We had a fabulous farewell party for the group of respectable and mature, mostly American, sexologists who spent a week in our house in Amsterdam and in other BB locations I provided. My cousin, Dr. Patti Britton, and her man, Dr. Robert Dunlap, arranged this group. I will not go into details but our farewell BDSM event was simply fascinating. It took place at the famous sex boutique, Mail and Female, in Amsterdam.
I found two willing victims: a beautiful, slender, blonde angel - Gigi, in her early thirties and a robust heterosexual masochistic transvestite ex-lover of mine in his early fifties. If that is too much of a mouthful... skip the next part. Those who know little or nothing about sado-masochism... had better skip a few paragraphs.
A well known American BDSM Sexuality Educator and Erotic Rope Artist, Artemis Hunter, was the mistress of pain of these games. With a full audience of eager sexologists who sometimes could not believe their eyes as it got more than exciting, but... never out of hand. Even Robert Dunlap, the docu-maker of the film about my life, appeared on stage for a few brief moments clad in black leather clothes. Robert seemed to be entranced as he obeyed the orders of his new mistress. All the while, Patti sat and watched in total amazement that her sweet man suddenly succumbed to the scene as her ballsy back up man . I have carefully selected pictures to show you where most people remain a bit unrecognizable.
After the very smooth meniscus operation on my knee this spring, I am back to normal and partying it up again in Amsterdam. We had five weeks of holiday in Spain and returned to Holland , rested and healthy again, where the cold weather was history and spring was in the air. I was glad to be back as I have to admit I was a bit homesick for my International friends and the cultural events Amsterdam has to offer and Spain not.
The photographs I really want to share with you are the ones taken by my old time friend from my Canadian Toronto days, Henk Visser, at my 69th birthday party in the garden of our villa in Amsterdam.
The sexiest thing about that sentence is the figure 69 which brings back many sweet memories I have treasured over the years with great lovers from the past . I can now say I am in the twilight of my sixties, still totally in love with my man, Philip, whom I met exactly seven years ago on the same kind of birthday party at my house in Amsterdam. We are working hard to keep the BB business going which is not difficult in the summertime, but we dread the horrid winter months when all visitors seem to disappear from the earth except the occasional businessman who has to go to the RAI congress building which is located around the corner from our house.
The weather for once was superb.. sunny not too hot with a fresh breeze. We were entertained by 3 great young musicians , a Frisian jazzy trio called Madera that could play various musical styles.
The band consisting of a singer, a drummer and a guitarist Sytze Bouma, the lead musician. Hara Krishna friend Rati - chipper and gay as always and very well dressed - sang half a dozen songs, mostly accompanied by her boom box or Frank de Kleer. Micheline van Hautem contributed to the fun of the party , also assisted by Frank de Kleer. This mostly took place in my garden, as we were graced with gorgeous weather. Last, but not least, Agnes Weil, a big amazonesk, happy-faced friend belted out some great folksy Dutch, as well as English, songs inside the house where she was accompanied by a sweet, elderly yet still very powerful pianist. Her husband, Jack Weil, looked on adoringly. If there was ONE person who did NOT need the use of a microphone... it was Agnes.
The main act of the afternoon was the famous American belly dancer, Yonina and her accompanying percussionist and secretary, Sissi. Yonina lives around the corner from our house, but I had never seen her as actively dancing and shaking her sinuous body as I did on June 17th. After a fifteen-minute solo, she convinced Philip and me to join her on the dance floor.
Later she got us all en masse moving our hips and bellies. Fifi L'amour and a lovely Israeli woman called Liva were doing short skits. Liva's husband is one of Amsterdam's hippest funeral directors, where all sorts of trendy and famous people take their last trip accompanied by stoned friends. I have known Liva for many, many years. She did some fun short improvisations. Meanwhile, Philip prepared all sorts of tasty foods, as well as Mary Jo, who leases the restaurant of the Melkweg and whose brother in law Gordon is one of our best running BB owners. Into the evening, several portions of ricetafel and satay sticks and kroepoek got delivered from a brand new restaurant in Diemen.
Almost all of this food was consumed by the ninety or so of the attendees that enjoyed the afternoon, evening and night... from around 2pm til' midnight. There was barely a scrap of food left behind, just some kroepoek. Nobody went home with any of the usual doggy bags with leftover food , but also nobody was hungry !I promised a short newsletter... I stay true to my word.
Oopsie... have to say just a bit more:
P.S. I am presently working on the preproduction for two wonderful and intense theater shows that will take place in Spain at the end of October; and, in Holland at the end of November: SMILER and THE BALLAD OF THE UNBEATABLE HEARTS.
A group of brand new friends... all from outside Amsterdam - my new so called "X Team" - are helping me get these plays off the ground. Herewith, my thanks to Anita Vrielink.
A charming designer, a.o. of my flyers for this show, who lives in Bergen and Clare Tye, who is generally very knowledgeable about theater plays with a Jewish story line, became close friends with Anita, also from Bergen, after I introduced them to each other. Clare is now helping me to publish my book WALL TALK that has, to date, been nowhere near ready. We will attempt to self-publish it together with our friend Hans van Raam, a great actor in children's theater productions who is now an official on line self-publisher.
A little more… there is a charming new man from Haarlem, Herman de Bock, who helped me find a fabulous photo studio in his hometown. The studio provides a great stage to bring Richard Fry's Smiler and Ballad coming November . Herman is an old timer in stage theatre where he, in the past , for many years, worked as producer and technician at various groups, like the Dog Troup, Rotterdamse Schouwburg or the Ro Theatre, all over the Netherlands.
After job redundancy, he became a builder-designer of sorts. Eventually, Herman began to miss the stage and theater. I am so happy to have met him, as he is now my dear and charming friend and a great inspirational help when arranging just the right things for my shows. He assists with finding me unusual locations, arranges the chairs, the stage (podium) and, even… cutlery since, in Haarlem, we intend to serve drinks and snacks after the show. Of course, he will assist me with setting up the lights and converting the studio into a real live theatre.
MEETING DICK CAVETT at OKURA HOTEL Last but not least, last week I was introduced to one of my all time favorite TV talk show hosts from the past: DICK CAVETT. A dear new American playwright round 50 , Geoffrey Gordon, who reminds me a lot of my own dear father goatee and moustache and same built)suggested we two should meet, as he is apparently a close friend to Geoffrey’s mother. Dick lives with his bright young wife Martha in New York City as well as Montauk and the two of them were most charming. One of the first things Dick said as we hugged as if we had known each other all our lives was:” So why did I not get you on my show many years ago, instead of Larry King ?”
Time flew by,there were some great witty anecdotes passed around. He sure had grown older (75) and smaller than I had imagined him and so had I apparently .
He still has this fabulous sense of humor and (s)low mysterious melodious voice that always fascinated me as he was asking the most intriguing questions. I never had fathomed for instance that he speaks Japanese fluently and is always busy with a zillion new projects. I guess I will be just like him in a couple of years. I handed him my Happy Hooker book and a copy of my documentary and we ended with an invitation to look them up in Montauk when next in Manhattan.
Though I meant to end this newsletter in a cheerful mood, I cannot help but mention the fact that one of our dearest and long time girlfriends - we go back at least 25 years) FIFI L’AMOUR is presently in the last stage of esophageal cancer, diagnosed a few months ago, but she never informed any of us about this. She even made an appearance at my birthday party only a few weeks ago and sang one number. I was surprised how pale she looked and how she seemed to have lost quite a bit of weight. When I asked how come.. she whispered… “I stopped drinking a while ago…” so I thought no more about that, just found her look unworldly … not like usual her own cheerful self.
Apparently she dealt with this health issue on her own, only assisted by her man and musical partner Rodolfo Ravissant as they have entertained together for the last 13 years all over Europe. They even did a lovely cabaret show full of fun and sometimes risqué vaudeville type songs in my home theater in Spain a few years ago. They are amongst my best friends, always cheerful and positive, even though they often had to struggle to make both ends meet .
Apparently the radiation and chemotherapy did NOT help Fifi to get rid of her cancer and a few weeks after our party on a Saturday night on her way home accompanied by a girlfriend Carola, she suffered a massive epileptic attack and had to be rushed to the hospital. There it was identified as a metastasis in her brains. In other words the cancer had spread that far already.
Dolly Bellefleur, a well known transvestite comedienne in Holland and a good friend of Fifi, Rodolfo and me, informed all her “ sisters” all over the country by email and facebook etc. about this sad story and begged us all to chip in with some money so Rodolfo, who is lost without his partner on stage, needs some financial support so he can pay his rent and probably some big expenses for Fifi’s cremation, as she has been given up by the doctors and was sent home. It is in her own surroundings she prefers to die.
We are not quite sure what Rodolfo has in mind, so Dolly Bellefleur will have to lay low until Rodolfo will share his plans about a final farewell fundraising party , so whatever money will be paid, will go to Rodolfo to make Fifi’s final days on earth bearable.
Yesterday Philip and I just went to pay homage to poor Fifi, whom we barely recognized. I won't go into details but we all cried a river of tears when we saw her in her own comfortable bed rather than in a sterile hospital bed, she could not utter a word nor see any more and just stared at the ceiling , her skin smooth and her mouth firmly shut so we had great trouble letting anything with a drop of water enter her mouth. She does not get food any more and we all know what that means.... She was surrounded by her loving husband Rodolfo and her favorite cat KATJE . Only very few people are allowed and I hate to say it, but I don't think she will be much longer for this world. Those who know our once so feisty Fifi and can afford some money, no matter how little, please get in touch with me and I will pass the message on to Rodolfo.
And here is a film clip from my birthday party filmed by Alex Vos. In it on 6 min 20 probably the last film of her as a performer, a true swansong. .
and a farewell film of Fifi as sent to me by Rodolfo, filmed in the tiny Casa Blanca theater on Amsterdams Zeedijk where she used to do her one woman cabaret shows each Wednesday for tiny groups of friends and tourists to a maximum public of 35 people.. This is where she felt most at home Fifi L'Amour & Rodolfo Ravissant - The port of Amsterdam -
Enjoy your summer wherever you might be and that you are enjoying a nice and warm climate! Please plan to join us in Spain or Holland (or both) in the autumn when I produce SMILER and THE BALLAD OF THE UNBEATABLE HEARTS.
Until next report.... with much love, XAVIERA