Thursday, July 08, 2004
Service: * * *
Food: * * * *
Ambience: * *
Babe Count: * * *
Back in Joburg. It's my portrait circle, and once again, we've got Beaujolais. When she models for us, she takes her clothes off, and we pay her. All of our other models keep their clothes on, and they get sketches as payment.
It's completely freezing in this place, and Beaujolais is lying on some cushions in front of the heater. "I'm NOT stripping off!" she says. "It's too cold!" Instead, she's taken her top off, leaving her titanic bra in place. This is one big woman. Her skirt is also on.
I'm the time keeper. "Okay, Beaujolais," I say, "first pose will be five different three-minute poses. Happy?"
"Happy," she agrees. And we start. There are only five artists here tonight. Alistair Findlay, the famous cartoonist is one of them. Lionel Murcott is another. Karen. Dan. Me. I'm doing my quick sketches in ink on paper. Lionel's working in ballpoint pen. Alistair has half metre long tree branches with bits of rag tied to the ends. He dips the sticks in ink and scribbles away on a huge sheet of paper. Amazing results.
We finish the five poses, then go for the first of the long ones. "Thirty-five minutes," I say. "Starting... NOW!"
About halfway through, our model starts shivering. "Is time almost up?" she asks.
"Almost," I say. We do our stuff. Lionel's doing an acrylic, and it's taking shape nicely. I'm working onto my palmtop, and taking a lot of care over the colours. I've bought a book on the Exclusive Books sale which deals with colour. Excellent resource.
"A minute left," I say, and Beaujolais shivers. "Okay... time."
Beaujolais puts her top on. "I'm doing the soup tonight," she says, and goes off to dish up for us.
She's been down on her luck, and the modelling and soup fees are the only money she'll see for a while. She's an ex scrub sister, a surgical nurse with serious qualifications. Something mysterious seems to have happened to her, and she's clawing her way back to some form of normality.
She's made vichyssoise, and it's quite peppery. "I meant to get smoked tofu," she says, pointing to a dish of crumbled white stuff. "But this is just normal tofu. You might wanna try it."
I do. The tofu is as bland as water, but it adds bulk to the soup, and I'm ravenous. I need the protein, and it doesn't taste bad. Just different. I'm sweating by the time I finish my second bowl. This stuff's good. A bargain too. I decide to slip her a few bucks extra, just to help her out a bit. I'll give it to her at the end of the evening, when we're all paying her.
She takes her top off again, and lies down in the same pose, to allow Lionel Murcott to continue with his acrylic painting. "Lionel!" says Beaujolais, "Stop mixing your paints now and start painting!!! I'm NOT lying here for thirty-five minutes! It's tooooo cold!"
As the time-keeper, I speak up. "Okay, how long would you like to pose for?"
She considers. "Twelve minutes," she says.
"How about fifteen?" I say.
"Okay. Starting now."
We do our stuff. She's rubbing her feet together and turning a mild blue. Her breasts are jiggling very distractingly as she shivers. Twelve minutes comes and goes.
"How much longer???" she says.
I pretend to look at my watch. Instead, I look at Lionel's painting. "Uhm..." I say, "about... uh... six minutes left?"
"Eight!" says Lionel. Another twelve minutes go by, and Lionel puts a finishing dab of blue onto his page. "Okay," he says, "I'm done."
"Jeeeeees," says Beaujolais. "It's cold. It's realllllllly cold."
We pay her the modelling fee and add our soup money in.
I hand her my contribution. "I'll get change," she says.
"Nah," I say. "It's for you."
She rushes up to me and hugs me. "Thank you," she says, "thank you!"
Sheesh. It's only about fifteen bucks more than the others have paid. Eish.