Life After IML - November 2004

John by the pool
At The Cabanas, Fort Lauderdale, Oct 2004
Photo credit: Dave Harris

October came and went and my life shows no signs of slowing down. On top of a new full time job and regular Spanner Trustee meetings I attended a party at Fettered Pleasures (London) as part of the Skin Two Rubber Ball weekend, became an Associate member of the Chicago Hellfire Club, Dave and I flew to flew to Fort Lauderdale to attend Dungeon 901, and I received my first pay cheque in 14 months (which was very welcome).

Dungeon 901 was quite an experience. It's an annual educational event organised by Leather University and is now in its ninth year (hence the "901" in the title). Attendees were able to choose between participating in a bootblack track, a whip track or a schedule of mixed classes. I was able to introduce Dave to my friends at Leatherwerks and Happy Tails and be a demonstration model for a couple of classes. Someone found out that I lacked the ability to swim underwater so they threw me in the pool at every opportunity until I'd learned not to inhale water. I was also presented with my new Chicago Hellfire Club patch in a very memorable fashion.

I was planning to write a serious and politically charged column this month, but following this week's US election results where 11 states voted to ban same sex marriage I think we need some cheering up. So here's something altogether more light-hearted.

It's been over five months since I stepped down as the current IML. Some of my strongly held feelings have disappeared. For example, my frustration at having constant jet-lag has faded to such a point that I now look forward to travelling to leather events every month. While other passions, such as my support for the Spanner Trust, have grown stronger since May.

Now that I have some distance, what are the other long-term effects of my IML year? Here are a collection of lasting impressions, in no particular order of significance:

John with a bare chest
At DUNGEON 901, Fort Lauderdale, Oct 2004
Photo credit: Dave Harris

And now for some serious ones:

Look after yourselves and the people you play with.

Best wishes,

John Pendal
International Mr Leather 2003

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