The first Monday in the month at La Raza in Cambridge the resident band – The Chancellors of Vice hold an open mike night where anyone can turn up with an instrument and play or sing a few tracks.
Having discovered this venue and the band the previous month during fresher’s week, I had arranged to go out with Liz and Mary again this Monday, however, Mary was unable to join us.
Liz had previously invited me to stay at her house and to get changed there so saving me the cost of a hotel. My chief concern was how her 16 year old daughter would react. I need not have worried, as she was completely un phased by my presence, though to be fair, by the time she got home, I was dressed, wig on and part way through putting my face on.
Holding a conversation with her as I was doing my eyes was a pretty novel experience. Acceptance at any age is good but at that tender age, is something to treasure.
As the venue is pretty student orientated, I decided to wear my tight jeans tucked into knee high heeled boots and a casual top over basic underwear i.e. no major underpinning! I also reverted back to my more expensive wig for a change, which is shorter and darker in colour.
Overall, I was very pleased with the look and felt completely at ease when we made our way from the car to our first port of call The Pickerel Inn. To keep warm, I wrapped up in my new ¾ length red coat from M&S, purchased when shopping with my wife at Cheshire Oaks earlier in the year.
Whilst sipping on a wine spritzer, we chatted with the bar staff who we know quite well now and checked out a good Indian restaurant to eat at. They as always were so helpful and accepting and treated us as regulars.
Following their advice, we finished our drinks and got back to the car to drive to the restaurant. Parking was a little tight but I managed and made our way to the restaurant passing through a bunch of guys outside the door without any comment / reaction whatsoever other than good manners in letting us through.
The feeling of acceptance continued to keep me on a high as we asked for a table for two. The place was fairly quiet initially and we were put on a table in the window adjacent to one occupied by a bunch of businessmen. Shortly after taking our order, a large mixed group of well dressed students entered, the girls in pretty evening frocks / dresses and the place started to fill up.
The restaurant lived up to its reputation, the food being exemplary in both taste and quantity whilst the service was spot on. At all times we were referred quite correctly as ladies and offered every courtesy that you would expect.
Even in the toilets, I exchanged comments with two beautiful young students about the hit and miss workings of the hand dryer. Not a raised eyebrow, totally laid back , what a feeling.
Finishing our meal, we drove back into town, parked and walked through the centre to La Raza. On descending the stairs into the club, the girl on the door recognised us and greeted us warmly. Again, what a feeling of total acceptance. This is not a GLBT friendly venue, it is just a normal club in Cambridge.
Grabbing a drink, we made our way to the dance floor and managed to secure seats right at the front of the band. The resident band, The Chancelors of Vice were in top form and several guest players got up and contributed to the wide range of music played. The main gendre was jazz/funk soul . the American lead singer, Ann, as well as being very pretty, has an amazing voice and her rendition of a Duffy number knocked spots off the original.
Sitting so close to the band however I seemed to attract the attention of the sax player – not sure exactly what he was thinking though!
During a toilet break, I started chatting to an Australian girl, a scientist working in Cambridge married to a Scottish banker. She was sitting adjacent to us in the main room. It turns out that she was originally from Melbourne. She was so complimentary about my appearance (what girl doesn’t like flattery!!) and we chatted about families, my dressing, my wife children etc whilst fixing my hair and face.
On our return to the main bar, we joined her husband and the two other couples they were out with to enjoy the rest of the performance, after which we continued to chat whilst finishing our drinks. During the course of the conversation, we exchanged contact details and arranged to meet before the next night that The Chancellors of Vice were schedule to perform for a meal at a local Italian Restaurant, this being Monday, November the 30th. I can’t wait.
On leaving the bar at 1230hrs we made our way back through the quiet streets, the noise of our heels echoing between the cloisters of the historic Cambridge Colleges. Wrapped up from the chill we made our way back to the car stopping for a picture to be taken next to the River Cam.
Back at Liz’s, I carefully removed all traces of Emma, re packed my bag and climbed into bed eventually at 2am. The end of an exciting yet ordinary evening in Cambridge, acceptance and tolerance everywhere we went. Can’t wait to do it again!
5 years ago