Lizu shows up and joins the meeting. In jest, she calls Sam a bitch and then slaps her on the derriere.
Sarah: I suspect this meeting didn’t go entirely to plan for Sam.
Sandra is out shopping for baby paraphernalia with girlfriend Catherine, who is due to give birth to a boy in two weeks. Channel 5 subtly weaves in the question of how Sandra will juggle parenthood and her night owl hours at the Candy Bar. But Sandra is a superstar and knows that everything is going to work out just dandy. She is very sweet on Catherine and wants to do everything right by her pregnant girlfriend, even if that means putting on a cape and larking about in the middle of a department store for no good rhyme or reason.
Lee: Hmm, this is John Lewis. Sandra, you’re not in the Candy Bar now.
Sarah: Let Sandra be.
Lovebirds Rach and Rox are being separated for three weeks because Rach is off on a pre-arranged holiday. But they have agreed that after this solo stint they’ll never be away from each other again. Rachael giggles at everything Rox does and smiles with every single word she says, which some may find adorable and some may find a little grating.
Lee: How are this pair even connected to the Candy Bar?
Sandra and Catherine go out for lunch. Sandra encourages her to drink pineapple juice to speed up Sandra Junior’s arrival because Catherine is pretty determined that she doesn’t want this pregnancy going on too long. They further the cause by ordering some chilli. We suspect the waiting staff will be feeling slightly wobbly at Catherine’s efforts to give birth quicksticks.
Outside, out of Catherine’s earshot Sandra admits to s–tting herself about the pregnancy. Across London, Natalie is heading to find out if she’s got the job she went for, and she also admits to s–tting herself.
Sarah: Christ, people are s–tting themselves all over the shop.
But Natalie needn’t have shat herself, because she got the job and thus won’t be homeless after all. She goes to the pub to rejoice.
Sam is organizing a cocktail night at The Candy Bar; she advertises this happening with a graphic straight out of any standard ClipArt library.
Lee: This place has gone downhill since Sandra took baby leave.
Sarah: Plus it’s pink. What’s wrong with them?
Sam has organised for the staff to be trained in the art of cocktail making. She is determined to get these workers into a ship shape condition whatever the cost, and that cost could well be broken bottles and disgusting concoctions.
Shauntelle makes a hefty shot made up of three different alcohol shots and calls it “liquid cocaine.” This, we feel, isn’t a giant step towards making The Candy Bar into the more civilized drinking hole Gary was hoping for.
Shabby is at a Trade Show for alternative designers with best friend and fellow hat-wearer Cheryl and squeeze Red. She has hired a space to display her company — The Apocalypse Club’s handmade T-Shirts but doesn’t really know how to display her wares in the space. She heads outside and like the dastardly rebel she is, smokes right next to a No Smoking sign.
No one comes to The Apocalypse Club and so Shabby starts drinking shots with Red and displays some madcap behavior like giving Red a piggyback. She admits she may have expected a little too much from her first Trade Show outing.
The cocktail night kicks off and the Candy Bar girls are set the task of selling as many of their cocktails in two hours as possible. The winner wins a prize from Sam. The girls are oozing competitiveness and we wish we were even slightly excited by the competition.
Lizu thinks she’s got it in the bag.
Lizu: He [cocktail teacher] said like my cocktail is a like more like feminine and sweet and tastes a bit like Pina Colada. The girls love that, so we’ll see tonight.
Lee: Do the girls love that? I’ve never seen hoards of lesbian ordering pina coladas.
Shoreditch Jo and her girlfriend are suddenly present in The Candy Bar, perhaps just to animate the fact that knocking back liquid cocaine makes you drunk and love everything. Indeed Shauntelle’s cocktail-shot wins the competition. Alex and Lee Lee think that she was a cheater because it wasn’t a true cocktail. We couldn’t give a f–k.
It looks like the pineapple juice has worked wonders because Sandra and Catherine suddenly bring their new little son to meet The Candy Bar staff, who are smitten by him. Gary can hardly contain his excitement because of the gift he has bought them both. He’s a riot, our Gary.
“Great LezBritain” authors Sarah, a Londoner, and Lee, a Glaswegian, met in a gay discotheque one bleak mid winter, eight years ago and have been shacked up together ever since. When not watching Tipping The Velvet,
they find time to write, run a PR company, DJ at their own club nights and love a bit of jam on toast. Follow them on Twitter at greatlezbritain.