VISIT TO HAMBURG
For years I’ve been dreaming of visiting Lady MO in her flat in Hamburg. On her website she gives her address and I wondered whether she might have a little shop there where one could buy some of her stunning creations. In the end I did find an opportunity to go that way and I sent her an e-mail to inform her about my plans. She kept me anxious for quite a while but then, suddenly came her reply:
“Yes, I do have a shop there, but it’s not a normal one, as you might well imagine. Males are only allowed to enter my shop naked! But don’t worry, there are provisions in the room next door to get yourself prepared for that. These include a complimentary mini-outfit for entering my shop, which I’m sure you’ll like. Another rule is that whatever you try on and obviously fits you’re supposed to buy. You’ll be very welcome but know what you’re doing when entering my shop, ha-ha! If you don’t want to be disturbed by other shoppers you could ask for a private slot, which costs $20 per hour. But I have to warn you: women shoppers can come in any time without any such conditions.”
This was quite a straight and astonishing reply and it took me a while to recover from the shock, but then I thought Lady-Mo was right: there must be quite some weird characters, who are attracted to her creations and she better takes some precautionary measures.
In the end I decided to book a private slot and at the appointed time I rang at the door of an ordinary apartment block in one of the suburbs of Hamburg. The neighbourhood looked quite familiar from the many pictures I’d been collecting of de Lady in her various creations. And yes! It being a residential neighbourhood made it quite understandable that there was no big shop window. Instead, there was a clear name next to the doorbell: “Lady Mo, speciality knitwear”. And next to the door there was also a modest but well-designed frame behind the glass with a few of the pictures I so often adore on the Internet. After a few minutes she herself came to open the door for me. She wore a long, stately dress with her usual high collar, pale blue with a touch of pink: lovely and fitting her so well!
“You must be Mr.Wollywolly”, she said. “I’ve seen a few of your contributions to our website and I like them. Please come in and I’ll direct you to my shop”. I followed her into the elevator and along the corridor to her apartment. On the way she explained to me that her shop is also the place where she does her knitting. She considers it her mohair heaven and is very pleased operating on this modest scale from her home. As she’d told me in her e-mail she directed me to a kind of reception room, with beautiful posters of some of her creations and samples of the various, soft yarns she is using. Here she offered me a nice cup of cappuccino while she explained the procedure: I should undress in the cabin she showed me in the corner. The cabin also opened to the bathroom. “Please make sure you’re nice and clean when you’re fitting my creations”, she said and I fully agreed.
She then, with a bit of a naughty smile, handed me a small paper bag. “In here are a few things you might like to wear when you enter the shop: they are my gift to esteemed customers like you and should give you just that bit of comfort and privacy, which men seem to appreciate when they enter a place like this”.
Again, even though I had no idea yet of what was in the bag, I found it very understanding and reassuring what she said. Then I went into her changing cabin while she left to go to her shop, leaving the doors open for me to find her there after I’d got myself prepared.
Inside the cabin I couldn’t resist opening the bag first and taking out the hairy, soft items I found. They immediately made me very eager indeed to undress as fast as I could and give myself a quick wash so that I could put them on: a willy warmer and a balaclava, both not only as soft as mohair could be but also in really nice colours. Not at all “sissy”, but just what one might expect of a normal, grown up man entering a speciality art gallery. I really felt comfortable dressed just in these and was looking forward to entering her mohair heaven and to make my choice among the various types of catsuits, scarves, sweaters, coats, trousers, leg warmers, etc. which I’d seen so many times on her website. At last, I was going to enter the heaven I’ve been so much dreaming of.
I got out of the cabin, through the reception, into the corridor and into her shop, which was indeed: overwhelming! Both the floor and two of the walls were covered in mohair, with both abstract and figurative patterns. The other walls had partly open shelves and partly high frames with hangers, all filled with the fluffiest things and a wide range of colours. In the far end, Lady Mo was sitting in a comfortable chair next to a window, just knitting and watching me entering with her curious smile I’d got used to already looking at her pictures for all those years. Indeed, I was overwhelmed and could only walk slowly along the wall, seeking support against it with by bare hands in the soft fabric. I felt compelled to caress the fabric, both with my hands and lower arms and, through the bala, even with my lips. I felt like a small boy and in utter adoration I went on my knees. Actually, I had to, because my muscular powers were vanishing…. For a while I crawled around this enchanting room, taking in the sensations from these cuddly creations, but then I couldn’t any more and just curled up in front of the Lady, covering myself somehow under the heavy, long scarf she seemed to be about to finish. I closed my eyes and whispered: “It’s just too much. I don’t know where to start”. She just said: “That’s OK, don’t worry. Let me just finish this”. And she went on knitting.
After a while I could reopen my eyes and started to explore the scarf around me. It was dark purple and very fluffy: it felt and looked delicious. Soon I discovered that it was a tube: I realised that I could actually get myself inside it and then I started pulling the far end over my feet and legs. The Lady just laughed a bit and said: “Just give me two more minutes and it’s finished, you can’t have them more fresh than this. I’ll help you fitting it on and I’m sure it will fit you deliciously”. Meanwhile I alternately laid down on my shoulders or on my bottom and pulled the tight and warm tube as far as I could over my middle and my shoulders, until my toes had reached the other end, which she had just managed to close after taking out the knitting needles. “OK, if you could sit on your knees right here and stretch your arms I’ll turn you into the softest snake you’ve ever seen”, she said while she pushed the heaps of wool I’d collected around my neck further over my head and arms. After my hands had disappeared inside she bound the end around them into a kind of ball. She said that would look a bit like a snake’s head..
“So, how does that feel? Just move around my room if you like. You’ll soon find out how snakes move.”
It really felt nice and comfortable inside. Even though the wool was far more open and ‘breathing’ than I’d imagined I could not really see where I was going. So I said: “But I can’t see”. She replied immediately that she could easily make a pair of button holes for my eyes if I’d sit still for a few minutes. So we did and then I could see myself in a mirror and really got thrilled, jumping wildly, rolling over and letting my bound fists move the thick woollen knot like a snake’s head. The Lady really got enthusiastic as well and gave me all kinds of encouragement. She even put on some music and got a clarinet from somewhere. When she joined the drumming on the CD I automatically followed her sounds by my improvised movements, thus creating my own snake dance. Then she stopped and went to her cupboard. She took out another long, hairy tube scarf, this time in more natural colours: greens and browns and bits of yellow: very artistic indeed and more like a real snake. “What about this one? Shall I put it around you as well, of course also with button holes for your eyes?”
Before I could answer she went to another cupboard, where she got a very thin piece of genuine snake-print material. “This is pretty strong, elastic and ‘look through’. It would fit tightly around teh two layers of mohair and would protect the precious wool from getting dirty or torn in case you’d like to play a snake game in the garden. If you buy the two you’ll get this third, protective layer for half-price”. The idea of turning myself into an even more real snake, purple-hot inside and camouflaged cool on the outside was too wild to be true. I begged her to put them both on and continue with the music. I must have snake-danced for at least an hour, but I was too carried away to notice until she stopped playing and I collapsed on the flour.
“Just relax’, she said after a few minutes, “while I start peeling off your snake-skins. There is more for you to venture into”….
In the end I must have stayed in that shop for more than a day. It was like a long and exiting dream. I only remembered that there had been two other lady customers. Or were they friends of Lady Mo? They had put on a lovely catsuit each and I remember we played a lot: dancing, wrestling, acrobatics even. Yes we had some food together and I slept for a while. And then she handed me that huge pile of mohair: the tube scarves and snakeskin, two catsuits and three sweaters and quite a few more, smaller things which I must have put on approvingly at one point. The bill was enormous but certainly well worth it. When I finally left with two big bags full of squeezed mohair the Lady handed me a CD. “For you as a souvenir. It’s the film we made of our party. I’m sure you’ll love it”.