Life After IML - April 2007

I was searching for ideas for a column for this month, when my partner suggested another photo diary. I don't suppose the fact that he's a photographer has anything to do with his suggestion!

Michael, Bo and John sitting on one side of a restaurant dinner table with their arms around each other

Dinner in Chicago

Saturday 27th January 2007 - Three IMLs were present at the Mr Chicago Leather 2007 contest weekend at Touché. From left to right: Michael Egdes (IML 2005), who was born in South Africa and now lives in Florida, Bo Ladashevska (IML 2006) from Montreal, Canada, and me (IML 2003). Michael and Bo were judges at the contest and were both very good natured about the jokes made at their expense by the British Master of Ceremonies.

Bo went on to win the international category at the Pantheon of Leather Awards XVII in February 2007, also held in Chicago. He steps down as the current IML at the 29th International Mr Leather contest in May this year.

A close up of John's arms tied behind his back
Photo credit: Master Cosmic

Sunday 18th March - Attended a Just Rope event in London which was raising money for the Spanner Trust. It also enabled me to practice escapology. I'll be flying to Denver to teach "Rope Bondage for Amateur Escape Artists" at Thunder in the Mountains next July.

March 23rd to 25th - Liège, Belgium

(Photos by Dave Harris)

A view of a typical street in Belgium

Friday 23rd March - Dave and I took the Eurostar to Liège, Belgium for a European leather weekend organised by MSC Belgium. The weekend began with a guided tour of Liège and dinner at a pizza restaurant for those who arrived early, followed by a welcome party at "The Chap's" leather bar. The guests stayed at two nearby gay-friendly hotels: Hotel La Passerelle and the Eurotel, which were completely booked by leathermen for the weekend.

A close up of a vase being heated in a furnace, on the end of a long pole

Saturday 24th March - Those who were awake before 1pm could browse the leather market provided by WESP Leder Design in one of the hotels. In the afternoon we were taken by coach to visit the crystal factory of Val Saint Lambert and were given a demonstration of a crystal vase being made (above).

A group of leathermen walk around a crystal factory

Saturday 24th March - There were leathermen from 10 countries attending the weekend, including America, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland. As a result we were divided into different language groups to tour the crystal factory. The English speaking group is pictured above.

A motorcycle crash helmet made out of crystal

Saturday 24th March - At the end of the tour our guide caused much laughter when she said "and now we will visit the shop where you must get out your credit cards for your women"! One item which attracted a lot of attention was this crystal crash helmet, although no one dared to buy it.

A group of leather titleholders, wearing sashes and medals, pose for the camera

Saturday 24th March - In the evening the club held a gala dinner at a local restaurant. The theme of this year's weekend was "European Titleholders" and there were seven at the formal dinner: Simen Enersen (Mr Leather Europe 2006), Gregor Früchtemeyer (Mr Leather Germany 2006), Philippe Lépine (Mr Fetish Switzerland 2006/07 and 2nd Runner up IML 2006), Didier Moatty (Mr Leather Cologne 2003), Peter Sachse (Mr Fetisch NRW 2006), Dimitri De Vreeze (Mr. Fetish Chaps Liège Belgium 2006) and me - pictured above with the MSC Belgium Board.

Afterwards we all went to "The Chap's" leather bar for another late night.

A close up of Daniel Dumont, smiling at the camera

Sunday 25th March - We had a farewell brunch at "The Chap's" before heading home. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable weekend. MSC Belgium's President, Daniel Dumont, is pictured above. He was a judge at IML in 2005 and you can read the interview he gave for this site in February 2006 by clicking here.

Have fun, look after yourselves and the people you play with.

Best wishes,

John Pendal
International Mr Leather 2003

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