My ‘Magic’ night with a Stripper!

Image result for magic mike live

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in a place I never thought I would ever be…. at a strip show! I’m not a prude by any means, but I’ve never really bought into the enjoyment of watching men throw their hoses around… I mean, let’s be honest, they’re not the most attractive thing are they… even with the hunky, oil clad body to go with it!

So, when a couple of friends got very excited about the Magic Mike Live Tour last year and suggested we get tickets, I soon found myself agreeing to go. I swear there might have been some anticipation that Channing Tatum was actually going to be in it which added to their excitement – like that was ever going to happen!

What sold it for me was that we got tickets to go on my birthday which, I have to be honest, I don’t particularly enjoy since losing Mum.  My 40th birthday was the last time I sat with her and had a meal, so it brings back those memories rather than celebrating surviving another year!

This birthday however, was going to be different! I was spending it with my girls… my oldest friends from school who are lovingly referred to as ‘The Butch Girls’.  We’ve still never really got to the bottom of the name, but it’s been around since our teens! Maybe it was our dancing style that provoked it… it really does need to be seen to be believed… think Tina Turner singing ‘Nutbush’… that’s us!!

So, the big day arrives, it’s mid-morning and we were on our way to London with left over Christmas chocolates and some ‘special Lemonade’… don’t judge… it was my birthday! The six of us were all staying at ‘London Butch’s’ house just a few tube stops away from central London so that was a bonus!

‘Magic Mike Live’ is being shown at the Hippodrome Casino in the corner of Leicester Square so you can’t miss the entrance!  Bright lights and lots of tasteful black and white posters of men along the side of the building. Inside the building was even more impressive.  Being set in a Casino, I suppose you would expect nice surroundings, but the staff there were also so helpful and made everyone feel special and looked after.

There was a cloakroom to leave your coats (with no charge – which was refreshing for London) so we weren’t lugging around our winter warmers all evening. And no raffle ticket system… you simply give them your mobile number and they text you your ‘tag number’. How fancy!

Who knew there was a theatre located inside of the casino?  You wouldn’t know it was there if you were visiting to have a drink or play Blackjack, but there is a small intimate theatre at the back… which was precisely where we were going to be watching young men, most of them young enough to be our sons (argh) strip off!

What we weren’t expecting was quite how intimate the theatre was.  From the floor plan when we booked, it looked like we were a little way back and safe from any ‘flying objects’ but we were shocked to find that we were actually really close to the stage, despite being on the second from back row!  I can’t lie, I was starting to feel pretty excited (not in that way – you dirty bugger) about the show now.  I still didn’t like the thought of anything flying near my face but thankfully we had one row in front of us to shield us from anything unwanted!

The show started and it was no surprise to see the usual cliché strippers coming out.. the fireman, the builder and all the other members of the Village People!  I don’t want to drop any spoilers, but thankfully, it did not stay that way and the show took a whole different turn.

What made the show for me was the ‘MC’ running the show. It wasn’t some powerhouse ‘uber babe’ with sculpted arms that I could only dream of, but a funny, relatable woman that wouldn’t look out of place in our friendship group. She was a ‘normal’ with curves and a tummy. Best of all, she was oozing with confidence and had us in fits of laughter all evening, saying it like it is and giving the ‘boys’ a run for their money!

What I wasn’t expecting from the show was how tasteful it was for ‘that kind of show’. It wasn’t all dicks flying around and baby lotion everywhere.  There was lots of brilliant dancing (think Justin Timberlake) but with plenty of tops off and I counted just one (but very pert) bottom!

I’d also expected the women there to be rampant as they tend to be at these sorts of shows – the ones that are baying for blood screaming ‘Get ‘em off’, but there wasn’t too much of that.  It was a really fun atmosphere where nobody felt threatened… the men or the women!   Of course, there is always one! Typically right in front of us was a rather gobby girl that couldn’t help but get up constantly when the guys were walking around the floor.  We were hoping she was going to get booted out, but she eventually got the message from the security staff.

What was also reassuring was they made it clear that if you didn’t like anything that was going on around you ie; man gyrating his pelvis at you, that you simply shout the magic word… ‘Unicorn’ and they will leave you be. I have to admit, I went from ‘oooh, I’m not going up there’, to ‘pick me, pick me’ within the first half hour!

There was something for everyone in the show, all tastes were covered!  There was also a brilliant section of the show with a man and woman doing a routine which got us all a little hot under the collar.  One of my girls described it as ‘expressive dance’, but the rest of us all knew it was bordering on soft porn!!

Well, they say you should be careful what you wish for… at the end of the show I had my own Magic Mike experience! No, I didn’t get called up and asked to sit on a chair while some hunk wiggled his arse into my lap… but one of the lads did lean over me and did some kind of grinding – thanks to the row in front leaving during the last number.  Unfortunately, all I got from it was for it all to go dark for 10 seconds and that was it!  I didn’t even clock which fella it was!

So, if you’ve never been to a strip show before or never fancied one, I would definitely give this a whirl! It’s good fun and was just what we needed at the beginning of dreary January after surviving the Christmas holidays.

And best of all… Channing Tatum WAS in it… but you’ll need to watch it to find out where!

Until next time,

Love and hugs… TOMD xxx

Barcelona with ‘The Butch Girls’!

I know, you’re thinking who on earth are the ‘Butch Girls’? It sounds like it could be some female wrestling tag-team (might have to Google that!).

Let me explain. ‘The Butch Girls’ are my wonderful group of school friends that still keep in touch and do stuff together 31 years after first meeting at secondary school.

I’ve come to learn that this is actually quite unusual, to still be in touch with girls from secondary school. And whilst it’s true that we have been in and out of each other’s lives, especially during our 20s, these girls will undoubtedly always be in my life.

So, why are we called ‘The Butch Girls’?  We can’t really remember where it came from. None of us are particularly masculine or as the name may suggest, that we might bat for the other side (or is that the same side?!).  I remember the reference ‘Butch Girl’ first came up at my 18th birthday party… a long, long time ago!  It seemed to stick and we’ve been ‘The Butch Girls’, ever since!  I suppose if you happen to see us strut our stuff to Tina Turner’s ‘Nutbush’ it might explain it! It really is something to behold!

Anyway, this weekend was time for our annual getaway.  I worked out that it’s our eighth year now of doing something together.  It started when three of us went to visit one of the ‘Butches’ who now lives in Germany back in 2011 and it carried on from there. We still make Germany a bi-annual thing and visit somewhere different in between – this year it was Barcelona.

Now, I’m not going to give you a blow by blow account of what we got up to in Barcelona – most of it is the classic ‘you had to be there moments’ and we certainly had plenty of those; I’m certainly not going to try and recreate them on a blog.  However, I did want to share with you my thoughts on this Spanish city.

We stayed in the Gothic quarter of the city in an apartment which was a stone’s throw away from Dr Stravinsky’s Cocktail bar  (just for reference), which actually took us three nights to find as it was so well hidden!  It was a perfect location and I recommend staying in this part of the city if you can.  Lovely bars and restaurants are close by along with the wonders of the food market and great shopping.

What can I say about Barcelona. It’s so colourful and beautiful… and crazy-full of little streets that you can get lost in.  It’s literally like something out of Harry Potter – you get easily get lost in these interconnecting alleys within the Gothic quarter and with my hideous sense of direction, I was just glad there were five others with me who knew their way better than I did!

If you go to Barcelona, I totally recommend grabbing a bike from one of the many hire shops as a way to see the city.  We took ourselves down to the beach and cycled along the promenade stopping at a couple of bars for food and drinks, and then more drinks.  The sense of freedom felt amazing and so much fun… once you get out of the crazy streets and are able to use the cycle lanes without the fear of crashing into someone!

We learnt during the weekend, whilst sitting with a man in a cafe (we don’t normally sit with men in cafes, but there was only one table left and we kind of gatecrashed it!) that the beach in Barcelona was man made before the Olympics in 1992 to make the city more interesting.  They certainly succeeded – it doesn’t feel like you’re in a major European city when you can you cycle to sea and sand just 10 minutes from the city centre. So, if you like sea, sand and sun with your city break, this ticks all the boxes!

You can’t go to Barcelona without visiting the famous Gaudi Cathedral.  I have to admit, I’d never heard of it before (architecture isn’t exactly my forte) but this ‘wonder’ of a cathedral is mind blowing! You could literally look at it all day and still find new things. There are mixtures of so many different styles, some beautiful, others odd and some bordering on ‘Vegas’!  It has never been finished, but when it is (somewhere around 2026), it will be the tallest of its kind.

Barcelona shopping certainly has something for everyone.  If you’re after department stores, you can find them down on the rowdier Las Ramblas, or you can take in the beautiful boutiques which are found in abundance in the Gothic quarter.

On Las Ramblas you will find plenty of tat and weird stuff if that’s what takes your fancy. My particular favourite was packets of plants and flowers that will grow to look like genitalia! Nice!  Whereas if you fancy a little accessory treat, like a new bag or scarf (like I did!) then you won’t go far wrong with the little shops that can be found in many of the winding alleys through the city centre. I’m actually a really lazy shopper but even I managed to pick up a couple of pretty little things over the weekend.

With restaurants and bars a plenty, along with shopping, beaches, culture and plenty of red wine and Sangria, I’m pretty sure I will see you again soon Barcelona!

Until next time,

Love & hugs from TOMD xx