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Chapter 4



This is a really great location for a hotel.  It's long and low, five or six stories, with spectacular views to the falls. A wilderness of jungle, that starts immediately below the manicured gardens, extends all the way to the mists rising off the falling waters, down there, in the middle distance.

A Premier Suite!  It’s a lot better than I’m used to.  Just as Geraldo described, the double room space is open plan, partially divided by a central timber console unit on which stands a huge flat-screen TV, separating the bed/bath and a huge sitting areas. 

There is a square glass topped dining table on which stands an expensive looking bronze nude: a Gypsy dancer, with castanets held high.  In front of a black leather three seat couch is a low coffee table with a huge vase of flowers at its centre.  The suite is ideal for my present purpose, the nicest I've ever seen.  But I suppose to Cassandra, with all her millions, this is the bottom of the range - slumming. 

There on the central console unit is the clock.  The clock that is really a camera.  Geraldo certainly went to a lot of trouble to show it to me yesterday and watch me remove and replace the memory card to be sure I can get it quickly:  "perhaps while she's in the loo after you finish". 

The 'drop', that's spy talk, for leaving the memory card for him is a locker at the airport, on my way out.  He's made an extra key for the locker so we have one each. 

The clock is very clever.  It starts filming as soon as there's movement in its field of view.  It has face recognition software and pans and zooms to keep figures and movement in frame. 


Cassandra's wasting no time.

“Unzip me darling, and we’ll see if you can put me in hospital.” 

Her dress slips from her shoulders, falling to the floor. With a rippling half-shell about her feet she reminds me of the poster of Botticelli's Birth of Venus, that decorated my mother's room back in the Barrio.

She's undoing the buckle on my belt and loosening my pants. Her hand is slipping down to check me out. Damn she’s a good kisser. She smells hot.  And her body is so sexy. I've become very hard down there. She's pulled it free from my pants.

But I’m really uneasy now.  Something doesn’t add up.

I realise. It's my prints!  Geraldo wanted my fingerprints on the clock inside and out! 

I am being set-up as the fall guy for something.

But I’m committed now.  If I pull out now Geraldo will want his first money back; and there's another four thousand at stake.

"Just wait a minute," I say and rush to the bathroom to have a pee - and a think.

What can I do?  I've already spent most of the first thousand and to get the next instalment I have to leave him a memory card, complete with a video of me fucking his wife in a locker at the airport. But I need to get my prints off that clock.  I could go back in there and pretend to admire the camera-clock and give it a nice little polish with this hand towel.  But it will be very obvious and my prints are still inside it. I'll just have to hope that I get a chance to wipe it inside and out later. 

Oh hell! Now I’ve peed I've lost interest in putting on this show.  And it shows.  I'll just have to get back into the mood.

Cassandras' standing almost naked by the bed, now she must be in full view of the camera.  She's beckoning me over to her.  She wants me to unclip her bra.

"You know I said I have a fantasy," she's saying as I fiddle with the hook things. "Would you like to hear it now?"

"Yes," reply.  I'm James Bond again, Mr cool.

"I'm in an expensive restaurant with my husband - we have a private room.   Unbeknown to Geraldo I have a secret lover who's hiding under out table. Do you know why?"

"No," I say - I've no idea what she's talking about.

"He's a handsome stud, just like you.  And as I eat, so does he.  Now do you understand?  My husband doesn't know and mustn't find out.  The stud's job is to make this as difficult for me as possible.  Do you think you could do something like that?" 

"You're sort of preparing to do it already. It's a metaphor for this little fling." 

As her meaning became clear I went cold with horror. ¡Ay dios mio, that's revolting.  I've heard of it of course but always mocked it.  No real man would never do that.  Taking a man in her mouth is a woman's thing.  A man does it to dominate her, when he demands it, whether she likes it or not.

I'm certainly not going to do that for her!  If it wasn't for the money I'd be out of here right now. 

She's been smiling seductively, undoing my shirt as she spoke. No she's unzipped my pants I feel them drop to my ankles.  She has her arms around my neck kissing me.  Now she's pushing down on my shoulders as if she wants me to get down.  But I'm panicking in front of that camera. I've lost my erection completely and I can't get it up!  I must look like a maricón; limp while being kissed by this beautiful naked woman.  And it's all being recorded by that damn camera.  There's no way I'm going down there.  This is a disaster.  I'm thinking of the money I might lose.

Suddenly I'm on my back.


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Southern France

Touring in the South of France

September 2014



Off the plane we are welcomed by a warm Autumn day in the south of France.  Fragrant and green.

Lyon is the first step on our short stay in Southern France, touring in leisurely hops by car, down the Rhône valley from Lyon to Avignon and then to Aix and Nice with various stops along the way.

Months earlier I’d booked a car from Lyon Airport to be dropped off at Nice Airport.  I’d tried booking town centre to town centre but there was nothing available.

This meant I got to drive an unfamiliar car, with no gearstick or ignition switch and various other novel idiosyncrasies, ‘straight off the plane’.  But I managed to work it out and we got to see the countryside between the airport and the city and quite a bit of the outer suburbs at our own pace.  Fortunately we had ‘Madam Butterfly’ with us (more of her later) else we could never have reached our hotel through the maze of one way streets.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

Merry Christmas




As Tim Minchin sings in White Wine in the Sun [turn on your sound...] Christmas is a time for family.  Last year our family got bigger.  Tilda Charlotte was born in Germany. This Christmas she is walking and sort of talking (a couple of German words at least).  So the lyrics:

And if my baby girl
When you're twenty-one or thirty-one
And Christmas comes around
And you find yourself nine thousand miles from home
You'll know what ever comes
Your brothers and sisters and me and your mum
Will be waiting for you in the sun
When Christmas comes
Your brothers and sisters, your aunts and your uncles
Your grandparents, cousins and me and your mum
We'll be waiting for you in the sun
Drinking white wine in the sun Darling, whenever you come
We'll be waiting for you in the sun
Drinking white wine in the sun
Waiting for you in the sun Darling, when Christmas comes
We'll be waiting for you in the sun

have a special meaning this year:  I really like Christmas - It's sentimental, I know.

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Opinions and Philosophy

On Hume and Biblical Authority



2011 marks 300 years since the birth of the great David Hume.  He was perhaps the greatest philosopher ever to write in the English language and on these grounds the ABC recently devoted four programs of The Philosopher’s Zone to his life and work.  You will find several references to him if you search for his name on this website. 


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