9/15/2004
 
“She’s hung up her vintage Velma Bar pink suede heels” is along the lines of what they’ll say in the papers tomorrow once the newshounds realize that Belle de Jour has decided to finish her blog today. They’ll recap the past year in sound bites, possibly explaining what a “weblog” is for the umpteenth time, before diving hurriedly into the sex and scandal that has made Belle infamous.

My relationship with Belle began in earnest after I was sent her link and spent the afternoon pouring over her prose. Then I raved a little with mine. I even went to the heady heights of writing her an email. I think I gushed. There was almost certainly gushing. The next day she linked to me and simultaneously won the Guardian blog of the year award. Before you could say “Controversial call-girl diarist” three times fast, I was inundated with traffic, mostly male teenagers who quickly became disappointed that Drew was not a hot blonde chick who liked to talk casually about masturbation (that said - Boys? If you ever decide to lick the other side of the stamp - so to speak - just drop us an email, y’hear?)

Soon the hunt for Belle’s true identity began. Perhaps I was seriously blinkered but my gut feeling has always been that she’s for real. I like her anonymity too. If an upside down photo of her was slid across the table, I’d have to think long and hard about whether I wanted to discover she has one ear slightly higher than the other, or that she has long lashes, or that she doesn’t particularly look Jewish.

Then, during the peak of media interest, I received an email from a tabloid reporter -

Hi there, I work for the mail on sunday review and basically we want to
find out who Belle de Jour is - if you've met her/spoken to her/ know
anything about her give me a call on (number provided).
Obviously we will pay for any info.

I liked your site,
(Name provided)
The Daily Mail and its Sunday counterpart are well known in the UK for what I can only describe as “blatant homophobia” so you could say that I was less than inspired to dish the dirt. Instead I forwarded the email onto Belle. I felt clumsy writing it though. “Um hi Belle, just got sent this email and thought you'd be interested in it.” Idiot.

Thank you Drew. There's not, as it has been observed, enough of you in the world ;)

best
B
The Lady sure knows how to make a guy feel special.

I’m sad that Belle’s heading for pastures greener (book, television, movie, it’s a tough life) but her blog was at risk of burning out altogether. One of the first adages you learn when you come to blogging is that people are strangely unmoved by your successes. We relate much better to failure.

It would be polite right about now to let the Lady get a proper word in edgeways, especially as I’ve crowbarred in every tenuous link with her I can think of (the story about when Belle and I got drunk on sake and made out in a phone box will have to wait for another time).

This is an extract from the early days of Belle de Jour – one of the first posts I read, and my favourite:

I felt inexplicably happy and walked home instead of taking a cab. Neither high heels nor drunken idiots frighten me much - when you spend a life in stilettos, pavements are no hardship, and I've shrugged off enough come-ons that I could write the book on losing losers. I sang aloud, a song about lovers who want each other dead. Several empty night buses rumbled down the road. A man on a bicycle passed me and said, 'Great legs!' He slowed down and glanced over his shoulder to gauge my reaction. I smiled and thanked him. He rode on.

It was cold and clear. I looked up, and was surprised at the number of stars.


James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Blue and Violet: La Belle de Jour. c. 1885. Oil on canvas.

 

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