I once had a friend called Sarah (Gemini) whose nom de plume at the Tottenham Ct Rd Spearmint Rhino was Sacha. She revealed all to me over a vanilla latte one day when I asked her how she got time to wash, dry and straighten her hair every morning. She said if it wasn’t her job remit she’d be slicking back wet hair into a ponytail and donning the loose Ts, tacky bums and flip flops worn by many of the tired looking parents on the school run. Sarah was thirty five and still working the pole. She’d split from a husband who used to drag her beautifully straightened hair across the kitchen floor before smashing her face with the fridge door and desperately needed to raise some cash for her and her little girl.

I sadly lost touch with her after 3 year old Violet (nicknamed Violence) was asked to leave on account of her hitting the other kids a few too many times. I was sad for Sarah because I knew the whole sorry story (her daughter had seen Dad hit Mum regularly) and gutted for me because she was fun and definitely the friend with the most interesting job. I later hooked up with one of Violence’s nursery teachers who said they wondered “about Mum’s career path” after Violet brought a marabou-trimmed g-string saying ‘hot mama’ on them for show and tell.

Back to tonight’s display. No I am not at the fireworks. I am sitting on a velvet sofa between the Swedes looking at Hot Mama pants and nurses outfits’ as Eastern European teenagers decorate the sofa around us, plying their trade for a £20 dance.
“Hi, how are you? Are you having a lovely time here tonight? Can I get you anything? Show you anything?” Bland, bland, bland. I can see why guys love coming here. These girls are the right side of twenty, scantily clad and don’t answer back when spoken to: so no threat to a man’s ego at all. Feeling like I should pick for a winner for my Swedish pals and hating to let the girls in front of me down I say, “What about her, she’s sweet?”. “How about the lady in latex, she’s lovely and you have to admit she’s put alot of effort in?”

“Wait, wayyyyyt,” says J in a soft sleazy tone that resembles the “T-rust in meeeee,” of the snake from the Jungle Book. “The besssst ones normally come lasssst.” Jan is looking clearly pissed off with his lack of date and not feeling a bit like having a dance with some girl who does it for money. I put my hand on his and tell him I’ll buy him a dance if he perks up. He cracks a half-hearted smile.

“Why don’t I dance for you and your lady friend,” says a blonde girl shaking her strawberry flavoured hair into J’s face? “She’s the one,” says J, leaping to his feet. Come on Abi, show me you are not typically English.” Well I clearly want to see every gory detail of the job my friend used to do and who knows, if Mr Was Right starts getting lax with the mortgage payments and freezes my housekeeping, I might just need a career. So I head behind a wooden screen to watch Misia, the Russian, yes J’s established her name, gyrate a very young bottom in front of us. She’s completely shaved, covered in baby powder and, unless she’s thirteen years old, has clearly had some surgery done to her undercarriage. It’s all very boring and I feel a bit nauseous so I put my hand on J’s muscular thigh to steady myself, which, he says later, is the best bit – fibber.

“You did really well,” says J when the whole excruciating experience is over. “No other girl I’ve brought here has ever been behind the screen with me.” God, he could have told me that before. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. It’ll be a great story to tell a few of my more enlightened friends.

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Friends keep asking me why I named my blog The Butterfly Diaries and why I have not been generous enough to divulge this information to date. Tut tut. Well, to be perfectly honest the story behind the name is so bonkers I was too nervous to share it with you for fear you might dub me a complete fruitloop, but I suppose you think that now anyway.

For about six months before I split up with Mr Was Right I started noticing butterfly symbol after butterfly symbol in the most unlikely places and, as much as my ego kept telling me they had been fashionable for years, the butterflies got more and more obvious, desperately trying to attract my attention like the kids are prone to do when I sit at my computer for too long.

My ever-increasing list of butterfly symbols that have turned up in weird places includes:

. a butterfly sticker on my petrol tank
. a big butterfly embossed at the bottom of a pub umbrella stand
. a piece of paper blowing around at the side of the road revealing an intricately hand-drawn butterfly illustration
. a massive butterfly illustration on the side of a lorry
. a huge gaudy papier mache sculpture on a dingy back wall of a very small and traditional pub leading to the loos.

butterfly illustration

These weren’t the kind of butterflies I was used to seeing decorating Matthew Williamson dresses, Accessorise jewellery and my Toh Sho shopping bags. And why would they appear during huge moments of doubt? It got so ridiculous that I started spotting butterflies or butterfly symbols all day, every day. What were they trying to tell me? That I was being a social gadabout, that I was vain and rather too carefree or was this a kick-ass message about transformation?

Just when I started believing Mr Was Right’s theory that I was suffering from the onset of an early mid-life crisis, I would see yet another one. The red eyed techy guy who came to set up my new computer put a butterfly before my name on my sign in box. A friend gave me his new album which had an illustration of a butterfly unfurling from its cocoon. But it was not until a complete stranger lifted her top up in Victoria Station to reveal the most incredible tattoo of a butterfly on her lower back, said nothing, then walked away, that I surrendered, knowing something or someone was trying desperately hard to get through to me.

‘Power Animal’ specialist and regular Hay House contributor Steven Farmer says the person with butterfly as a symbol can be flighty and quite detached. According to him we love fresh air and have a lot of vitality – which fits if you call smoking a cigarette on your doorstep fresh air and an hour of poledancing practice vitality. Carl Jung tows a more serious line. The synchronicity specialist says that butterfly turns up when our ego consciousness gives way to spiritual consciousness. The Goddess Psyche herself was represented as a butterfly in Greek myth and butterflies are often seen around coffins and said to represent departed souls and the freedom of the soul upon death. I could go on and on but those clever people at Humanity Healing have put it in a lovely colourful nutshell in the following video. So check this out…

http://www.humanityhealing.blogspot.com

The butterfly asks us to accept our fluid lives as casually as she accepts her metamorphosis. She teaches us not to let change freak us out and accept the short life and death of things as we undergo the most difficult transitions in our lives. “But I don’t want to leave my lovely comfy cocoon,” we squeal. “Before I make the leap you must give me a sign, a really BIG sign…” And so she flutters softly into our lives to remind us to go with the flow and surrender to nature’s beautiful way…which is a dangerous philosophy when you are being pursued by a brace of Swedes and a G.

But more on that next time…