Updated: Apr 14, 2020
Now, before we go further, you need to know a little bit about us. We met a million years ago in a place far far away during our years at university. We married absurdly young and have lived a furious exciting life moving on average every two years for the last nearly 30 years. We’ve moved through extreme adversity, through high adventure, through sadness but, mostly joy and contentment. We have, what we’ve been told, is an enviable marriage and we also have a healthy spiritual life that further binds us together.
Courtney is the outgoing, everyone is your best friend, bubbly happy sort of person and I’m almost a mirror image which has served us well through the years. I’ve almost never seen her nervous about anything but, sitting in the car outside of the Vanilla Alternative Club, she looked apprehensive. “One more time,” she said, “this isn’t about me or anything I’m not providing?”
“No, no, no dear, this is probably just a mid-life crisis thing bound up with my ridiculous curiosity,” I responded earnestly. “If you aren’t up for this, we can head home and I’ll shelve this curiosity.”
“No,” she replied as she opened the door to the car, “I just wanted to hear it. I’m curious too, now that you’ve brought it up.” She stepped out of the car and tossing me a heart melting smile over her shoulder added, “coming dear?”
The Vanilla Alternative sits just off the A1M near Tempsford and used to be a pub/hotel called the Anchor Inn. Driving past during the day the club is easily mistaken for a closed pub, sadly a familiar sight here in the UK at the moment. During the day there’s a metal traffic barrier gate blocking access from the northbound A1M to the parking lot. However, on a weekend evening, the lights flash from the signature sign and the building takes on a smug, “we know something you don’t,” look due to a conspicuous lack of open windows and stacks of high end vehicles parked in its crumbling parking lot.
“I’m glad I wore boots and not stilettos,” Courtney said as we crunched across the loose gravel and broken concrete parking lot. We paralleled another couple as they headed for the entrance and I lagged back a tad holding Courtney’s hand. They were about 10 years younger than us. He was dressed for a swank club and she was falling out of a little red dress. They each smiled and gave us very very frank appraising looks, up and down. I felt Courtney’s hand squeeze mine and I felt thrilled and fearful in equal measures. Where these handsome people looking at us and thinking about having sex with us? Holy crap!
I edged towards Courtney and she edged towards me as we unconsciously huddled protectively together. I glanced at Courtney and could see the whites around her eyes as I’m sure she could see mine. Yet, neither of us paused in our advance on the door.
The young couple pushed a buzzer on the door and we all heard an audible click. After the mental build up, the lobby was fairly normal for any club, consisting of a welcome counter and two hosts helping check jackets. The young couple gave us a final glance and, after flashing membership cards and paying entry, breezed through a second door and on into the club.
Not so easy for us. First, we had to fill out a membership form and provide proof of address along with a picture ID. This took us close to 10 minutes and we ended it 45 quid lighter. We were each given a wrist band with a contactless payment device for the bar. Further, we were given fluffy clean white towels and offered a tour. Courtney shrugged her shoulders and I took that as a yes for the tour.
The elderly gentleman led us through the doors into the adult wonderland of the Vanilla Alternative Club. Stay tuned...