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The Sun, London, 20 March 2017

26 March 2017

Punctuality and reliability, for me, remain the most important attributes of a life model, and I was keen to arrive early for this session at The Sun. Regular Moon and Nude organiser, Aless was away and had handed the reins to her dad, Stephen – a frequent artist at the venue. I suspect I only got this booking because over the years I’ve been consistently on-time and low maintenance. Indeed, on this occasion I had allowed an extra half-hour for travel when setting out from home in Essex…

…so imagine my dismay, therefore, on finding the next two trains were cancelled and all others running horribly late.

No good ever comes of a lorry hitting a railway bridge. After much fretful timetable checking and journey re-planning, I realised it was likely I could do no better than be ten minutes late. The small mercy of excellent DLR and tube connections, plus a jog from Clapham Common station, meant in practice I burst through the pub door at five past seven. Inside, I found Stephen trying anxiously to phone me – he hadn’t picked up the text message I’d sent him an hour before.

Without further ado, I stripped off and plunged myself into the round of 22 artists – the most I’ve ever seen there – for an opening 5-minute pose. I still hadn’t got my breath back, and felt physically out of sorts, but the show must go on: 4-minutes, 3, 2, 1, 15 and 20-minutes up to a break. It was a relief to get through that first half intact. At the interval I robed and recomposed myself. I’d been shivery, had a touch of cramp and an unsettled stomach, but the postures held firm.

Two poses occupied the second half: 30-minutes sitting on the floor, and 25-minutes seated upon a high stool. These enabled us to over-run the session by 5-10 minutes as compensation for our late start. Honour was satisfied; I hope the artists were too. Certainly Stephen was more relaxed than when I found him. He’d reached a point of confronting the real possibility of having to model himself. I felt guilty for bringing him to that precipice – but, who knows, maybe one day he’ll want to take the plunge.

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