Tuesday 13 August 2013

The Elegant Venus

"That poster's disgusting."

The BF looked up from his phone.  "What is?"

"That.  It's obscene.  It's like something out of a porno."

He squinted at me quizzically.  "What's wrong with it?  It's a girl on a beach."

"You don't think that picture's smutty?"  Now it was my turn to look quizzical.  How could he not see it?  It was utterly obvious to me that this was the first shot of some X-rated epic, and now Merseyrail were using it to flog Family Tickets. That's right, Family Tickets.  I found myself bristling in a distinctly Whitehouse fashion.

He stared at the poster, properly stared, stared for so long I began to feel a bit uncomfortable and was convinced that our fellow passengers would think he was a pervert.  Finally, he said, "There's absolutely nothing wrong with it."

We moved on, but that poster stayed with me.  Why was I the only one who could see it?  And then, last weekend, it suddenly came to me.  I realised what I was seeing.

Honeychile Rider, by George Almond
Taken from 007 Magazine, Winter 1989
It was a naked girl, with her back to him.  She was not quite naked.  She wore a broad leather belt around her waist with a hunting knife in a leather sheaf at her right hip... She stood not more than five yards away on the tideline looking at something in her hand.  She stood in the classical relaxed pose of the nude, all the weight on the right leg and the left knee bent and turning slightly inwards, the head to one side as she examined the things in her hand.
Merseyrail were printing a picture of a happy woman on a day trip to Southport.  I was seeing Honeychile Rider, naked, from the novel of Dr No.  That's my go-to image when I see a female at the water's edge: a Bond Girl.  I was basically undressing that woman with my eyes.

I cannot apologise enough.

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