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A Hot Spicy Evening
by Jilliana Ranicar-Breese

It was around 1972 and I was living at #2 Warwick Mansions in South End Green, Hampstead above the famous Prompt Corner cafe where people played chess on the clock. At one time George Orwell penned his 'Animal Farm' there drinking coffee no doubt and owned the original 'Prompt Corner' bookshop before it became a cafe in 1950.

My landlord was Brian Sewell who in turn had an older friend called Wendy Charnel who favoured toy boys and told me I was not old enough to fancy young men! I always fancied older mature men probably looking for a father figure.

One fine day she introduced me to an older man called Harcourt. An actor who was tall, black and handsome with a rich cultured Caribbean voice from Aruba. I had never come across the island before but decades later would stop off there for a day on a cruise and photograph the colourful Dutch gables of the pastel shaded buildings.

Harcourt immediately invited me for dinner and we arranged to meet outside the Dominion theatre on Tottenham Court Road at 7.00 pm on the dot. Easy for me as I was a travel agent working for Global Tours close by in Oxford Street.

I was very surprised when he cruised by in his beat up car and hollowed to me to get in only stopping for a moment. His plan turned out to lure me to his lair in Hampstead Village and no doubt try and seduce me after a candlelit dinner.

I said nothing but was very disappointed that he was taking me for granted. I knew, however, that I was not going to succumb to his advances and be seduced. No way Jose!

The room was like a theatre set. Candlelit, a red tablecloth, a circular table set for two with wine glasses and a bottle of red Barolo wine plus 'Take Five' Brubeck music playing unobtrusively in the background.

Harcourt vanished into his minuscule kitchenette to check his masterpiece, a chicken hotpot to be served in a heavy orange Le Creuset casserole with accompanying white yams in another orange oven-to-table  pot. Everything was set to be perfect, so the idiot man thought.

It was certainly a night to remember. Harcourt smiled knowingly, his white Draconian teeth gleaming as he served me pieces of chicken cut on the bone presumably to suck. I had never seen this cut before but was later to come across decades later in Morocco.

The heat from the chilli erupted. Never had I had spicy food with chilli before. Mon Dieu I was British from provincial Liverpool and used to bland food! I had never even had a Vindaloo. Here was another food culture I had never experienced. I clutched my throat and gasped with the fire. I fell from the chair onto the floor choking.

     'Water, water!' I screamed now clutching my chest.

How could I know that water would intensify the heat in my gullet? He didn't know what to do either. He raced into the kitchenette like a madman for water to calm a hysterical, hungry me down.

Time passed, Brubeck unaware of the seduction scene gone wrong, played on to the strains of 'Take the 'A' train'. An ashamed Harcourt meekly offered me bland boring yams which I thankfully wolfed down.  The heat of the moment had gone, food wise and any other wise!

I couldn't wait to get back to the calm of my exotic Brazilian and Moroccan fusion purple and turquoise womb like draped bedroom and the purr of my pussy, my adorable tabby Sesame. Harcourt obliged and we left silently in haste. Silence reigned in the car as there was nothing to say. The show was over and I did not invite him back to my boudoir to show him my pussy!

I wonder if he made a milder curry for his next victim!

Written on the Easyjet flight to Rhodes for Greek and Christian/Catholic Easter coinciding for the first time in 6 years. 15/4/17.  Reading time is 5 minutes.


Prompt Corner Cafe - The Spectator 23/5/1983
George Orwell founded the original 'Prompt Corner' bookshop which in 1950 became the cafe.
Dominion theatre
Wikipedia - Package Tour - Global Tours - Mass Tourism
Wikipedia - Take Five by Brubeck
Wikipedia - Take the 'A' train