Thursday, 14 June 2012

Madame JoJo's

This legendary club, founded a long time ago by Soho’s well-known entrepreneur, Paul Raymond, has been somewhere I have wanted to visit since first hearing about it probably in my late teens when a Sunday colour supplement carried an interview with Raymond, the then Madame JoJo and “the boys” (as they called them). I used to wonder if I could ever get a job there as an entertainer or waitress. Until now I never had any opportunity or excuse to go.

It’s only the second trans club I’ve been to in London, the other being the Way Out Club in the City. This is a dedicated venue and is much better. Not large but adequate, its décor is pleasanter, its stage show better and the crowd is more mixed with “normal” people visiting not just TGirls and Admirers, ie couples (straight and gay), groups of female/gay friends. In other words, it’s always been a place with a trans slant for anyone to hang out in, as I expected. The loos, however, are inadequate and not nice, and the bar is small and fairly pricey. Located on Brewer Street in the heart of Soho, it could not be more central. Website:

Yesterday (a Wednesday, which is Trannyshack night) I went with two friends – one transsexual and one straight male – and we enjoyed an evening of drinks and dancing, cabaret and chatting. The music is a little too loud for extended conversation, but not deafening as it is in, say, the clubs of Leeds.

The cabaret was not bad. Dusty O the compere introduced two new York girls, who were energetic and excellent, Holly Day (in blue) and I will remember the other’s name in due course. There were other numbers from Mitzi Mackintosh and our old friend Vanilla Lush who was celebrating eight years in the establishment. It was quite fun.

High-energy greetings from New York. These girls have fantastic legs.

Mitzi Mackintosh from Australia doing a mad rendition of Mame.

Vanilla Lush.

I’d go back. It’s a reasonable place to spend a couple of hours.

Sue x

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee weekend

I could not resist watching this celebration live from the crowds as it was a historic event, which will not be seen again in my lifetime. This post is just to share my photos.

Saturday, when the Queen was at the derby, I went to Tower Bridge to photograph the tall ships that would line the river below the bridge on the following day. I had previously had a sneak preview of the Gloriana rowing barge built for the occasion.

Gloriana moored at Richmond

Tall ships

Ships with the City beyond

The Pool of London from Tower Bridge

Sunday was the greatest day, a river pageant with hundreds of boats. I love my River Thames - I've walked every mile of it, swum in it, boated on it, rowed on it - and I love London, too. So I couldn't miss this occasion in the life of my beloved river. Three hours waiting in a crowd then two hours watching the whole thing float past in the rain, was still worth it. Here are some shots I took from my vantage point near the Oxo Tower.

The Canaletto shot

The royal barge

Historic ships

Monday evening was the jubilee concert outside Buckingham Palace (though I spent the day with friends)

Tuesday saw the cathedral service and the carriage procession to Buckingham Palace. I was in Trafalgar Square and got some great photos, though I could only see the heads of the cavalrymen.

A fashion and dance show covering six decades, starting here with the '50s.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, gave a short, entertaining speech.

Now this is where a telephoto lens might have come in handy - Life Guards ride through Trafalgar Square

WWII aircraft fly past

Red Arrows over St Martin-in-the-Fields

Nelson and the Red Arrows. I love this shot.

The flypast heading towards the palace


What an amazing and memorable weekend. Millions of people were out despite the rain.

Now for another event that won’t be seen again in my lifetime – the transit of Venus. If only these rainclouds would go away ...

Sue x