Parisian prostitutes, 1950s-60s (32)


London, England, Midsummer 1941: Was London the dullest city in the whole of Europe? Perhaps ‘dullest’ was the wrong word? The question irked. Afterall the natives of the East End were far from ‘dull’. Intuitive, sharp-witted comics as they were they could get away with murder and, in reality, often did that very thing.

Bereft of flair in terms of same o’ same o’ architecture, yes. Oh yes. Austere and uninspired structures and far from camera friendly, tourist or otherwise. For God’s own sake a little more Art Deco, more, much, much more majestic Georgian crescents would look a treat, my passing thought.

Was London a ‘he’…for certain, London could never be a ‘she’, even the river running through the colourless whereabouts was commonly termed Old ‘Father’ Thames and that was unimaginative when it came to artistic endeavours? Answer? Indubitably, ‘yes’. Another tick on my mental list of this seat of government hates. Also there was the matter of the host of sterile best-tucker theatrical playhouses. I came to the conclusion that it be nought but a beefed up beer and skittles metropolis in denial, and that was not open to doubt. In practical terms the absence of any and all culinary delights was a pressing issue. My stomach was rumbling and nothing edible to eat. Wartime or not, surely this wretched city must have one restaurant with a deserving wine list and something, anything, that didn’t taste like it had been mashed into a pulp, boiled to death or saturated in dripping fat.

Then, yet another critical observation vis a vis London Town. Finding myself in a long since neglected Soho, Greek Street to be precise, a place of ribald taverns and ‘I don’t like yours’ raggedy tarts, with no place to eat I had cause to note more than a sufficiency of scowling street-walking, impervious to wounding words, whores. Absent were those prim and proper typecast career fille de joies ‘dressed’ for the occasion one might come across in other cities in other countries. It was more that these ones were short of hard currency and virtually ‘undressed’ for night-time’s unforgiving blackout duration. One would have to be as blind as a bat not to notice so few exclusive brothels, unlike Gay Paree and for that matter Weimar Berlin back in the good, not so old, days.


“You ain’t got a spare fag ‘ave you, missus? I’m gasping,” so said the hardly glamorous yet petit young brunette in the short, tastelessly short, black skirt and little else below the sternum…plausibly forgivable attire for one bent upon selling her skinny wares to drunken lowlife and camouflaged vicars alike.

“Take these, they’re French and called Gauloises. Keep the packet, I acquired a rather large quantity not long before the Germans invaded France,” my act of charity before asking, “Is business good in these times of conflict?”

Her voice, hard-life and worryingly guttural…perhaps ‘husky’ would have been a kinder description…her words, in spite of a cheeky glint in her eyes, a glint I suspected was a permanent feature of her being, relayed the demeanour of one subdued, “You’re ‘aving a laugh. I’m lucky if I make ten bob on a good day. On top of that the come the blackout, night-times doesn’t help one little bit. Mostly I end up taking shelter down the Underground with all the families with snotty nosed kids…not ideal for a moll like me, but it’s that or risk a Nazi bomb landing on me ‘ed. It don’t half stink of wee down there and all. Fuck me, it’s rancid.” 

Navel-gazing gave birth to an on the spot proposition, yet not before a worse for drink soldier boy intervened saying, “Piss off posh bint, this one’s mine for the next half hour, aren’t you luv?” 

Ignoring my new-found brunette acquaintance I merely smiled, handed said soldier boy ten shillings, adding, “Oh do fuck off before I have to kill you.” Chuckling to himself, muttering, “That’ll pay for the slag around the corner and a gut full of beers,” he took of his leave with not a care in the world.

Miss Brunette initially failed to appreciate the loss of a punter complaining that she needed all the ‘spondoolies’ she could lay her hands on, “I’ve got me rent to pay in that shithole where I live and now you give him the heave ho. Why the fuck did you do that?” 

Taking into account that I was in London for a good reason rather than out of choice I continued where she had left off. Why act alone in what was, in any event, going to be a difficult issue to resolve when right in front of me was a hopefully capable stooge to assist my endeavours?  Just prior to the soldier’s interruption I had instantly seen the streetwalker before me as the copybook right-hand woman to have at my side for what would be my decidedly risky cloak and dagger escapade. On the basis that two heads would be better than one and that money talks, I replied, “I have a much better plan for you dear girl. Firstly your name. You real name I stress, not your working handle?” 


“Well Nancy, I do believe I have gainful employment for you. How does ten guineas appeal?”

Plainly it did, Nancy, all ears, listened intently as our pavement conversation continued.

“There is a man, a very fat, very rich man who at the present time is staying at The Ritz Hotel. I assume you know it?” Nancy confirmed that that was so. “He’s always had an eye for pretty girls selling their wears…take that as the compliment it is meant to be, by the way. The thing is I want you to seduce him and rest assured he will afford you more coffers on top of the ten guineas I am offering…much more if his past history is anything to go by. Are you up for the task?” 

“Ten big ones! That’s brilliant. ’Course I am but they won’t let the likes of me in the bloody Ritz.” 

“They will allow you in when I’ve finished with you, Nancy. I’ll turn you into a mouthy English rose, not the classic version I know, yet an English rose regardless. You have the looks if not the intonation. You have the figure if not the decorum. He just adores the common touch,” possibly exaggerating more than a little, “Leave everything to me.” 

“Why do you want me to do this missus…what’s your name?” 

“My name is my business as is my motive for the seduction of the fat man. Rest assured your task will be a business matter of no major interest to the ones Londoners refer to as ‘the rozzers’. Are you still willing to undertake the mission?” 

“Yes. ‘Mission’ is a funny word to use.”

“A slip of the tongue, Nancy. Nothing more.”….to be continued one day soon

blue eyed cat full print cover

Herewith the ‘Blurb’ for my new book, a fictional story entitled ‘The Blue-Eyed Cat’;
‘A book of mind boggling time-travel, feverish sex, syrupy romance, ho hum history, a dark future, The Moon, Constantinople, Paris and Berlin, human consciousness, infinity, a tongue in cheek take on all things carnal, art for art’s sake and three thoroughly mad yet oh so delightful gals’

Should it take your fancy it can be found at;
I am not entirely sure of other Amazon global links and thus I apologize for not revealing them here. However, were you interest in this book a search on local Amazon using my name should suffice.

41 thoughts on “DISCOVERING NANCY

    1. Cheers, Ms S. a piece within a piece within an ever growing piece, such as the bad winter afforded me the opportinuity to write more than usual. I don’t know what it’s like in Bonnie Scotland but boy have we got a storm blowing in these parts…I’ve not seen the like of it for many a long year. I fear for the roof on this old Victorian lump we live in.

    1. It’s certainly close to matching the freak South East hurricane of Oct 1987…whren Sevenoaks became known as ‘Oak’ after the other six old trees the town was named after came down. Fascinating to watch from inside, I’ll admit. A fool walking his tiny dog as one would a kite…if only I had a camera!

      1. I wish I could find the photo taken by a lorry driver back in the 1987 storm fiasco. It got in all the newspapers. It was a shot from his cab showing a cat, clothes that were once drying on a washing line and a dustbin flying horizontally across his eyeline. He made comment that it was like a scene from The Wizard of Oz.

    1. My thanks. To be honest it’s part of a new book for later in the year. I’m way ahead of where I should be merely because the English weather has been so bleak this winter I’ve had nought else to do but write. At least it means I can take a break when the sun finally shows up. Most pleased you liked it. Regards, The Old Cold Fool

    1. Well, young Ms Carrera what a joy to see you…you, America’s finest gal…back on WP. Let your written talent be magnetic and all your words be read. That said, I am your greatest fan and shall take to pistols at dawn with anyone who argues the point. Seriously, great to make contact again here in this place of artists giving their level best to get heard. Shirl sends her regards and as ever we both think of you as ‘the’ diamond gal. Yes I did leave this piece at a cliff end. ‘Tis a small piece from the book…I can tell you, whereas to the world at large it’s a secret worthy of little, ‘The Snow White Tigress’…all will be revealed come Christmas time. Here in a dull, dank, wet, frozen England we send, as ever and forever, our best regards, Yours, known these days as, The Old Fool

  1. Ohhh, TOL, this is very good! I look ahead to the sequel.

    I read the first short chapter of your book. I read it out loud to N, who doesn’t like reading, but enjoys being read to. If he doesn’t like it, he tells me after a chapter. We stop there. OR, as in the case of “Notes From Underground”, by Dostoyevsky, wanted to like it, but after 4 chapters informed me that we needed to start at the beginning again.
    He thought he might be the mouse type, and wasn’t sure about the insect type. I was just as befuddled, so I returned it to the library. I had to pay a fine of $1.40 Canadian.
    There was a lesson in that, but I Dostoyevsky what it was.
    Anyway, we both loved the first chapter of The Blue-Eyed Cat, so the reading will continue with morning coffees.
    He asked if you were a famous writer, because of your style.
    I said I didn’t know, but I got a free book, and I’m reading it! – Resa

    1. My thanks young Resa. This tale is a mere snippet of this years ‘thing’ I’m working on…’The Snow White Tigress.’ N sounds a jolly good chap. Oh to have someone read to me. What a pleasure that must be. As to famous, I make no claims. For one to be famous one has to be either exceptionally good or bad at what they do and in addition want it enough. I fail on both counts. Insofar as ‘The Blue Eyed Cat’ goes, the blurb is honest. Thus far not a soul reports being offended…just as Shirl had advised would be the case, despite my constant worrying. I live in hope both you and N continue to enjoy. Best Regards, The Old Fool

      1. Certainly not many characters…male or female…keep their clothes on for the duration of the story…in some ways because of how the story panned out, for others, to amuse me when writing. For the main part any and all nudity is merely an exaggerated take on Weimer Germany, especially so Berlin between the two wars where it became the capital for free thinkers of various pedigree. Dark cabaret, Bohemian artists and sex on tap the order of the day until Hitler put a stop to it all. My research even uncovered the fact that in Berlin in the late 20’s to early 30’s 4,000 lesbians…mainly from the States…moved there to be free of from boring critics and those who would curse them. The Blue Eyed Cat is unusual…the question though. Is it any good? Fingers-crossed, TOF

      2. Dear TOF,
        So far, so good with the Cat!!
        Pre Hitler Germany does sound interesting.
        late 20’s -early 30’s… Is that like Bertolt Brecht time… Lenya Lotte, Kurt Weil?
        It seems like the LBGTQ community still has problems in the states. If trump has his way they will have more problems, and so will women, especially with reproductive rights.

      3. You are so right, young Resa. Trump to the West, Boris east of there, both on the cusp of right wing supremacy, both with a massive host of neo-sick supporters. It ‘sickens’ me. Hitler early 1930’s reborn. Lessons of history ignored. Women’s rights forgotten because the supposed God likes it that way. Sexism and racism abound. Take sexism. Born for the main part through a flock of religious maniacs yet now common place. Why oh why does a person’s sexual persuasion matter a jot? This world has so many serious things to worry about and one’s sexual being is perhaps the most irrelevant thing of all. We are who we are. Respect to one and all. ‘Tis a cause I fight for. How dare one version of sexuality belittle those of a different take on life. My apologies. Rant over. Old Fools tend to rant, we can’t help it.
        You’ve got it right re Berlin back in the day. Much in the book is about that, threatening in part; satirized also. Sometimes I hate being human. Best regards and trusting I haven’t bored you rigid, TOF

      4. 🎵trump to the west of me 🎵boris to the east🎶here I am🎵stuck in the middle with you!🎵🎶 a shit show going on in the USA.
        Trump is freeing all his crocked cronies who’ve been duly convicted & Investigating the investigators who caught them.
        You & I say respect to all, but the evangelicals who support trump say women who have abortions should get the death sentence, while they forgive the guy who killed their son……….. because god tells them to. What a crock!
        I enjoy a good rant, if I agree on most points. The other side of the rant coin breaks my heart. Do you follow Gigi on Rethinking Life?
        She has great rants.
        TOF, it’s always a joy to talk to you!

      5. Gerald Rafferty. A fine old song and a man of great talent and though not the client nor the guilty party at all, his name came up in my very last PI case back in the days before we flogged the business. A coincidence.
        Abortion. So many…’males in charge’ make ridiculous rules on a subject that is none of their business. Ever since poor Eve attracted the wrath of the angry god for tempting f-wit Adam…he could have said ‘no’ but that seems to have been overlooked…women have taken the blame for everything; become mere chattels of the bombastic male. Children in church schools…like I attended as a child…are groomed to believe this rubbish. In short, and without penning a giant manuscript explaining in detail my view of abortion, I shall simply say it’s a woman’s choice. Her body; her choice. Her rights I’ll defend. Here’s a true story from the opposite side, yet relevant to the groomed idiocy of the male. My old chum from Ireland once told me that at his Catholic priest run school back in day, one such fierce priest lectured the all-boys…13/14 year olds…class that, and this is true, ‘Every time you masturbate you KILL a baby’. Plainly the devil priest was teaching the boys ‘guilt’. Almost unbelievable for, thinking back, that’s all 13/14 year old boys do! I truly hate the human race a lot of the time. Regards, TOF

  2. I agree that London is like a man, perhaps that’s why I enjoy visiting it! I like my men dull, with hidden flashes of wit and upholstered in old tweeds, shod in good leather and able to imbibe at least five whiskies before lunch with no apparent ill effects. I don’t mind about the bad teeth…

    1. I tend to agree with you, Anne. Olde London Town is not that bad a place. I grew up in South London and have never tired of the city…unlike the character I created here. She, until the outbreak of WW2 had lived in Paris for the main part. I have to confess that Paris is, as it is with her, my favourite city. As her tale unfolds so will her respect for Londoners, if not London itself. My thanks that you took time out to read, for it was arguably too long for a blog post. Regards, The Old Fool

    1. My thanks Wordifull Melanie. The tale I tell here is an extract from the new book I’m working on. It’s title ‘The Snow White Tigress’. Young Nancy has many a surprise come her way as she gives up the night job in favour of espionage. I am so pleased you read and liked. Best Regards, The Old Fool

  3. Excellent write. I look forward to the next part. This is very intriguing. Been reading a lot of thrillers lately, so this fits alongside them nicely. I love the language in this. I read it twice so the second time i could pay extra attention to this aspect. Very well done and wish you much success getting this out there for your readers

    1. Cheers, Sir. Most pleased you liked it. I’ve rather fallen for Nancy…more so as the tale unfolds. The oddest thing is when fictional gals…and chaps for that matter…take up residence in this fading head of mine. A sign of lunact no doubt!

    1. My thanks, LuAnne. What I’m trying my level best to do with this tale is it write the form of English people spoke back in the 1940’s. Either posh/formal, like the BBC news readers of the day, or Cockney sparrow like the lovely Nancy in the story. I am so pleased you picked up on it. I was hoping someone would! Regards, The Old Fool

  4. Ah ha, this is fun! I can’t help but hear Patrick McNee as the narrator for some reason. We’ve some mischief afoot here, and I can’t wait to see what happens next, Master Steeden. xxxxx

    1. Well Ms Lee, it needs a little more editing yet is a snippet from my new story, ‘The Snow White Tigress’. What with the weather being so vile I’m way ahead of myself with this one. Being unable to get out of the house because of said weather all I’ve done lately is to spend hour upon hour researching, then to write, write then write some more. Now at 70,000+ words…thrown at the page, I stress…I’m where I intended to be come July…the year end is when I project it over and done with. ‘Tis a tale of espionage from days of yore. Nancy and her newfound lady boss take on evil types and, as ever, the gals eventually will win out…the way it should be! Best wishes, The Old Fool

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