It’s a fact that in some seaside towns in England there’s a tendency towards the gaudy and the tasteless. Normally you would have to concede that taste is a subjective thing, a complex interaction of upbringing, culture, fashion and the life experiences we all have. Taste is varied and as individual as every one of us, from the most reserved to the most flamboyant.
But in the case of these towns, and in particular some of the B&Bs taste is something for other people. It’s partly because many of them were decorated in the 1970s and have not been updated since then, but mainly because even in the 70s the owners had an eye for pattern and colour that would make most people wince. Add to that a tendency to collect ornaments of the cheapest and nastiest kind, mass-produced prints of terribly painted pictures and nylon bed sheets and you have hell on earth.
So why do they survive? Because they’re reasonably priced and some of the UK population go back to the same establishment year after year. They’re as familiar as a comfy pair of slippers and just as unlikely to surprise you.
It was late spring, about seven in the evening and the tide was in. There was little wind and the waves that there were lapped gently against the Victorian built granite seawall. A silver Mondeo drove slowly along the road behind the prom. Its driver was becoming concerned, he should have booked something in advance and almost at the end of the two kilometres of seafront he had seen nothing in the bay windows of the villa style houses but “No Vacancies”.
Just as he drew parallel with the stacks of deckchairs chained to the railings on the seawall a sign jumped out and filled him with a warm relief “Vacancies”. He parked in the next side street and trudged back to the door of the “New Haven” B&B with his laptop in one hand and overnight bag in the other. He stopped in the porch and was about to place his bags down on the tiled floor when the door was opened. The orange glow of low-wattage tungsten bulbs spilled out and enveloped him, that and the smell of shepherd’s pie and floral air freshener.
He guessed from her appearance that she was the landlady. She looked around fifty-five but dressed twenty years younger. Twenty years ago she would have made jaws drop, not to mention trousers, and she still retained that look in a more mature and quietly seductive way. Her eyes were still young, a piercing blue. Her initially cautious smile softened and widened as she examined her new guest, deciding she liked this nice young man in his neat business suit.
“The sign says you have vacancies?”
“And you’re very lucky we do. Just the one room, probably the last in town.” She giggled, a schoolgirl’s giggle. Unsure how to react he smiled nervously and followed the landlady inside.
Her name, it transpired, was “Mrs Robinson” Could it be anything else? “… but you can call me Rose.” He felt obliged to reciprocate “Peterson, er, Kevin …”. Being after six thirty she apparently couldn’t oblige him with a hot meal, but promised to bring a sandwich to his room.
“That would be great. ” Peter was grateful for an evening meal that didn’t come out of a packet with a golden “M” on it. “I don’t suppose you could give me about half an hour or so could you? I really need a shower.”
“Of course Kevin. Please, follow me.” And he did through the psychedelically wallpapered hallway and up the stairs with a carpet that would have felt at home in a 1960s rock stars acid trip. He passed the glass clowns in alcoves and pressed on down the flock-wallpapered landing to his room for the night.
Kevin hung up his suit and managed to shower in the smallest cubicle he’d encountered outside his parent’s 2-berth caravan. Apparently en-suite meant in the corner of the bedroom, but he wasn’t complaining. It refreshed him and alleviated some of the stress of the day. In fact he didn’t even care that the TV didn’t have satellite, Channel 5 was fuzzy and BBC2 seemed to be missing altogether.
Laying back on the lumpy double bed in his bathrobe with his arms behind his head he started to drift off to sleep. A knock at the door pulled him back into a room now lit by the TV and the quickly setting sun.
“Just a minute.” He made to get up, but the door opened before his feet touched the ground. A woman entered, not Mrs Robinson, but a woman in her mid-thirties. She was slightly shorter than Kevin shapely and wearing a light red dress, cut in a deep V to expose the tempting valley between her boobs.
“Mum said you were hungry. I hope you like tuna” She looked at him, blinking occasionally, with dark brown almond shaped eyes.
Kevin took the tray she was carrying from her. “Thanks, that’s perfect. So you’re Mrs Ro … Rose’s daughter? I can see the resemblance.”
“Everyone says that, it’s Poppy by the way. ” Her eyes had started to look him up and down, Kevin felt a little disconcerted. “So”, she continued, “what brings you here?”
“Business.” Kevin suddenly felt disinclined to reveal too much.
“What sort of business?”
“I’m a management consultant.” Kevin shuffled from foot to foot. “Look, I’m keeping you, ere, thanks for the sandwich, and thank your mum.” He smiled, hoping to bring the conversation to a polite end.
“What’s wrong?” Asked Poppy.
Kevin found himself looking at the curve of the smooth skin of her neck, contrasting against the rich brown of her long hair. “Nothing, I just feel a bit awkward talking to you, dressed, well not dressed. And your mother outside, somewhere, and …” his voice trailed off. Poppy had turned to the door and dropped the latch.
She turned to face Kevin, “Better?”
Poppy took the tray from the dithering Kevin and placed it on the hideous lace covered dressing table. She sat on the edge of the bed, and crossed her legs, the hem of her dress riding up over her knee. Kevin was dumb-struck.
Poppy patted the bed. “Look I’m bored, you’re on your own … I just wanted a chat.” She smiled a sweet smile which melted Kevin from his immobile state and drew him to the bed beside her.
“So, erm, are you and your mother running this place on your own?” Shit that sounded like a clichÃ©, he may just as well have said “You girls up for a threesome?”
“Yes, that’s right, dad left us with the B and B but not much else so since he died we’ve had to manage on our own.” Kevin felt a little tactless for asking, but she seemed surprisingly up-beat about their circumstances. Poppy continued, “Oh, did I say chat? I thought you might be up for a bit of casual sex? No strings you understand, I haven’t had a good seeing-to in months and I’m in danger of getting RSI with the amount of masturbating I’m doing. I’d close your mouth if I were you, it makes you look a bit simple.”
“Wa? We? Woo?” Replied Kevin.
“Oh for heavens sake.” Poppy kissed the wide-eyed Kevin on the lips. He returned her kiss, hesitantly at first, then with more enthusiasm as the sight of her red satin bra peeking out under her dress and taste of her lipstick mitigated any fears of discovery he might have. His hand came to rest on her upper arm, eliciting an approving “Mmm”, finally thought poppy “He’s got the message.”
Her hand sought out his knee and disappeared under his robe, stroking the hairs on his thigh, creeping upward towards his groin. She found a handful of pulsating flesh, soft skinned and slightly humid from his shower, but firm and growing as her fingers encircled it.
Kevin moved one hand to her waist, pressing his fingers into the soft flesh he found there through the thin fabric of the dress. His other hand pushed her dress up and exposed a smooth thigh. His hand slid up until it found a round buttock then squeezed leaving a five-fingered impression. Poppy expressed her appreciation more loudly this time, breaking from their kiss and letting out a giggly “Ooooo!”
“Now look at that!” Poppy was looking at his cock, now erect and crowned with a single drop of pre-cum. She collected the glistening jewel on the tip of her finger and tasted it, the look in her eyes changing from playfulness to one of lust.
To be continued.