attend the Nuit Demonia events.


- 1st December, 2005 -

The flight from Frankfurt to Manchester was delayed 30 minutes and so I repaired to the nearest bar for, you guessed it, a beer. We eventually departed for the 2 hour trip and I arrived in Manchester to find it very mild with rain showers blasting through. Geoff's car had suffered a mechanical miscarriage (the wipers decided to perform an intimate tango right in the midst of a heavy downpour, while he was on his way to the airport) and so I took a cab to his home, only to find that the bloody traffic coming out of the airport was as bad, if not worse than that in Stuttgart at rush hour.

Upon arrival at their cozy home, both Geoff and Elaine made me very welcome, then it was off to the local supermarket to buy 'iron rations' for my stay (beer, peanuts, and dark semi-sweet chocolate). We gabbed and got acquainted until nearly 3 am and I finally fell into bed for a desperately needed sleep.


- 2nd December, 2005 -

Given the somewhat hectic pace of my stay in Germany, I slept nearly 12 hours and finally surfaced sometime around 2:45 the next afternoon. A friend of Geoff's, Mike, had invited us to a pub that night, so we spent the afternoon just hanging out and getting to know one another better than is ever possible on e-mail.

A couple of candid shots of Geoff and his lovely, elfin lady, Elaine, before we went out, then we were off to see the son of Geoff's friend and his band do their thing. The noise level was substantially higher than that when standing next to a jet engine operating at full throttle and so we grabbed a beer (of course!) and immediately went outside to the patio, to see if the pub's windows would blow out. Definitely not a normal British pub, be assured.

We eventually returned home around 2:30 am and collapsed.


- 3rd December, 2005 -

This was a relatively quiet day. We went to see another friend of Geoff's, Steve, who has written a very worthwhile book on personal safety, called the R.E.A.C.T. system. Later that evening, some friends who'd moved to the UK from Vancouver, Norm and Jolanda, drove down from Newcastle to say hello. It was great to reconnect and I'm very grateful that they made the two and a half hour drive just to say hello. Another new friend, Kenny, the husband of that wonderfully mad woman, Mrs KC, called to say hello, and it was great to make that connection also.


- 4th December, 2005 -

Geoff and Elaine took me to the Manchester Science and Technology Museum and here follows a whole bunch of pictures of the exhibits. Even though not kinky in nature, I think they're interesting and so here they are, like it or not :-).

I suppose the reason for the picture on the left, above is pretty obvious and I just had to have it taken :-). Above right is the Main Hall of the Power Section of the museum.

Steam engines and their ilk have always been a major fascination of mine and Geoff's, so I took a couple of dozen pictures of the various types on display and functioning, but will, with great reluctance, not burden the viewer with them all :-).

BIG, spinning fly wheels, long gleaming piston rods, mechanical whojamajigees doing unfathomable things, and the hiss and puff of steam makes for an intriguing sight, for me anyway, and so I was in seventh heaven with these displays. If you've visited Geoff Ridgway's site, you'll see where a lot of his inspiration comes from!

Below is a well preserved example of a Garrett type steam engine, used widely in South Africa, then, below that picture is one of Elaine and her friend, then Geoff and Elaine, posing in front of a steam engine powered, Ferranti electrical generator.

The aviation museum was across the street and a must see for me, having spent nearly 40 years in the industry in one section or another. Of particular interest was the Shackleton anti-submarine patrol aircraft, thanks to its use of huge contra-rotating propellers, then there was a real Spitfire, a Lighning and a whole host of other avaition stuff.

The displays at the museum, although not as large or elaborate as others I've seen, are very definitely worth the visit, with a uniquely British flavour and composition.


- 5th December, 2005 -

And so my happy time of rest time in Manchester came to an end and I was off to Paris. I had a wonderful time getting to know Geoff and Elaine on a face to face basis, and our friendship will continue to prosper when they come to visit me here in Vancouver in September, 2006.

Of course there was the usual delay in departure, thanks to a lost fuel bowser, then we were off to Paris; a one hour flight. The English countryside was a beautiful patchwork as we ascended into the clouds to the bright sky above.

It was an uneventful flight to Paris, and upon arrival, I was very thankful to see Patrick waiting for me out side the baggage pick up area. He drives one of the very few Chrysler Sebring convertibles in Paris and handles it with the aplomb and uncaring manner of a true Parisian. For me, it was like driving in Montreal, magnified by a madness factor of ten.


- 6th & 7th December, 2005 -

Francoise, was, as ever, the perfect hostess and made me feel very welcome in her home. Lady Scorpion came to visit and later that night, Mistress Antoinette arrived from her brief hop over to London. I'm very fortunate to count these genuine and lovely ladies as friends.

It was a relatively early night for us all and we soon were all happily wrapped in out sheets and enjoying a good night's sleep.

The next day, my suit case arrived from Germany, as well as my re-sized, above-the-elbow cuffs from Axsmar and I naturally just had to try them out. Goddess Elizabeth came to call a little later in the evening and there was a lot of laughs while we all exchanged stories of our adventures over the past year.

I slept in the dungeon, atop the new steel cage (rather than within it, as some think I should have) and Patrick very kindly set up my very own computer and access to the Internet, as can be seen in the right side picture above. He even went to the trouble of installing my logo as wall paper :-)! To be surrounded by so much friendship and kink gear was quite a trip!


- 8th December, 2005 -

We spent most of the day of the party just getting our costumes organized, cleaning gear and all of the other assorted tasks that precede one of these event, then at around 8:30 pm, we were all off to La Loco, right beside the Moulin Rouge for the Nuit Demonia Party. Goddess Elizabeth was dressed in a wonderful rubber dress and Lady Scorpion ensured that all knew for sure that there was no silicon present. Mistress Antoinette was, as always, her usual elegant and stunning self.

The noise level at the event was pretty intense and the crowd was a thick mixture of kinks in some of the most interesting and varied costumes; equaling those I'd seen at the Kitty Cat Club in Munich the week before. We stayed in the upper bar VIP area most of the night, with only a couple of walks through the thundering herd to do the S&M (Stand & Model) routine. My new, thigh-high, lace up, rubber boots proved to be somewhat more of a trial than I thought they'd be and although I like them a lot, I'm seriously considering selling them. They're size twelve and worn only the one time. If anyone is interested, please contact me.

It was my pleasure to finally get to meet Jurgen Boedt, (the owner of Boutique Minuit and Publisher of Secret Magazine) and his beautiful wife Cathy. Jurgen and I have been email correspondents for about ten years and collaborated on a number of projects, so the meeting was a real thrill for us both. I also got to renew my association with Christophe Mourthe, an very talented fetish photographer. He and I and Francoise had done a photo session a couple of years previously, so that too was a great pleasure. Pix above are courtesy of Mistress Antoinette :-).

Somewhere around 2:00 am we all decided to call it a day and piled into Patrick's car then zoomed off home. It had been quite a night. FYI, there were 1,695 people in attendance at the event.


- 9th December, 2005 -

When I was in Paris at this time last year, I was impressed by the commercial Christmas decorations, and so after a day of rest, Antoinette and I took the Metro into one of the the main shopping districts, then wandered up and down the streets like a couple of country yokels in town for the first time.

I couldn't help but marvel at the abundance and variety of lights on the stores and streets. Really, it was mind blowing, particularly at the Au Printemps store and right next to it, Galleries Lafayette. The crowds and traffic were unbelievable. But then, I am just a yokel, when it comes to Paris.

There must have been a million lights on the outside of the Gallery Lafayette store, but then Antoinette and I crossed the street to check out the window displays, and like the lights, they were truly something else. Each window scene was elaborate and beautifully executed and I could not resist taking pictures of them, as well as a band of street musicians.

A few of the window displays were provocative in their content and hardly likely to be seen in North America where they'd elicit howls of protest from the rabid, Nazi feminist and the blue-stockinged crowd, who like to think that they know what's good for us (pompous ass holes, for the most part). Quite refreshing, in every way.

Antoinette and I stopped for a meal at a pleasant restaurant on rue Grennell and got to enjoy some quiet after our tour; at the same time allowing some private time for our hosts, Patrick and Francoise. I'm a firm believer in the Confucian adage: "After three days, guests and fish all the same ... begin to stink!"


- 10th December, 2005 -

The next day, 10th December, we all hopped on the Metro once more and zoomed off to the Demonia Store. Surprisingly, I'd never been there before in the many times I've visited Paris, but this time we had to do it for Christophe Mourthe had an exhibition of his images there.

The Paris Metro is an example of how a subway system should function ... the trains are frequent, well cared for, easily accessible, cheap and efficient. We were across town and in the Demonia store in 25 minutes ... a trip that would have taken an hour and a half by car.

Christophe had a picture of Francoise and I in a place of prominence, taken a few years ago, as well as a couple of Antoinette and we felt honoured to be up there on the wall.

Laurence Dorra is the store's manager and, truly, the driving force behind the Nuit Demonia events and I would like to take this chance to thank her for her hospitality and the kindness she showed me at both at the event itself and when we came to visit the store.

The Demonia store is definitely a place to see if you're paying a visit to Paris. The staff are friendly and efficient and the selection of toys, books, magazines and costumes is extensive.

Antoinette kindly agreed to do a couple of poses for me, being the happy soul she is, and I also got to meet Christophe again and make the acquaintance of his lovely lady.


- 11th December, 2005 -

Francoise was to be interviewed by a coupole from a Japanese scene magazine and so we spent much of the first part of the 11th getting her dungeon space organized for their arrival I enjoyed assisting in that, for I'm a 'neat freak' at heart, and too, I got to see all of the latest additions to her vast collection of toys and equipment, and I do mean vast!

One of the newest additions is a full suspension frame and a new bondage chair, to say nothing of the full rubber straight jacket complete with a fully attached helmet and gas mask. Naturally, I hungered to try these out, but the available time was just not there, damn it.

Below is about half the collection of boots and shoes Maitresse Francoise has available, and in the foreground you can see the full arrangement of the bondage cage and table that was, at other times, my bed while staying at her home. FYI, none of the restraints were employed to assist me in sleeping.

What you see in the two pictures below is the 'Sissy' dressing room of Francoise, and its extensive collection of wigs and make-up. Although the cuffs and breast prostheses are mine, Maitresse has an incredible array of related 'enhancements' and restraints available. I think she likes me because I always bring my own :-).


- 12th December, 2005 -

At last the day of my return came and it was an early start. I got up at 5:30 am, then was at the airport at 7:30. The flight departed late, thanks to a balky set of security doors at the jetway entrance, but we soon climbed to cruising altitude and were over the UK, passing slightly north of London. The pictures below were taken of the oil refinery fire, some 30 miles to the north, and the smoke plume can be easily seen.

The remainder of the flight was uneventful, and I slept as well as can be managed while in a vehicle doing 550 mph at 39,000 feet. We arrived in Toronto on schedule and I cleared Canadian Customs and Immigration then was soon on the connecting flight to Vancouver, arriving there at 6:30 pm, PST.

By the time I finally arrived home, I'd been travelling for nearly 24 hours and needless to say was about done in. My wife gave me a very warm welcome and I managed to remain partially coherent for an hour or two before falling into my own bed and departing this mortal plane for some 10 hours.

It was wonderful to be home and the perfect end to a GREAT trip.