What do women talk about when left alone for a couple of hours, with free-flowing champagne and no kids.
Well... porn naturally.
Sunday marked the first day of my birthday week celebrations. Tomorrow I turn 35, or as my friend once called it: 'the Wednesday of my thirties'.
So, I gathered with some old friends at a certain hotel for high tea, which I had chosen for two reasons. The first, was that they provided what less swanky establishments would call 'all-you-can-eat'. The second was the 'free flowing champagne'.
Free flowing if you hunt down the single waiter and bribe him with a twenty perhaps.
Six women. Champagne.
First we talked about our kids.
Then we talked about our husbands.
Then we talked about porn.
The segue from husbands to porn wasn't quite as raunchy as our other halves might like to think. We were discussing whose hubby had given them a lift, and those who were forced to drive themselves.
One friend had arrived early, having been dropped off by her husband and three kids. She ordered a G&T from the bar and settled in with her book to wait for the rest of us. It just so happened that the book was 50 Shades of Grey.
Of the six of us, all bar one owned or had read the books. One had - rather optimistically - been given the books by her husband as a Mothers Day present.
I own all three copies, but have yet to start reading. You would have to live under a rock though, not to know what they're about. Even my husband asked me rather cryptically whether I had heard about 'those Grey books?'
What, the ones I ordered online and had shipped in the postal equivalent of a brown paper bag? Sure.
'They'll frustrate you, Shan,' a friend said without a hint of irony. 'The sex might be ok, but the writing will frustrate you,' she clarified.
'Maybe you should write some porn,' another suggested. What a sterling idea, I thought.
'I took the books on holiday recently, and volunteered every day to take the kids back to our room for their nap, so I could read them,' a third friend admitted.
When asked whether her husband benefited from her lunchtime literary learnings, she shrugged.
'Not really, I just wanted to read about it. It doesn't mean I wanted to do it.'
The waiter found us a lot more interesting when he realised we were talking about sex and porn: we certainly were offered a lot more champagne and finger sandwiches anyway.
But as women are apt to do, we overstayed our welcome and we were politely asked to leave. We made our way to our various cars, or called husbands to collect us.
Except my friend: she ordered another glass of wine, and settled down in the foyer with 50 Shades of Grey.
I hope the waiter didn't take it as some sort of invitation.