Even if it's invisible.

Even if it’s invisible.


My friend Ivy posted this for me. Some of you will know why the choice of animal is so apt. I am incredibly touched by the gesture. Please visit Ivy’s site, if you haven’t already: she’s great!

Originally posted on Ivy_Mosquito | Love is free :

Even if it's invisible.

This post is made specially for Alienora from ALIEN AURA’S BLOG.

And for everyone else who needs it. <3

View original


Full Worm Moon


This Piscean Moon is having a huge emotional impact. Powerful, confronting and distressing – but necessary, I suspect. Cleansing. Purging.

We are watery beings – and we ignore our own inner tides only too often. We bank them, try to push them back, want them to wait for a more convenient moment.

We cannot push back the oceanic tide. Nor should we. That cycle is essential for the well-being of our world and all its denizens.

Our bodies respond to the Moon’s insistent pull every bit as urgently.

We weep

We quarrel.

We grow fractious and sweep out in a wave of furious emotion.

We are overwhelmed by the beat of the blood and the siren song calling to our liquid selves.

All we can do is to emulate our Mother Earth, our inner Gaia, and go with that disturbing flow.

This too shall pass.


Sexy Sunday: Socratic Belief!


Socratic saying: Wisdom begins in wonder…


Socrates himself was permanently pissed…


Plato: hmmm, shifty-eyed looking gonk!

Humorous and bawdy play script based upon this belief!

This was inspired by a particularly fine – not to mention GRAPHIC! – Three of Clubs which the inimitable Cardinal Guzman published this morning (http://artishorseshit.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/greek-sexy-sunday-11/). As I said in my comment, if that’s the three, I anticipate the ten with considerable interest, joy and boggling of mind.

So, what did we have? Three Greek Gods (harking back to my sugary post of yesterday) – or possibly philosophers (after all, they were all at it in those halcyon days, were they not?!) – caught very much in flagrante delicto.

And I immediately thought of the coital conversations between three philosophers on the job:

In Athens, in days of yore, the Erotic pack of cards is being painstakingly painted by Vassos the Corrupt. A real crowd pleaser, this event, we have reached the suit of Clubs, and the Market Place is thronging with beautiful young men (green with envy at Aristo’s good fortune, and desperate to be chosen for the all-important Ten!), disaffected wives – who haven’t had so much as a grope in months – and a hoary old band of Philosophers, eager to hear the debate (and, secretly, to get their rocks off watching the action).

Now, you would think, would you not, that in the melee of penises, mouths and other body parts, in a sexual position most reminiscent of a wheelbarrow race or a self-pleasuring push-me-pull-you, that the participants would have been more concerned with panting, gasping and so forth than thinking. You would be wrong. These are, after all, Philosophers – for whom deep throat and deep thought are all but indistinguishable.

Plato: I think you’ve hit the awl on the buttock this time, Socrates old chap. Aristo, a little more firmness with the inner cheeks, if you don’t mind: we haven’t got all day, after all. Yes, as I was saying, ‘Wisdom begins in wonder’ strikes me as one of your best. More friction? Certainly! My pleasure…

A brief pause whilst noises off become very much noises on, in and out. Socrates raises his head from Aristo’s more southerly quarters.

Socrates: Pretty damned pleased with it myself, don’t mind telling you, Plato my fine old weather cock. Now, take Aristo. Yes, I know you already ARE in the literal sense – honestly, my dear boy, you are frightfully bawdy for a self-confessed adherent of Platonic Love (your own, I believe). Aristo: ah! sweet youth! Oh so firm flesh soon to fade and fold and flitter into…

Plato: There is a time for alliteration, and this is not it. Left a bit, Aristo. Do try and keep to the point. The Second Coming waits for no man, and I can feel a seismic eruption is imminent.

Socrates: Agggggh! No teeth, PLEASE. Aristo, with his full head of luxuriant black curls (moans in lust), his sculpted muscles, his tightly-packed gluteus maximus and (swallows noisily) his Love Spear could, indeed, be described as one the Premier Wonders of Modern Athens, and I gaze upon him as if he were a monolith (as opposed to possessing possibly the finest example this side of the Isle of Crete – where, I am reliably informed, the young men are hung like STALLIONS!) and would pay handsomely to visit his edifices.

Aristo (whose penile dimensions are far in excess of his IQ): Grunt. Garglasshshshshsh. Oooooommmmm!

Plato: And? What’s all that got to do with the price of melons?

Socrates: Aha! Wonder is an integral part of the role of the Muse, is it not?

Plato (dubiously): Er…yes? Pray expand upon this theme. Harder, harder!

Socrates: In that the Muse is composed of beauty, wonder, just a frisson of lust and celestial support.

Plato: Celestial support? CELESTIAL SUPPORT! Sounds like a bloody great truss to ME.

Socrates (ignoring him): You would, I am sure, agree that Aristo (gulp) epitomises beauty and wonder, that with him the frisson becomes a burning in the privy parts…

Plato: Oh, I have a very effective salve you can use for that; it is made up of goat’s…

Socrates (not to be denied his metaphorical go at the lectern): WILL. YOU. SHUT. UP. And, whose status as a Demi-God allows him to reach the parts no human possibly could!

Plato: You’re telling me! Whooaarr!

Socrates: And so, when the wisps of inspiration, sent by that pack of thieving toads up in Olympus, descend upon my unworthy head, Aristo is there, with his great big brawny thighs (fans himself) to catch them, to support my admittedly brilliant mind in its decoding of the intricate mysteries of the universe. He inspires me! He gives me new ideas! And he’s a demon at fellatio!

Plato (jealously): What, you mean you have been seeing him on the quiet? Are you telling me that this little threesome is not your first experience with the heavenly boy?

Socrates: From the purely philosophical viewpoint, no; after all, one’s theories have to be checked very carefully in order to ensure that truth is served…

Plato: And Aristo, you filthy old pervert!

Socrates: I RESENT THAT SLUR, camel features. Just because you didn’t think of it first…

And so, as the Tempers of Time cause the Kettle of Eternity to whistle, we leave the tetchy twosome and their divinely gorgeous middle leg, and return to the modern day…

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Note: apologies for lack of response to other people’s posts recently: in addition to the band, I am involved in the local drama club production – and, in all, am rehearsing three evenings a week at present, and some weekends too.


Pour some sugar on me: Daily Prompt


I am all for a multi-sensual approach in life, so here goes!

My favourite thing to eat would have to be a reclining Greek God of a man – but, just to garnish that luscious dish a bit (or a lot), let me serve up the whole three course meal.


I am passionate about chocolate, especially the Lindt (and, lest he gets huffy, Sprungli) variety. Just the thought of a bar of that creamy, nut-enhanced heaven causes my salivary glands to go into over-drive.


I also adore hot crumpets dripping with butter.

Richly red raspberries, with a sprinkling of sugar and lashings of Cornish cream float my boat as well.


Now, I know, I know – there is NO excuse, in these health-conscious days, for such a gluttonous and unbalanced menu, and, yes, I am aware that all the above would further enhance my outlying areas – were it not for the vigorous exercise I have in mind as I nibble, lick and swallow.

Imagine my putative god, clad in nothing but a fetching smile, looking up at me as I melt twenty bars of chocolate in the handy bain-marie; envisage now, if you will, my taking a paint brush – and, with sensuously sweeping strokes, adorning my Adonis.

Boadicea started this trend for body art, didn’t she? And, if she didn’t, I don’t care: she DID in my mind! She girded her loins, and other parts, with noisome woad before setting out to scare the bejesus out of the enemy.

What’s good enough for that mighty Amazonian Queen is certainly worth two in the topiary for my Chaise Longue Candy – but with a rather delicious twist.

Whilst I wouldn’t dream of removing Boady’s bodypaint with anything less than a paint-stripper mounted on a very long pole, my ministrations to my now-stiffening (with the CHOCOLATE, you disgusting lot!) amour would be rather more oral, not to say primal. Messy too, but all’s fair in kitchen and boudoir.

After Petit Mort By Chocolate, I would grab the toasting fork (absolutely de rigueur, my dears. The electric toaster just doesn’t DO it in a seduction by foodstuffs scenario!) and spear upon it the tempting rounds of uncooked gorgeousness which, when dangled in the hearth (real fire, with fragrant logs, of course), would crisp up marvellously – and, once slathered with butter, could be lowered into the mouth of my God. Why, we could even share one – starting at opposite ends, as it were, and meeting in the middle!

Feeding one another with raspberries would be delightfully tasty and erotic, especially when one considers the percentage of  juice that normally makes its way down the cleavage: endless possibilities for, er, retrieval!

Post feast, the Greek God would, despite – or perhaps because of! – my ministrations, be a bit the worse for wear, and, at this stage, a little preparatory work with the finger bowl and hot flannel might be in order.

No Waffer Thin mints at this restaurant of the senses. Good God, no. We are not talking Mr Creosote here! And, frankly, any explosions I had in mind would not involve the extrusion of the entire set of internal organs.

No. These treats to the tongue would be followed by a frolicsome hour or so in the shower/bath/jacuzzi.

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The Abused person: Apologies and sex

Yesterday, out of the blue, I wrote a piece in which I described some of the characteristics of the abused child/adult (link below):


Read it if you are interested, and haven’t already done so. I am not going to repeat the points already made; that would be tedious and pointless.

Many abused children have an over-inflated sense of morality and can be highly anxious when it comes to policing their own behaviour towards others. Ironically, this ethical sense goes one way only: they fail to acknowledge anything wrong in the behaviour of the abuser, whilst beating themselves up for the slightest infringement of the rules.

This tendency is made far worse if the abuser shouts at them/uses rhetoric in order to persuade them to change their minds whenever they mention, very timidly, that they feel hurt by treatment they have received.

The child (or adult) then feels permanently pulled in two: they KNOW, at some level, that they experienced something distressing, horrible or hurtful – yet they are being told that they DIDN’T, that no one else has ever accused the caregiver/partner of any such thing – and that they are reading things wrongly.

At the same time, abusers tend to be very strict with their charges. Of course they are. They don’t wish the secret to get out – and they also get a charge out of the grovelling obedience they produce in their victims. In partners, this can easily manifest itself in sexual excitement, though very often the abuser is unaware of what is driving him/her – or simply unwilling to face up to it.

The rules are always rigidly adhered to – but, in one of abuse’s nasty little paradoxes, they also shift with the sand/to suit the flighty emotional processes of the abuser. Punishment – whether physical or emotional – is often way out of proportion, and the child soon comes to feel that he/she can do nothing right: that he/she is massively and globally clumsy.

I have often, in my posts, referred to myself as clumsy – and it suddenly hit me yesterday that I didn’t mean just my ability to trip over anything, anywhere, at any time; no, it related more to this sense of social clumsiness and unease I carry with me everywhere: this feeling I have that I am always about to hurt/annoy/embarrass the person/people I am with.

I am hyper-vigilant in many areas – and one of the main ones relates to my behaviour. I am irrationally TERRIFIED of giving offence, of upsetting people – and so afraid of being shouted at/ignored/punished that I will do almost anything to avoid this happening.

People who know me will be aware the one of my default positions is the frightened apology. I blame myself way in excess of the severity of the crime. I can see this – but I cannot seem to stop the behaviour. If I don’t say I am sorry, I become incredibly – almost catatonically – anxious.

The sad thing is this: I believe absolutely in my guilt, but also, by apologising, I am trying to placate the gods of anger.

Yesterday I explained that the abuse I experienced as a child was emotional in nature. What I didn’t explain was that both parents were in on the act. Neither one of them was a wholly evil or abusive personality. Those who abuse others seldom are, which is why they get away with it for so long. As I have said before, if they had 666 tattooed on their foreheads, horns and a pitchfork, frightened children and adults would be believed immediately.

My father indulged in the Divide and Rule game. His speciality was favouritism – and the results of that were catastrophic for me as a female.

My mother was more of a manipulator – and, for some reason, she didn’t take to me. As I have said before, she thought I was evil and corrupt and a lesbian and a seducer and bound for hell – and this before I had even kissed anyone.

So, when we said, ‘Daddy prefers Suzanna to us, doesn’t he?’ (we may not have put it quite that bluntly because we were scared little souls even then), she denied it furiously and told us off for being so nasty about our younger sister.

And this is where it all started. The behaviour I still exhibit. The vast aching sadness at the centre of so many social occasions.

And of course I, and my kind, attract further abusers into our lives: our acceptance of cruel and bullying behaviour, our ready apologies when we cry because we are hurt, our slavish devotion and all-too-clear insecurity are a magnet for the Narcissists and sociopaths out in the world.

It becomes a very sick game. The abuser sees how much he/she can get away with. Of course he/she does. Why shouldn’t he/she? We put up token resistance at best, and are so easily persuaded, brow-beaten and crushed that it is almost too easy. Not, ultimately, enough of a challenge.

Abused children – even if, as in my case, there was no sexual abuse – often develop unhealthy attitudes towards sex. They can be, as I was, sexual abuse waiting to happen. They often agree to outlandish practices because their boundaries are weak and the other person’s desires take over, seem more important, and they are afraid that they will be rejected/replaced if they don’t agree to this Faustian pact.

They are very easily persuaded that the acts their lover wants them to perform are what everyone does – and that they are boring/inhibited/unadventurous if they don’t agree. There is always the implicit threat hanging over the bed post that non-compliance will result in a trawl of the many other willing fish in the sea.

More assertive people, faced with this kind of manipulation, tell the ‘loved’ one to fuck off – and have enough pride and self-esteem to go elsewhere.

Many abused children grow up believing that they will only be loved/liked if they do their utmost to please everyone – and this includes adopting Slave status sexually. Acutely aware that they are not the favoured ones, they fall over themselves to prove that they will do anything to gain that offhand smile, that half hour of attention, that once a week tryst with the serial adulterer.

Tragically, the signals abused children are giving off tend to be negative or ambivalent or come-hitherish. They seem to be saying, ‘I am worthless. I am easy. You can do whatever you want with me. Ignore me. Sleep around. Make me feel bad. Criticise my habits, hobbies, friends and family. But just don’t shut me out of your life.’

And they APOLOGISE. Repeatedly. The object of their desire makes a date and doesn’t turn up. Instead of phoning and yelling in fury, the abused ones are terrified that this silence means the end of the relationship – and instantly assume that it is something THEY have done wrong. They then go over every recent communication in their minds, trying to find the sin which has put the other person off.

When the boyfriend/girlfriend DOES eventually resurface, and explains that he/she was tied up at work, had a puncture, fell asleep, the abused one immediately goes into apology mode – and berates him/herself for making unreasonable demands, for expecting the other to give up his/her precious time for one so totally unworthy.

Another very sad behaviour exhibited by some who have been in abusive relationships concerns a visceral feeling of threat concerning their own gender. They are unable to conceive that they could EVER be attractive to the opposite sex – and so are terrified of the superior status of their own sex.

If a member of the opposite sex does give them attention, smiles at them, they will often look around the room to see which woman/man he/she is REALLY smiling at – because it surely cannot be meant for them, can it? And, of course, given their proclivity for poor choices on the relationship front, their partner very often IS making eye contact with someone else.

Sadly, abused people do not tend to choose empathic, compassionate partners – at least not initially. They tend to go for the exciting roller-coaster ride of the abuser. But they are never quite sure whether they are being abused or not – because being punished for poor behaviour is so ingrained in their psyches that they can no longer separate out the legitimate anger from Narcissistic Rage – and their feeling is ALWAYS,’ If he/she is angry, it MUST be my fault.’

In my story, the signs were all there. When I was about seven, the primary school’s Headmaster called in a Child Psychologist because I was so withdrawn, unhappy and quiet at school, a little ghost child. I think I saw this person once – and he/she decided that I was actually desperately unhappy at home. But there was no investigation. Nothing was done.

Even though I had few friends, and was bullied; even though I under-achieved (as they now call it) hugely and had no confidence; even though I was extremely anxious, nervous and almost silent, nothing was done.

The same pattern asserted itself when I started teaching. But, this time, I got into serious trouble.

Am I angry? No. I am frightened because, in writing this, I could attract the wrath and disagreement/denial of family members. I could be accused of making it all up, of exaggerating, of being a trouble-maker – of wanting sympathy and attention.

No. I am writing this because, at present, I am drinking too much – and exhibiting other tell-tale negative behaviours/states of mind which are showing me that the lid of the bottle is about to explode. And no matter how persuasive other people are in trying to make me change my mind/story, I don’t think I can cram all that emotion back into denial’s lethal receptacle.

Boundaries and Abuse


Abused children, and adults, can be very easily taken in by superficial charm, good looks, seductiveness and manipulation. Why? Because very often the primary abuser (and, sad to relate, subsequent ones) presents such a face to the world – and it is, thus, very hard for others to see beyond the brilliance of the disguise. But also the abused person’s perception of acceptable behaviour can be so skewed that he/she sees only the good side. It is not lack of sensitivity; it is not the wearing of rose-tinted glasses; it is not even the complete absence of a Bullshit Detector. It is the need to protect both the fragile ego and the abuser him/herself – for the act of recognition can bring the demons of societal mores and psychological harm down upon the head of the willing-to-be-deceived.

This is, I will admit, a very lateral look at today’s prompt. Bear with me. Please be aware also that the characteristics I describe below are seen in children with diagnosed (and, sadly, undiagnosed) conditions which have NOTHING to do with abuse.

Abuse causes the envelope of your personal boundary to widen to such an extent that, eventually, it splits at the seams – and the pages of precious communication spill out indiscriminately.

This is what is coming up on the arid plains of my personal Wasteland today – and I must follow it, past the dying horse, head hung so low over skeletal frame, blood pooling at its inflamed hooves; past the stunted trees and rotting flowers; past the weeping emaciated children crying out for the only warmth they have ever known – a parent’s casual cruelty; past the crop failures and pollution; past the souls of adults withered from lack of love…

Abuse opens the doors to distorted thinking, and to an elastic, often dangerous, tolerance of behaviours which are, actually, not all right.

The abused child is constantly ripping his/her boundaries open that little bit further in order to accommodate the mind-set, and actions, of the abuser. Because the child is, by its very nature, vulnerable and easily influenced, the unacceptable behaviour becomes the little one’s fault – and to be expected because it is all he/she deserves in life.

This sets up an expectation that all people will treat the child in such a way – and the unconscious signals the growing person is sending out add fuel to this particular fire.

Such children tolerate high levels of teasing, physical violence, being left out, being ignored, being punished; they tend to be nervy and introverted, though they can adopt a loud – and apparently extrovert – persona; they tend, often, to be clingy when very small – reluctant to leave Mummy on first day at school, for example – and extremely possessive of friends, and, in some cases, material goods, and, certainly, their own personal space (if they have one).

Alongside the abuse comes the perhaps inevitable low self-esteem – and one mark of the abused child/adult is this: no matter how often you attempt to sooth and reassure them, they genuinely do not get it; their vast boundaries are unable to process things which break the abusive pattern.

Abused people are often very self-destructive. They may, for example, smoke too much (tobacco and other things); they may drink to excess; they may have a serious drug habit; many of them self-harm – and, even if they appear to be functioning normally, you can often pick them out by a defensive manner, a huge level of self-hatred/self-disgust, and some form of difficulty relating to other human beings.

But perhaps the saddest, and most telling, sign is the way abused children protect their abusers – and tell themselves that, actually, it is NOT abuse: it is just what mummies and daddies, or uncles aunts, do; that it is perfectly normal behaviour – and the tiny one is ABNORMAL, and evil, for objecting, for making a fuss.

This unnatural enlarging of the boundary of what is and is not right has a devastating effect upon the child’s life.

Some of the natural responses to other people’s foibles will either be missing or so stunted by terror that they are invisible. Being let down, for example, or stood up causes irritation or outright anger in many people. With abused children, it is more complicated than that. They often feel so guilty about what they see as imposing, and so grateful for the initial invitation(even if it is abruptly withheld) that they would rather hurt themselves than make a fuss – and almost grovel in their desperate attempt to reassure the person who has let them down that it is all fine.

Another really sad thing is the way these children misinterpret the times when the abuser is bring nice. Any positive attention sets up this forlorn, and tragic, hope – and, just as destructive, the conviction that the abuse has been exaggerated, imagined; that it is the child who has the problem, is mentally ill, has a personality disorder. This means that any favour done by the abuser is leapt upon as if it were the grace of a loving deity, and the unworthy, twisted little creature who is the recipient of such bounty feels so bloody guilty and mean for ever misinterpreting perfectly understandable actions on the part of the other.

And so, gradually, incrementally, the abuse becomes just punishment because the child simply isn’t good enough to merit anything else.

Even now, aged fifty-six, I find it almost impossible to write, ‘I have been abused,’ because it sets up such a shock wave of guilt and terror: terror that I will be found out and told off; that I will be told that my warped mind is the problem – or that there is nothing to be gained in going over this old ground.

I am frightened that people will say, ‘Oh, that’s NOTHING. I had it far worse than you…’

For me, favouritism WAS normality. For me, not being the chosen one was my role. For me, being the sensible one and, therefore, waiting my turn to speak, was the way life went.

Watching the favoured sister being lifted so gently into the family car, for yet another day out with the Patriarch, was part of the ever-increasing boundary – and the lump in my throat, the feelings of loss and grief and rejection (which I can feel so intensely still that I cry as I type) were nothing but signs of what a nasty, jealous and corrupt little girl I was. Because, you see, in my child’s mind, if I had possessed the qualities my sister clearly had, I would have been the blessed one, the light of his life.

We abandoned girls DID talk to the Matriarch about this, but not often and not for long – because, for hurt reasons of her own, she denied the overwhelming pain of our joint experience; she turned her back on our wide weeping eyes and said, ‘No, he loves you all equally.’

Girls learn from their fathers how to relate to men – and, if your burgeoning femininity is not valued by the first male in your life, it becomes terribly difficult and painful, in adolescence and beyond, to believe that you have any value on the sexual market.

I compensated, as all abandoned little girls learn to do. Desperate to please, and anxious, I tried to become the boy my father wanted: strong, the joker of the pack, swearing like a trooper, pretending to be insensitive – but, underneath it, I was a GIRL. 

Later, again desperate to gain some kind of status, I became the intellectual one, the academic, the writer – but I always knew that, with one toss of her waist length hair and one radiant smile, my favoured sister could command all the attention and admiration; that it didn’t matter how well I did in my degree, how many books I wrote, how funny and clever I was, I would never catch up with her.

Tragically, for many of us who are emotionally abused – and, YES, I am saying it and saying it LOUD and CLEAR – the very thing we long for so much appears too narrow and scary to accept: if we find a guy who puts us first (as I did, in 1977), we look under every smile, every loving act, for the real favourite to appear; we are so busy anticipating abuse that we fail to see we are loved.

When that relationship ended, it confirmed my long-held view of myself – and it also opened the door to predators.

If a man treated me badly, I assumed it was my fault; when I was two-timed, this was just part of the pattern – and I swallowed my anger, my hurt and my sense of being NOTHING. When men only wanted me for sex – well, that was clearly all I was worth: a quick roll in the hay and then, ‘Ha,ha, you’re not my type actually…’

I can see now that it was inevitable I would, after my first relationship ended, be briefly (and disastrously) attracted to married men – and, if their boundaries were equally wide, but for very different reasons, so much the better. One of several? No problem. Flirting with someone in front of me? Yes, used to that. Being told that I was not the best one? Par for the fucking course. Always fearing that I would have to watch yet another actual or metaphorical rival being driven off for a day trip? Yup. Been there, done that.

Over the years, people have been appalled at my level of ‘tolerance’ in relationships. And I am beginning to see that some things are, quite simply, cruel, insensitive and NOT OKAY.

There have been so many opportunities, over the past thirty-two years, for me to say, ‘No, this is NOT right…’

Why didn’t I? Because, to the abused child, any attention is so desperately sought that you sacrifice good sense, and even moral judgement, to get it – and, because you are not the special one, you HAVE NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN if your beloved takes another lover (or threatens to do so, if you don’t play ball), or if he disregards your feelings, needs and wishes.

Whenever I delete a post, it is because these ancient boundaries are making their presence felt – and I am feeling profoundly guilty, thinking to myself, ‘How CAN I say such mean things about this wonderful person who puts up with difficult, corrupt, nasty and neurotic me?’

Ironically, I have been accused – in anger – of being, ‘A spoilt Daddy’s girl’…

Why? Because I had, for once, slammed the door on the effects of boundaries. I had spoken up and said, ‘This is not right…’

Returning to the prompt, I cannot now be taken in by surface beauty and specious charm – and this is, in a way, a very sad thing because it makes me lonely and isolated in some respects. I have had to learn to read between the lines of gorgeousness, and to see if the smile mirrors the spirit.

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  26. Daily Prompt: Brilliant Disguise | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  27. The Race?? [Porch Story #3] | Sitting on the Porch
  28. Growing Up Irish Under False Pretenses
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  30. Knowing Me and Knowing You | Losing It
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  32. Demon | shame
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  43. Daily Prompt: Brilliant Disguise | DukkSheit Happens……….

Maiden, Mother, Crone: all in one – Perspective/Golden Years!



Ah! to be eighteen again!

Ah, smooth-faced and limber child: how innocent and green you were at eighteen; how lightly you wore your years – more child than adult; maiden still, dreaming of Heathcliff. Silly sweet girl! Part of the goddess, of the three stages of Womanhood. Why did I not love you then? Such a sad waste.


Loving mummy to a dear little boy, you had, by your mid-forties, segued from Maiden to Mother. This precious image says so much: even though you, unhappy and stressed, had piled on the weight and were far from stunning, that little pointing finger, that close pose, that attitude of trust between Mummy and Boy speaks volumes. What the audience cannot see is his right hand curled so warmly and trustingly in yours; what the reader cannot see is how much you adored the feeling of his small hand. He remains your greatest, most beloved, creation.


This image, taken two years ago in Crete, made you cry when first you viewed it, didn’t it? Yes. For, it forced you to confront the Crone within, the essential third part of the Triple Goddess/tripartite Woman. You show it with such self-doubt now, having hidden it away for all those months.

For we all wish to be seen as beautiful and desirable, don’t we? And having to confront our own withering and de-juicing is heart-breaking, a wound to the soul.

You looked at this photo and thought, ‘I am so ugly, so old. No one will love me ever again…’

But the strange thing is this: the fissures in your face were caught only in three photos; in others, you appear, if anything, less than your age.

So, you now have come to terms with this forerunner, this ghost of a future you: after all, if time truly is cyclical, it is possible that the photographer caught you in the future, or, more to the point, captured the essence of a mood only too prevalent at the time: intense fear, stress and unhappiness.

This is how you might look when you are sixty, seventy, eighty – and, if that IS the case, there are many worse alternatives.

But, as you look back at all three photos, you know that you have always been all three: that the Maiden carried within her the seed of the Mother, and the Mother bent towards the Crone’s Sickle.

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  44. #Flashmob :: Photo :: des photo-défis :: Bleu et Blanc | Frœstin :: Pratiquer français
  45. #Flashmob :: Photo :: des photo-défis :: perspective | Frœstin :: Pratiquer français
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Yesterday, I started preparatory work on the Hallowquest. It is a year-long course of study, and looks at the mythology, symbolism and characters in the Arthurian Cycle.

I have mentioned before that I do meditations on the Arthurian Tarot deck designed and thought up by John and Caitlin Matthews – and the Hallowquest is the course they created back in the nineteen nineties.

I have done parts of it back in 1994, with my friend, D, but we did not finish it. This time, I shall do all four sections!

I am looking forward to re-doing it so much.

There are logistical details which, having now been out of teaching for two years, I am stumbling over and falling into. Simple things: I need a file to put my notes in; I need paper to write on – and colouring pencils/paint for illustrations. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? And two years ago, I would have had all of this ready – but now? No!

This continuation of my Western Mystery Tradition research has coincided with a decision (which I should have made months, if not years, ago) to lose weight and get more exercise. To be precise: I intend to lose at least a stone (believe me, that is a drop in the ocean!) before we go to Crete in June.

So, my whole daily schedule is going to have to change. This is positive because, much as I love writing, it is not good for me to spend so many hours bent over the laptop.

I will, therefore, be posting less often on here.

There are aspects of my low self-esteem which are very deep-rooted, and about which I can do little; but the physical Ali side of the equation is in my hands – and I know I shall feel better about myself if I am slimmer, fitter and exposed to places of natural beauty every day.

I adore the new look, name and energy of my blog. The shift I sense in myself is reflected in the appearance and increased vitality/sensitivity of ALIEN AURA’S BLOG.

I feel as if the hardened carapace over my heart is beginning to crack – and, although crying hurts, I sense that I need to weep out the old in order to smile and laugh and dance in the new.

Picture, designed by John and Caitlin Matthews, and taken from Google Images.


Mermaid Sings…


Picture taken from Google Images.

You sing to me, oh sweet siren of music, your voice a susurration of stars in the watery depths of my soul’s ocean.

I ride upon the sinuous back of your rhythms, leaping and laughing, breaking the thin fronds of the surface and saluting the low belly of the labouring Moon with joyous exultation.

With tender mist-pale hands, you massage magical notes into my sore skin, an oily and fragrant soothing. Both sensual and mystical, it arouses and releases soft cauls of tears, held, for so long, in the amniotic sac of pre-birth.

The coils and curls of light radiating down your crystal-beaded spine generate electrical storms of mood and emotion, moving all but the hardest of hearts.

Spirits sway, whirling dervishes of high vibrating passion, as your deft fingers flex and flicker over flawless pearlescent shelves of As and Bs, nascent notelets nestling in their cosy nativity.

Your filmy robes of palest turquoise embroidered with lilacs, greens, golds fly out in a shimmering peacock dance of nerve strokes and bone hugs.

The sibilant springs into which Mozart and Bach, Biber and Vivaldi dipped their creative grails overflow from your fertile places, the channel of birth and inspiration, of love and lust and the most joyous note known to nature.

You float feet through the frozen ice of wounded life, melting and healing with harmonic heat.

You sing the lullaby of death and the jubilant march of life; you caw, in raven-guise, at battlefields and coax the dying soul from its twisted and bloodied shell; you trilled the streams and rills, rhynes and rivers into being – and your lonely forlorn plaint will sound the final brave crescendo of the world.


St Nectan’s Glen journey

After much thought, I chose the image below as the background for my new theme. Why? Because, when I first walked down the wide steps five years ago, I knew that I had reached a sacred and safe space. 

The post below describes an actual event – but I have chosen to make it more like a meditation/Ritual Drama. St Nectan’s, along with Merlin’s Cave in Tintagel, elicits this kind of response. In both places, Amgel has appeared to me.

What is strange – or perhaps not – is this: she is in the image below, with the hare (a creature of great significance), and yet, I received the card upon which the image is printed after I met the priestess.

I invite you to look at the image for yourself – and see what comes to mind. It is very beautiful – but there is more to it than that: it felt, to me, as if it were one of the repositories of Hopkins’ Sorrow’s Springs.


Boscastle lies behind me, lost in the mists of early Autumn; a spear of greenish gold spins through the avenue of trees, alighting, in a vast dark shadow, at my feet.

It is late afternoon, and silent. Even the birds hold off.

I wear my white robe, and long purple cloak; my feet are bare and, though not toughened, are coping with the small stones and spiky sticks thus far. The pain, tiny bruising to the soles, is almost welcome after the wracking anguish of the past few days.

The porous stones, into which my fountain pen has bled black words, lie snugly in my left hand. The writing has spread to such an extent that I can no longer read the original words – but I know what they are, and what I must do with them.

I pause at the top of the winding flight of large steps, my mind replaying scenes from an earlier visit.

Large webbed feet of late sun waddle, duck-like, down with me, keeping pace with my tranced glide. The huge slabs, some sheltering under the protection of gnarled and ancient trees, are slippery and veined with toughly anchored roots. My feet enjoy the coolness, the watery sloshing between toes, the freedom from shoes.

I reach the little path leading to the Goddess’ Pool. Offerings hang from bushes and trees, sad testimony to too many losses, wounds and woes. I feel my breath begin to stutter and fetch with grief as I glimpse letters to loved ones, dolls and teddies, ribbons and jewellery.

I see the giant cleft in the hillside, high up, and the great outpouring of water thundering and frothing into the turmoil of the top pool.

I see its birth through the great stone vagina, the forcing of its amniotic fluid, its tears, its sexual moisture, into the gentle lower pool – and see, standing on the bank, clad in dark blue robes, Amgel, her right arm outstretched, the White Hart by her side, its hide glowing like a pearl in the deepening evening light.

Her hair, that strange fall of snowy silver, mingles with the Hart’s lunar colouring so that they seem, for one moment, conjoined, an otherworldly being composed of love.

I walk down to the edge and pause. I know it is safe, that I am – for this tiny snatch of time out of time – protected.

My robe and cloak, I hang carefully over a branch – and walk, naked, into the unexpected warmth of the water.

I walk, whilst the surface is alight with gold and rose and softest lilac, deeper and deeper, until I am beneath the intricate labyrinths of the Earth’s yoni.

The flowing fall of blood and emotion’s diverse liquids soaks into my hair, shivers sensuously down my body – and I hold my arms out, in salutation, as sobs rise up my throat and are forced out in little jagged cries of pain and pleasure and birth and death.

I hold each stone up to the dying fire of the Sun and say:

‘I release thee, piece of Earth holding my pain, and let thee return to the womb of the Mother…’

They fall, one at a time, from my hand into the depths.

I cover my face with my hands and weep.

Weep for the messages the Blue Moon has brought me. Weep for the Land and its warring people. Weep for my own hurt and scared places. And weep for release, for an end to the knotted and intractable agony of muscle and fibre, nerve and bone.


Tiny death


I’m not sure what it is: a tiny mouse, a shrew? Offspring saw it first, ten minutes ago, as he set off for school – and, kind-hearted soul that he is, alerted me, asked me to put it in the guinea pigs’ cage and take it to the vet.

It was in our drive, where my car waits for its other- life adventures, a hunched ball of ravaged fur, minuscule breaths shaking its form, tail out straight like pink string.

‘Don’t leave it to die there – please,’ my son said. ‘It’s blind…’

Was it blind? Or was it just in death’s icy shock, organs shutting down?

In my nightie, I was, boots put on speedily, heart in trembling mouth.

I picked up the black shovel. Knew that no vet would help so small and wild an animal. Knew, at first sight, that it was in extremis anyway, beyond any human intervention. Except, perhaps, the ultimate kindness – which I could not bring myself to do.

I reassured my child, sent him off with love, and then, stretching down, tried to slide the shovel under the creature. It fell off, its startlingly pink paws wheeling briefly in the dull air, fog shrouding the scene.

Why, oh why, could I not do the decent thing, and put it out of its misery?

I tried again, and again, tears gathering at its helplessness and my uselessness, then used a light stick to edge it onto the black tongue of metal.

It curled, a question mark of cat-claw holes, and I carried it to the quiet of shaded bushes on our front lawn.

I wanted it to die in a secluded, soft spot, not out in the open, not so vulnerable; not on that enormous concrete stage where the milk and post ‘actors’ were bound to play their brief parts later on in the day.

Now it lies in a valley of soft grass, surrounded by autumnal leaves and little bits of twig; a canopy of branches hides it from view; it has privacy in which to falter, fail and let go of its infinitely small, but precious, life.

A braver person than I would have killed it outright. I could not.


Photos taken from Google Images: first one, a vole; second, a baby shrew.


Making love – the role of the sacred. Civilisation


Civilisation stems from true equality between all peoples; it comes from a spring in which both the god and the goddess are valued (whether you see them as deities or simply aspects of self is irrelevant; – and where a sense of the sacred sits joyfully next to a love of this precious human flesh we were all born with.

And whichever city, town or village we live in, it is the people who create civilisation – or the lack of it – and the values which lie behind the stone structures that make or break our sacred connection to one another.

Divided, we fall…

I am so glad that people liked Amgel, my little priestess, and found her oceanic love-making beautiful. I have always loved her, ever since she first ‘appeared’ to me all those years ago. She has made herself known several times since, often with her consort, the dark haired man. But I didn’t understand, until I wrote the second blog, that their relationship was so brief -or, indeed, that he was slaughtered on the battlefield.

But, her voice – which is, of course, a variation of mine – expressed something intangible I have always sensed about the sexual connection between a man and a woman. And I am going to use a word which many of you might find strange, given my down-to-earth approach. That word is ‘sacred’ – and from it comes the word ‘sacrament’ and, of course, ‘sacrifice’…

Sexual desire is an incredibly strong force. We speak of it in such disparaging terms, however, sad to relate; we say it is rearing its ugly head; we say it is something we should fight, deny, crush, as if it were the tempting serpent in the Garden of Eden. As if it were something inherently wrong, evil, warped and doom-ridden.

And, if we use it purely to get what we want, to gain power over others, to slake a temporary ‘thirst’, it probably is a negative.

In the war between the genders, sex is often used as revenge, as conquest, as control. Women sulk and withhold. I know. I’ve done it myself.

Why, though? What is it that we have lost over the centuries that gives rise to this stalemate between men and women?

As I read Amgel’s words back, it hit me. We have lost the sense of the sacred – and of true equality. Too many women see sex as something done to them against their will, part of the unspoken exchange of goods. It becomes, therefore, a barterable commodity, rather than a spontaneous and loving gift exchanged freely and generously.

I think the vocabulary we use says a great deal. And I don’t mean during the actual act itself, since the words used are special and private for each couple; I mean the whole ethos in the courting game.

So, I will make a distinction between having sex and making love. Ideally, of course, they should be interchangeable: a damn good romp in the hay, sea or bosky undergrowth would, in the Elysian world, involve both love and intense pleasure. Too often, as we all know, it does not. It becomes so functional – little more than an exchange of body parts and bodily fluids, a fleeting hunger satiated.

I believe that we have buried the sense of a higher connection, of true respect for one another – and an acknowledgement that sacrifice is involved.

At its best, making love connects us at every level; we can feel ourselves reaching a higher plain of existence; it is as if we merge into one being for an infinitesimal moment. But, such ecstasy involves trust, absolute trust, because what we are sacrificing is the safety of the wall, the heart’s hardened layers. We open ourselves completely to another person – and that is so, so risky.

A quick fuck, after a drunken night at the night club, does not carry the same potential for loss – or, indeed, for gain. It carries other dangers, of course: rejection, disease, attack, rumour’s vicious whisper…

This has struck me forcibly over the years when thinking about orgasm, particularly as experienced (or not) by women.

A lot of women either don’t come at all, ever, or pretend they have to please the man.

Why don’t they?

Because a lot of women still feel that it is, in some way, immodest, unladylike, to show any signs of arousal; they assume, at a very deep level, that they are little more than tarts if they writhe and moan, scream and ‘talk dirty’ (an expression I loathe, but I cannot think of a better way of putting it!); there is something about letting go which is profoundly terrifying for an awful lot of women.

The Cornish sea vision showed me something very different: two people, both unashamedly turned on, both wanting the same thing, both in control of the experience – and EQUAL. Amgel’s removal of her robe was her tacit acknowledgement, her, ‘Yes, this is what we both want!’  moment.

There was none of the unspoken hoping/bargaining/resentment/pressure/anger which seems to characterise so much of what happens in the bedroom for only too many couples.

I haven’t got it right. I wish I had. Because it is a force so precious and wonderful and life-enhancing.

But Amgel, my alter ego, knew what she was doing, didn’t she?

Of course she did. We all do at heart. Men and women. We just doubt our instincts, buy into populist thinking and get lost along the way!


Image taken from Google Images.




A rant about Celebrity!

Any idea who these clothes horses are? I haven’t the foggiest myself, and couldn’t care less!
Why, oh, why do we, as a society, continue to give such a disproportionate amount of our time – and, by inference, our admiration and money – to the many-headed Hydra that is Celebrity?
What the hell is wrong with us?
The political scissors, wielded in an ever-sharper and more iniquitous manner, get scant air space. It appears that we would far rather think, and write, about who is bonking whom; what some vapid and over-paid celebrity is wearing to some eminently forgettable, and ultimately pointless, social gathering; when the latest Royal Baby is likely to arrive…
Meanwhile, and sneaked in under the radar of all this desperate window dressing, MPs continue to rob the poor to pay the Hunting, Shooting and Fishing Brigade ever higher wages.
People looking after disabled relatives find the help they are entitled to cut back to the bone, and then that bone itself crushed and crumbled in front of their disbelieving faces. They have to lift heavy children with life-limiting conditions because the County ripping them off will not justify the expense of the hoist they so desperately need.
And yet, we – faced with yet another televised Gala evening, and yet another person famous for being famous sporting thousands of pounds worth of frock – do not rise up in furious and disbelieving arms, do we? Oh no, of course not.
What do we do? We comment on the garment! Does it suit said strumpet or not? How do we rate the designer? Has he gone off the boil this season? Should she, in fact, have opted to tout her surgically-enhanced body in some more Happening Name’s couture?
The gap between Have and Have-nots widens ever more terrifyingly: a chasm today, it shows every sign of rupturing the world.
And our attitude?
‘Oh, that’s sad – but what can we do? Nothing!’
How defeatist!
As long as we continue to pay lip service to the things which really matter whilst genuflecting, grovelling and getting hoovered into the superficial, the transitory and the Media-attention-hogging, nothing is going to change.
To me – and call me old-fashioned and reactionary, if you wish – a decent standard of life for a sick child living in straitened circumstances matters far more than whether the latest D List celeb’s shoes actually match her ridiculously over-priced designer label number.
About the latter, I do not, frankly, give a toss.
Picture taken from Google Images!

March Days

This Sunday would have been my father’s eighty-fifth birthday – and I am feeling incredibly over-emotional and weepy today; I think memories of March days gone by are a part of it, though I know there is far more to it than that.

On March 9th 1997 (another Sunday), all five siblings – and our spouses – drove up to Oxford to celebrate Daddy’s sixty-eighth birthday.

I had turned thirty-nine two months previously – and was pretty sure that, for the first (and, as it transpired, only) time in my life, I was pregnant: had missed a period, felt sick all the time and felt very tearful much of the time.

One of my sisters DID wonder because I drank no alcohol with the meal – and smoked fewer cigarettes than normal.

On Monday, March 10th, I went to the clinic at the local hospital, as if my baby were a disease (this is a sad start to the story and makes me cry even now) – and, after peeing into a receptacle, was told that I was strongly pregnant. Due, as I later discovered, on November 8th, my younger brother’s birthday.

That Monday, nearly seventeen years ago, I got drunk, smoked the rest of a packet of Silk Cut – and stopped, just like that: have never smoked again, and drank no alcohol for the best part of a decade.

The penultimate time I saw my father alive was March 9th 2007, when we all met in Devizes to celebrate their Golden Wedding – held in the hotel where, fifty years before, they had had their Honeymoon. Not that my mother – by then in the grip of Alzheimer’s Disease – remembered more than tiny fragments of March 9th 1957.

Dad was so thrilled – and, even though he was frail and had a bandage on his hand, he was dressed smartly and formally as usual, and was clearly delighted to be surrounded by his five children, five sons/daughters-in-law and eight (nearly nine) grandchildren.

I saw him once more, when he and Mummy came to the West Country to visit; this was in April 2007 – and he was very stressed, thin, living on his nerves and, though we didn’t realise it at the time, far sicker than he was willing to let on.

He came close to having a full-blown hypo when I took him and Mummy to the Catholic church in Weston-super-Mare. Fortunately, I had some biscuits with me – and was able to feed him before things went critical. But, things were clearly very wrong.

He went on from us to another sister (who also lives in the South West) – and there, he actually did have a very severe hypo one night, and they struggled to bring him out of it.

As I have said before, he died in the early hours of Sunday 10th June, 2007 – and I never saw him again. This still has the power to make me cry.

His body was in the John Radcliffe Infirmary, where he officially died (though we all think he had already gone by then, lying with his head on Mummy’s lap on the marital bed), for a week or so. They had to do a post mortem because, despite his diabetes, his death was sudden.

My brother did visit Daddy in the mortuary: took his suit and other clothes up. I wish now that I had gone too; I wish I had asked J. what Dad was dressed in when they placed him in the coffin. I wish I had seen him just one more time. I know it would have been shocking and upsetting, but I still wish I had had the courage.

I think my memories of that time have been set off by the death of an old family friend, a dear lady I had known since I was a small child (and whose two children we played with when we were little) and whose funeral is today.

The last time I saw this woman was at Dad’s funeral, nearly seven years ago.

I think the worst bit of the funeral was seeing the hearse stopping at the far gate to St Andrew’s Church – and then watching as the undertakers removed the coffin, hoisted it onto their shoulders and processed down the path towards the six of us as we stood in the porch waiting.

I can remember cuddling up to my siblings and mother, and thinking, ‘That’s Daddy in there…’

The four oldest grandsons – then aged sixteen, seventeen and eighteen – shouldered their grandfather’s boxed remains into the church.


Golden Wedding, 9th March 2007: the final photos of us all.


So, March 9th is a very mixed day for me: on it, in 1929, my half-American grandmother, Louise (then aged twenty), gave birth to my father; on it, in 1957, my parents, young and, I hope, in love, got married; on the day after it, forty years later, I discovered I was expecting a baby – and, finally, on it, my parents celebrated their fiftieth and final wedding anniversary.

I wish, of course, that my father were still alive to enjoy his eighty-fifth birthday: he would have been so chuffed, and amused, to have reached this age. Alas, it was not to be – and, instead, we all have to deal with a seventh March 9th without him.

Happy birthday for Sunday, Daddy!


Dr Martens! A musical fashion journey!


The Clannad song ‘Rince Philib an cheoil’ always takes me back to the early nineteen nineties when I first adopted the Doctor Marten habit.

Here’s a YouTube clip of it for you:

I had the LP ‘Ring of Gold’ at the time – and used to listen to this track over and over again, as I posed in my first pair of black DMs.

Ah! such a blend of emotions evoked: the wonder of the boots, the vulnerability underlying my love life – and the wonderful Irish music.

Things have come full circle: I have culled my boot collection, and am now playing Irish tunes and songs with the band – though we have not, as yet, tried ‘Rince Philib an cheoil’…

Read below for my update on the boot front!

As you will be aware, I am – or WAS – the Imelda Marcos of the DM. Above is a photo, taken eighteen months ago, of my collection: fourteen of the sixteen pairs I eventually had…

I used to wear them to teach. The children always noticed, and used to lay bets on which pair I’d be sporting on a particular day. Many of the girls thought I was cool – to be wearing such outlandish garb at my advanced age, I suspect – and one actually asked, ‘Miss, can I have them when you die?’

Recently, I have given all but four pairs away.

Why? Did I feel, at fifty-six, that I ought to be growing up at last?

No way! Bugger that!

I love them as much as ever I did – and will continue to wear them until I am a cantankerous old Crone – but, I did realise that many of them never got an airing, and that it was a wicked waste of their potential just keeping them, like ornaments, atop my wardrobe.

I also noticed that teenage girls were fascinated by my DMs – and so, little by little, a couple of pairs at a time, I began to give them to the daughters of friends and relatives.

It felt great, liberating actually – and it is so lovely to see the DM habit going into another generation.

So, which ones do I still have, and why did I choose them?

Look once more at the photo – and feast your eyes upon the shocking pink, the black and white striped (next to one another), the leopard print and the brown boots at the back…

Yes, they are with me still. The pinks because they are so bright and outrageous and clash so splendidly with my orange hair; the stripy ones because they were a gift from my colleagues when I retired from teaching; the leopard pair because they are so soft and comfortable, because they are Tigger-coloured and I love them – and the boots, I just like the look and feel of them.

I have, however, now created a bit of a vacancy, as I am sure you will be able to appreciate – and this, of course, means that I shall be forced to go and choose a few more striking examples so that the ones I’ve got do not get lonely.

Ah! We suffer for fashion, do we not, girls?!

Still, I shall just have to grit my teeth and force myself…

What colours/designs do YOU reckon I should go for next? And what do YOU think of the Clannad song?

backs & Pingbacks

  1. 1936 – Bentley Drophead | Crazy Markovich
  2. A beat is missing | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  3. Tana deem, ta nana, na na, na na, tana deem (sparks) | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  4. The Mirror: Tanka | 365 days of defiance
  5. Daily Prompt: Always Something There to Remind Me -Psychologycal Side of Recalling Memories | Journeyman

Casanova Lingers in the Lists of Lust

And here is Part Two of the ‘Casanova (re) Member!’ series. There isn’t a third, you may be relieved to note!

Cassie and his two little hussies! Image, originally from the Guardian, taken from Google Images.


Black eye! Woke up with it! God knows how that happened. Punch-up? Hmmm! Wouldn’t be the first time! Tryst that turned animal? Ditto! Over-enthusiastic bout of soixante-neuf?

I’ll also add to the morning mix a mouth as dry as a nun’s underpants and a head full of tap-dancing demons. All signs of debauchery. Excellent! Sounds like Yer Man (that’s me!) is back on top form with the grape, the grain and the wenches.

Is this my bed? Don’t recall quite that acreage of pink. And who the hell is she? Er…they!

Memory is bounding back like a lioness with a fresh kill: bloody, dripping, raw and toothsome in the extreme.

My Member, already at half-mast, is saluting King and Country at the very thought. Chocks away! Bring out more flags!

Start the day as you mean to go on, Cassy old boy, with a jolly roger!

Move over, girls! Your luck is in! The Good Ship Pork Sword is about to dock in your harbour!

What? You lot still watching? Bugger off! Go and get your own doxy! Can’t be doing with voyeurs: puts me off me stoke…

Later. Much, much later…

Better in that out, I always say. Cracking pair of little hussies, it has to be said, though I am not sure I approve of the clonking of gold down yond. Bulls with rings I can understand. But, Clit Rings? Eyebrows, lips, noses and Lord only knows what else pierced? If there’d been a lightning strike, I’d have been a goner. Nor, indeed, am I entirely convinced by the over-zealous strimming of the Lady Garden. Looks like a bald wallaby. Most peculiar.

Still, once I’d shut them up – the language! You wouldn’t believe it! – they went at it like a brace of mares with ginger up their fundaments!

Turfed them out, of course. Turns out this is my pad (as they call a home these days) after all. Plenty more strumpets in the sea! I’d give them six out of ten for technique, eight for enthusiasm and five for appearance. That red-head? Collar and cuffs didn’t match.

Hey! The eye, now purple and swelling nicely, suits me! Piratical! I ought to get me an eye patch. Black. With a Mons Veneris on it. Subtle, that’s me!

Back to last night. Sure you are all gagging for it by now. As was I, dear reader, as was I…

So, my aim was to find the watering hole where the prey – uxorial or single; I’m not bothered – gather of an evening. And to pounce on the weak ones. Whoar!!!

In my day, dances were a rich source of dalliance. Nothing like a stately gavotte for revealing that sexy snatch of ankle, that rush of blood to the head, the face, the swelling bosoms in low-cut gown. Excuse me while I just take myself in hand at the thought…

Uh hum: where was I? Oh, yeah: Upper Class tarts…

Rich pickings, indeed, in every sense of the word, since I was a bit of a byword for plundering the labial hoards of the aristocracy.

How standards have fallen since then! I ask you, what sort of thrill is to be found in this heinous new form of so-called entertainment, the DISCO?!

If it hadn’t been for the wall-to-wall fillies cantering about the place, I’d have turned round and contented myself with a quick visit to a brothel.

Quite why they must have music that loud and thumping, I have no idea! Not what I’d call music anyway. Where’s the melody? The proper rhythm? Where are the moves designed to take you close to the Gates of Paradise (with the promise of a bit of rumpy pumpy in the hereafter!)?

And the lights!!! Like a vision of Hell. Hieronymus Bosch at his worst.

Call me old-fashioned, but I like a woman to be slightly more clad. Though, I think I could get used to the very tight Quim Quilts I saw hugging the thighs of these luscious young things.

But the level of wit was minimal and the Art of the Flirt has all but disappeared.

I shudder as I recall the’conversation’ I had with one beauteous creature. Looked like a dream, she did, all flowing hair and big promising mouth – which she kept licking in a most provocative manner. Sideways looks a plenty, heaving tits, hips a-wiggle and the scent of arousal. Thought I had her in the bag – until she started talking, that is.

Now, in my understanding of things, the word ‘like’ means to enjoy something; it is not, as she used it, a kind of all-purpose pause, punctuation mark, ellipsis in the flow of speech. She used the word fifteen times in the first five sentences. I counted.

I went from trouser-busting readiness to limp within seconds. The only way I’d have got it up in the boudoir with her would have been if I’d gagged her first.

Not sure what they put in the drink either. Very gaseous. Burped like a camel with indigestion. Most unattractive.

Tried to put my arms around one pert little piece for a quick waltz – and she told me to fuck off. Me! Casanova!

In fact, her words were, ‘Fuck off, you pervert!’


My prowling did yield a prolonged grope in an alleyway, with a scrumptious dark-haired female. Didn’t get to give her one because she said she had a boyfriend. Honestly! The excuses some people come up with!

Know I scored – as they put it these days – in the back of a taxi: can remember her saying, ‘Ooh, you ARE a big boy, aren’t you?!’

And then, somewhere along Lust’s Highway, I picked up the racy and raucous little numbers I woke up with. That part is rather misty, though I do remember that neither of them had heard of Congress with Large Watermelon. Which just goes to show that educational standards are edging ever more speedily for the gutter. A six-year-old would have been familiar with the terminology, though not the act (obviously!), in my day!

Disappointing pickings for a night on the job. Must be losing me touch.

But, I have a few leads. Crashing an Ann Summers Party (whatever that might be) is, apparently, an excellent way of carving a few more notches on the bedpost. As, I gather, are Murder Mystery Weekends!

I’ll keep you posted! Ha ha ha ha!


Casanova Enters Me (so to speak!)

This one, originally written back in August, is seriously weird – but funny too! In it, I wake up  - and find I have changed into Casanova, like you do…

Picture taken from Google Images.


Fucking hell, I’m naked! Don’t normally sleep that way!  What the blue blazing Hades is this?  Why, pray, have I suddenly got a bristly door mat appended to my chest? Is someone taking the piss? Have I drifted into Rocky Horror territory without realising? If so, pass the fishnets, suspenders and Basque sharpish: I feel a distinct North Easterly up me nether regions…

Tits! Where are you?! What malign magic has lopped you off, or spirited you away? Okay, we had a bit of a love/hate relationship at times – but I really thought we’d come to an understanding.

True, it was a pain having a pair of 42FF making me appear to carry all before me (that was until the stomach got in on the act!) – but now, I’m flatter than a steam-rolled marmoset (begging its pardon). Call those NIPPLES?! I’ve seen better cherries suppurating in the food waste bin.

I see. I get the picture. I have become, for reasons best know to Divine Sodding Providence, an IT, a Hermaphrodite. Don’t know whether I’m Arthur or Martha, Coming or going.

This is going to bugger up the wardrobe, for sure: I’ll have to institute one half for the hims and one for the hers. Singlet and sexy lingerie? Moustache and mini-skirt? Yeah right!

Better get up, I suppose. Face the mirror. Learn the worst. God, could do with a slash!




Rhetorical one, that was.

Put it this way: I am no longer afflicted by Penis Envy.

I know a dick when I see one – and I’m looking at one right now! Mine!

Christ! Strike a light! Pass the ruler! Decent sized todger I’ve got…

EIGHT INCHES! WOW! That’ll impress the sheilas! Mind you, need to take a touch of Morning Wood into account…might be more like a modest six inches.

Still. Looking forward to trying it out!

Heavy nobbly thing, too, what with the nut sacks and all. I’ll have to get used to that, otherwise I’ll topple over or develop a stoop. Just look at the veins on it. London Underground map or what?

Hmmm! I could get used to this! Makes me realise how lightweight and prissily hidden the female set were.

That feels GOOD! Always wanted to pee standing up. And the window needed washing anyway. Sure my aim will improve in time.

Hey, I can now scratch my balls in public! Bargain!

Aghhhhh! I’ve turned into a Hobbit! There’s an Amazonian Rain Forest sprouting on each foot! Get the lawn mower out, I say. Legs are similarly afflicted. Ditto Pubic Thatch. Ye gods, you could roof an entire settlement with what I’ve got down there!

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

D’ya know, I quite fancy myself. If I were a woman – er, that is to say, if I were another woman…Oh! you know what I mean – I would be giving myself lustful glances and wondering what was inside the underpants. If you get my drift.

Stubble! I’ve got dark stubble! And not just from a botched leg or underarm job either.

Should I shave? Nah! Tell you why: see, being a woman in a man’s body means INSIGHT, dude! And the look that gets me going in the frotting area is the unshaven-but-not-quite-a-beard one. Reckon I’ll be fighting the ladies off!

Better get dressed. Ah! Slight problem. Whichever frolicsome deity has been responsible for the new me has neglected to get a proper grip on the clothing side of things.

Bit of a bloody dilemma. That gorgeous seventies flowered full lengther was fine and dandy for a five foot four-inch female of mature years and unconventional curves – but, for a bloke standing, at a guess, six foot four in his socks, it’ll reach my knees and make me look like a tranny.

No way, Jose!

And I am certainly NOT entrusting my newly acquired meat and two veg into the lacy care of salmon pink underwear.

Better raid the husband’s drawers. So to speak.

Jeez. Three quarter length ecru coloured trews are so not me, and the shirt hangs like a marquee designed to shelter five hundred. Tasteful socks, though – understated, manly, discreet.

Are these shoes, or boats?! ‘Wide’ doesn’t begin to describe them: you could set off on a round the world cruise in the damn things – take the entire family to boot! Ha!

Whoarh!! Get a gander at that! Very fit. Wouldn’t mind copping a handful of her pride and joys.

Does this mean I now have the mind of a man? Or am I a lesbian in a man’s body?

And, actually, who cares?!

I am going to saunter out soon. Make myself available. Catch eyes. Trade smiles. Eye up the pretty ones and ignore the dogs!

I am going to get me some action.

Casanova’s back in town!

A bit of a wobble…

Rethymno by night revisited
Today, I descended into the Underworld – horrible, almost indescribable actually. The anxiety was out of control. I woke with very painful wrists, finger joints, could pick things up only with difficulty. It is probably RSI, due to all the blogging, heaving heavy laptop and so forth – but I got extremely wobbly and fraught, and nearly didn’t make the three car trip to the South Coast.
It has been one of those days where the suggestions to help me have seemed even more frightening than the ailment itself – and this, I know, is not a good sign.
I won’t dwell on the details except for two: the truly exquisite views, and an exceptional sunset – heralding in a golden crescent moon – offset by my state of stomach and jaw clenching terror as we drove down steep mountain roads. The sensation is utterly primal; it seems to come from a place in me which is pre-speech because all I can do is make odd baby noises, whimpers and little cries, and, most disturbing of all, tense and shake and flutter my fingers, the way an infant does.
The other thing: we had some lovely swims, most notably at Koutelos Bay – and, post swim number three, I really wanted to just let go and be normal for once, so I put my pink towel down on the sand and lay down upon it, letting the late afternoon sun sink into my body. For a while, all was paradise, but then, suddenly, I felt a huge insect buzzing and hovering under my left arm and, as I tried to swat it away, it stung me hard on my left inner bicep.
It hurt a lot, and I panicked and screamed. Fortunately, Him Indoors was emerging from the waves at that very moment and, upon hearing my wails of terror, came over, had a look and pulled the sting out.
The nice lady in the taverna came out and put some soothing gel on the wound and then said that I could have a bad reaction, feel faint or not be able to breathe. I looked at the spot and it was very swollen and painful and I burst into tears. It was fear mainly.
People were very kind and tried to point out the rational side of it all – ie that I would have gone into anaphylactic shock immediately if I were going to – but still I cried. I think it was perhaps my body releasing some of the build-up of fear over the past few days.
Thing is this: people can tell me that there is no reason to be frightened until I, and they, are blue in the face, and it makes no difference because extremes of terror are not rational.
Yet the sky, as we drove past Poodle Rock, was magnificent: twin headlights of pure gold driving through the clouds and turning them in to sheets of rose-gold-lilac.
More pain: my jaw on the left hand side aches intermittently, probably because I have, without being conscious of it, clenched my teeth at some point today.
Last night felt so hopeful that I want to cry again at the contrast.
We drove into Rethymno at night, having abandoned the Pirate Ship idea due to the high wind. The sea was very rough, rougher than I have ever seen it, and great muscles of wave were bunching up over the Marina walls and smashing down onto the cars parked below.

The Cretan Ferry, lit up and huge, stood ready to go to Piraeus later on in the evening – and our little Pirate Ship, moored in the harbour, rode the swells valiantly.

We wandered back into the narrow streets, so bright and vibrant, which contain the shops. The boys had a lovely time choosing presents – I shall say no more on that front because a member of J’s family reads my blog and I do not wish to give the game away!
We adults stopped at a taverna, while the boys finished their shopping in the same street. I nipped back to what I have privately come to call The Phallus Shop and, unable to resist, bought a large one! It was the bottle opener, in a particularly fetching shade of dark oak, I had been salivating over when last we visited the place.
The shopkeeper wrapped it up for me – I suppose even I couldn’t really have got away with walzing down a Rethymno street, at dead of night, swinging a large wooden dildo.
Amidst gales of raucous laughter, I unbound my prize exhibit and showed the others. Several passers-by tutted most disapprovingly. One young lady, wearing shorts so sheer that they left nothing to the imagination, was so busy craning her neck for yet another sour-mouthed look that she banged into a low slung shop sign and nearly knocked herself out.
My wasp or bee sting still really hurts, but the swelling has now gone down and I am just left with a red mark where the sting was embedded, and a wider paler circle of inflammation surrounding it.
Somebody I met this week has come up with a brilliant suggestion: to use other media – photos and Youtube, for example – as a way of marketing my writing more effectively. He told me to get myself filmed reading the first chapter of the novel, for example, and then whack that up on Youtube for people to access for nothing. Genius, I say! Well, let’s face it, I would never have thought of such a wizard wheeze in a month of Sundays!
We are off to Vassili’s, probably for the final time this visit, so it is back to the long dress and earrings.

The Lost Twin

The Lost Twin: lucid raki dreams
By dint of allowing myself an hour’s grace, I was able to get both contact lenses in well before we set off for Poodle Rock. This was both relief and confidence boost.
The air was wonderfully warm when we got down there. Hosts of golden-grown Cretans bloomed from deckchairs, lounged on towels; fled, shrieking, into the blood heat of the ocean.
The poodle, dry and lichened, kept a magnanimous watch over it all.
Helped by Dill, I put on the mask and making sure it was suctioned to my nose, waded out in the direction of the rocks.
Then I breast-stroked, and floated, and paddled my way over the vast crevices and rocky protrusions of the underwater kingdom, seeing worrisome flurries of tiny, nervous fish, a fear-cloud of greyish yellow; following larger, silver striped, more regal creatures, slower and more sure of their place in the hierarchy; hearing the even echo of my breathing through the tube, knowing that this was a brilliant antidote to hyperventilation.
That was the deepest I’ d ever been, the bravest too – until a nasty stomach cramp put an end to things, and I made my sad way back to shore.
I love the feeling of my body being soothed and dried by the sun – so, having left the sea, I then wandered up and down the shore-line, looking for interesting stones, enjoying the sight of little children – fearless and inquisitive – having a great time, and letting the healing balm of late afternoon heat smooth my skin, muscles, inner core.
Once the others had emerged, we all went up onto the terrace above the beach and, sipping cold drinks, watched the sun set: rich gold pendant slipping down the cleavage of the mountains, nestling there for the raspberry shades of evening’s alchemical magic.

And so to Sifi’s for a lovely dinner, and several shots of raki – rare for me!

A night of strange, lucid dreams followed, including a lost twin one which has left me feeling forlorn and sad.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have been convinced that I once had a twin – a male twin, with dark hair and blue-grey eyes like mine – who died or dissolved or something. I am quite sure my parents would have told me if I had had a stillborn brother, so this is either a past life memory, or maybe a sibling who perished, and was re-absorbed, in utero. But, to this day, I stretch out an instinctive hand to my right to try and connect with my twin, and sometimes I can almost sense him, see him; sometimes in my dreams we meet up, as we did last night:
We were in Headington’s Bury Knowle Park, at night, my twin and I: aged nine or so, both wearing shorts and tee-shirts, my brother a little taller than I, bolder, more physically confident – but we were utterly in tune, instinctive, two halves of the same soul.
We played on the swings, pushing one another, soaring high into the dark sky, chains creaking ominously, laughing and laughing; we rocketed down the slide, terrified and exhilarated; we whirled around on the roundabout, screaming with delight and fear – and then, as a Full Moon rose above the trees, leaving a white-gold trail across the slopes of our playground, we joined hands and danced round and round in dizzying circles until we collapsed, laughing hysterically, upon the lunar ‘stream’.
And I awoke full of inchoate longing for this dream twin, this fifty four year sensed being, this little ghost from a mysterious past.
A bit of a wobble...

Trust Exercise

Trust Exercise
Imagine a world where nothing is safe.  Imagine a world where trust is absent and reassurance does not work.
That is one of the universes in my head, often – too often – the dominant one.
I write this partly because I need to express it, and partly because there may well be others out there who share similar head sets, or who have relatives and friends so afflicted.
Despite decades of therapy, years of anti-depressants, I have never been diagnosed with any specific condition – other, that is, than the all-embracing word ‘anxiety’.
But I do think I have, as previously intimated, autistic traits. I think, were I a child now, I would almost certainly be on the Autistic Spectrum somewhere.
The fact that I appear to operate relatively effectively in the world is misleading, a delusion if you like, for it is a constant struggle against crippling and all-encompassing fear; it is a constant, tiring battle with my sense of being an utter coward, my wish to withdraw from the world and take no further part in frightening activities – and it is debilitating because it is global in nature.
The world, for me, shifts like frightening and dangerous sand, ready to wound, attack, bite, suck in, hurl off. I find it hard to put my foot down upon its surface with any certainty – and, even if it seems solid today, it will have moved and become friable once more tomorrow.
Thus, I never seem to learn from the safety of today. I do not seem able to make that trusting link with the universe, with other people, with the to-ings and fro-ings of everyday life.
There is a trust exercise, used in drama classes, whereby you allow yourself to fall backwards, knowing that your classmates will catch you and hold you firmly.
It seems, to me, to be an excellent metaphor for life. There are those lucky people who are able to fall into arms both metaphorical and real at the drop of a hat. These people hug and touch with ease; they engage with the world in a relaxed manner, feeling appropriate levels of fear, but nothing extreme. They are able to wait to see if panic is necessary. Their fight or flight mechanism is set at a moderate to low frequency.
I have a problem with being hugged, touched – not that I don’t like it because I love it, but because I am always frightened that the other person will withdraw from me or hurt me: that the arms encircling me will prove treacherous rather than safe.
Two very concrete examples from yesterday should suffice to explain what it is like living in my fear space – and, since I actually know at least one other person who seems to share some of my multiple peculiarities, this may make a twisted kind of sense to some of you.
I cannot see to snorkel unless I wear contact lenses – but getting my lenses in is fraught with terror and anxiety. My eyes fight the invasion frantically, cringeing and watering and stinging – and, because I am so tense, it takes ages and ages, with many a wrong placing, much pain, often a few tears.
When I tried yesterday, it was particularly problematic and the right one, unbeknownst to me at the time, buckled as it went in and hurt a lot.
I went into an instant spiral of flailing distress and panic, was actually – and it embarrasses me to remember this – wailing out loud and flapping my hands. And of course, the more my body stiffened, the more the extraction of lenses hurt.
And I felt such a failure because other people, normal people, can do such things so easily.
We drove, in convoy, to the beautiful beach at Souda, on the South Coast – wonderful views of the mountains, the sea, little white churches on high rocky slopes. But, because we were driving close to the edge, following a car going faster than we, going downhill a lot, I was braced for disaster almost constantly. By the time we got there, my whole back, shoulders and chest were taut and painful.
No amount of rationalisation helps because it is the physical sensation that so terrifies me, and that is almost impossible to argue against. I feel profoundly unsafe and out of control and in imminent danger.
We got there. Wonderful sea, brightest blue, mountains drowsing orange-grey in the late afternoon sun, a few heads bobbing up and down in the water – nothing, you would think, even the most timid person could find fear in.
Yet I put off snorkelling for ages, despite Mike saying I could borrow his prescription mask. Why? Because the rocks in the sea felt unsafe under my feet; I was frightened of getting out of my depth, of the sea pouring into my lungs down the tube; of getting cramp and drowning; of being bitten and startling.
Eventually, I calmed a bit, put the mask on and ventured past the boulders, onto sand and then floated, breathing as evenly as I could, above some rather sweet little fish.
Now, that should have been enough; I should have been content and peaceful in my own little underwater world – but no! The fin of panic surfaced almost immediately because I could not see any of the others: no reassuringly waving flippers, no colourful garb, nothing.
I leapt from my spread-eagled relaxation and, in bobbing up, saw what looked like frantic bubbling water over by the rocks – and, for the briefest nanosecond, thought one of the boys was in difficulty.
By the time I had thought that through, and reassured myself that, if that were the case, an adult would have noticed and gone to the rescue, the tranquillity had gone and I was frazzled and muscle-locked and swallowing convulsively once more.
I apologise in advance for the tedious detail and self-absorbed nature of this piece – but these little snippets represent, in miniature, what my life – and that of people like me – is like, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.
If I were just frightened of one, easily identifiable thing – spiders, say, or heights – it would be a damn sight easier. But I seem to have been born frightened of the world, of people, of life itself – and I am not sure there is a cure for this.
So, if I am not able to fall back into the arms my friends and relatives put out to catch me, please do not be offended. It is not you. If I stiffen when you cuddle me, it is not that I do not love you; it is just that visceral fear raising sharp-taloned fingers.
I think I was born missing the all-important layer of skin called Bravery, and endowed with a double epidermal layer of Cowardice instead!
Kumi Festival

Kumi Festival

Update: since I wrote this, I have discovered that the famous musician is, in fact, Manolis Kontaros. Thanks to Dill, I am now able to append the Youtube link for you, so that you can watch him in action, singing one of the songs we heard at the Kumi Festival.

Clad once more in my long dress, orange earrings (bought for my stint as the Evil Queen, in the local pantomime…) and a delightful red necklace on loan from Dill, I sauntered, with the others, up the dark track to the cars.
Stars twinkled brightly overhead – and I got hugely excited when I thought I saw one falling, cart-wheeling ballet- smooth through a velvety sky. Until, that is, someone else pointed out that it was, in fact, a plane.
We met the others – an expatriate family, plus Tim and Janice – near the village Inka (little supermarket), and then drove up and up and round and round to Kumi.
The festival is held in the church grounds, at the very top of the village and, as we got close, we could see bright lights and billowing fragrant smoke from the barbecue. The sound of the musicians tuning up breathed a twanging, vibrating melodic excitement out through the still air.
The lyra player, Georgio, is known to be the best on the island, and so there were hundreds of people arriving to hear him play.
All the tables on the lower level, where the band members were sitting, were already taken, and most of those on the top too. We had to wait until the waiters had assembled a table for the thirteen of us before we could sit down and relax.

We ate – souvlakis, chips and Greek salad – and drank Retsina, Coke or water, and chatted amongst ourselves, taking photographs as the evening progressed.

Eventually, at around midnight, we heard the distinctive sound of the lyra bow being drawn across the strings – silkily smooth, it was, yet assertive, confident and full of richly diverse tones.
Dill and I wandered over to the balcony and peered over and down. A dozen or so of the blue-shirted waiters had gathered and were beginning the intricate steps of the Circle Dance. As the music gathered pace, so did the dancers, the man on the end leaping and twirling, flashing legs at seemingly impossible angles, scissoring the notes into his twinkle-toed ribbons of movement.
At one point, and a little later on, Him Indoors, the two boys, Tim, Janice and I stood with our backs to the church wall, watching the scene below – and an unknown man, pretty drunk I suspect, lurched up to us, plastic cups in one hand, bottle of Retsina in the other, and gave the four adults a cup each and then, in a kind of strange slow ritual, poured the Retsina into each of the cups. It was a lovely gesture.
Meanwhile, Georgio and his band of merry troubadours, were playing old favourites, some of which I actually recognised from previous visits, previous festivals.
The way it seems to work is this: people come up to the musicians’ platform and pay them to play particular pieces – and those who pay the piper and choose the tune also get to dance, with their friends and family.
It was a fabulous atmosphere, and the whole thing was great fun.
My mobile phone pinged at one in the morning, slightly to my surprise, and I found I had received a lovely poetic text from a close friend. I wrote back immediately and tried to match alliterative content with my own, slightly befuddled, wordplay.
We left at two or thereabouts – and only discovered this morning (well, later this morning, to be precise), that Dill, Mike, Tim and Janice had stayed until six!

Alienora Browning Facebook Page.


Further to my earlier post, I have now effectively disbanded the social side of my Facebook interaction. Most of my friends have given me their email addresses, or I am already in contact via Twitter and the blog.

I have changed the name of my Facebook page to ALIENORA BROWNING (my maiden name) because it was going to be my writing name and I want my Facebook account to be for writing purposes only.

I am writing a post about it to let people know of the change – and also to alert anyone who might wish to pop over for a quick visit. There may well be people on here, for example, who feel more at home on Facebook than they do in the blog setting.

At the moment, the Alienora Browning page simply has blog posts on it – but I am intending to write specially for it as well as on here, so, fairly soon, there should be new material on there.

Do feel free to Like, comment and so forth. It is pretty basic at present!

Oh! And I have discovered today – thanks, once again, to Marilyn – that Publicize does it all; it is a kind of latter-day postman, which delivers to routes both rural and suburban. So I don’t need to keep clicking onto sites Social and Antisocial in order for people to read me.

The sheer relief, my dears!

All I have to do, from now on, is to write and publish – and read and comment, of course!

Just publish and be damned!

April Moon 2014: Day 8: Wild


Wild is that which lives in Nature’s rhythm. It dances to the insistent beat of the seasons, the tides and times of the world; it is spontaneity, and survival and sexuality without Sin’s baleful glare. It is immediacy and complete aliveness.

We fear it, make monsters of predatory animals because their savage instincts match those we thrust down so ruthlessly. They personify our terror of The Beast. The Beast which is, when stripped of its flesh, little more than the Darkness at the heart of mankind.

Our need to tame everything, and everyone, is born of our alienation from the natural world, from the spirits which inhabit every dell and forest, glen and ocean – and from our own true nature.

I have no quarrel with the concept, or, indeed, the reality of a Creator – but I do take issue with religious dogma which is twisted by the human (not the Divine) in order to metaphorically trap the wild and tame it, subjugate it to our will.

It is so sad, this relentless taming. Sheath your claws. Lioness! File down your sharp hunting teeth, Tiger! Wear a collar, answer to a human name and learn to beg for the Queen, Oh Mighty Wolf! Animals, with your musky primordial smells and your raw unashamed copulating, stop making us confront our own inner animal, why don’t you? Give in to the herbal scented shampoo whenever you assert your animal nature and disguise your scent with that of a dead fellow creature! Eat timidly, once a day, from a bowl with your name upon it – and ask to go out to do what comes naturally!

Wild is pheromones! It is hair in all the valleys of the body! It is fucking and rutting! It is a bear hug and, ‘God, I LOVE you!’ just because, and not to please, or manipulate or get something back.

Being wild should not be confused with being immoral, gratuitously cruel or psychopathic, in my view anyway.

Wild animals live by their own code of honour – and, frankly, it is no worse than ours; in fact, in many ways, it is fairer and more humane than anything we humans have come up with in our murderous and destructive history.

We pride ourselves on being civilised – and tame! Or at least, not wild! We sneer at so-called ancient civilisations; we feel superior to the few remaining Wild Tribes – and our educational systems are all about taming the inner beast and pay lip service only to the true meaning of ‘education’ (to lead out).

Pause a minute, though: where has all this obsessive taming got us as a Global Society? Have we truly shown that we have got it right? That the way we treat the world and its denizens is, in any way, better than the way our wild ancestors went about things?

Doesn’t our Taming of the Planet come perilously close to rape, pillage, plunder and murder?

Has our taming of others made this a safer world to live in?

No. Of course it hasn’t. How could it?

When, by our controlling need to tame EVERYTHING, we are crushing the natural and healthy expression of the wild instinct in everyone and everything.

I am a Wildwoman – and proud of it!

The system tried its best to tame me. Ultimately, it failed.

Thank Deity of Own Choice!

Ali sees The Light! Return of the Alien. Post Fury Female!


I got myself into a right state of incandescent fury over the weekend. The triggers? Numbers on here, areas of the WordPress system which I didn’t understand (that’ll be most of it, then!) and a serious attack of Spam! I have now calmed down – and, for that reason, am not going to use either of the raging little numbers I wrote, in metaphorical blood, on Saturday; instead, I sent this one, which is a lot calmer and attempts to look beyond the immediacy of the temper tantrum!

No, I haven’t converted to Catholicism, Buddhism – or joined the Monster Raving Loony Party, for that matter (though the latter would appear to be right up my boulevard).

‘Which particular light?’ you may ask, perhaps a tad querulously, depending on how much sleep/alcohol/sex you had last night.

This one, friends: Ali’s continual gnawing guilt trip.

Guilt for what?

How long have you got?!

The main one which drove me into my little mouse-hole under the wainscotting this time was the old old, ‘I am a thick, self-pitying boil upon the corporate backside,’ one.

Why? Because I get my bloomers in such a twist at any kind of technological threat (whether real or imagined) – and, linked to the above, because  it is taking me so long to learn the most fundamental and obvious aspects of this computer age of ours.

Over the past two days, I have been beating myself up a bit – allright, a lot! – about the various ways in which I fall short of the ideal. Fancy not realising that my posts go directly to people via email! Fancy not having the sense to work out the sheer Maths of it all: of course the number of hits and the number of actual reads are not going to be identical! Dear God, where was I when Mathematical Ability was being given out? Back of a very long queue, I suspect – and, knowing me,  probably not listening in the first place.

When frightened, I withdraw – and then get angry with myself for being so pathetic, such a wuss.

Oh, but I punish myself so STUPIDLY – for being human, imperfect, flawed.

Oh, but I have been so lonely (serve me right) and sad without the writing, and the human contact. And I have to ask myself why I keep doing this to me, to Ali, to a person who is not perfect but certainly isn’t any kind of monster.

Failing to understand is not a crime. Being easily scared may not be the best characteristic in the world, but it is not earth-shatteringly awful.

But something in my upbringing (both as a child and, in later years, as an adult) has been deeply punitive – and the habit of having that which I love/need most withdrawn from me for, now I come to think of it, really trivial infractions of controlling and shifting rules, has given rise to a habit I need to break out of: punishing myself before the other person can.

The sudden surge of Spammers frightened me. Over six hundred in just a few days. I was beside myself with terror, feared attack (this is very telling, isn’t it?) by malicious hackers and worse. It felt as if everything were sliding out of control: numbers declining in one area and swelling alarmingly in another.

Thank you to Marilyn, Gary and Mary Ann for their input on the numbers front – and to the many others of you who sent me a kind word, a reassuring comment and reassured me that I am valued.

But good has come out of the last three miserable days. I have realised that my lack of self-confidence does not reflect the way I am seen in most other people’s eyes. I have also seen that the under-miners in my life do not represent the vast majority of people I know – and that their criticisms are not, in fact, based upon reality. For example, and without going into the gruesome details, I know that I CAN sing and that, although no Yehudi Menuhin, I am reasonably competent upon the fiddle.

What has become clear in terms of numbers is that I have hugely overburdened the system, and my friends. So, I took the opportunity, over the Easter weekend, to simplify my various online systems. For the better, I sincerely hope.

I am withdrawing my social presence on Facebook – and will simply keep a page for writing purposes. This means that my friends will not longer face a barrage of Alienora every ten seconds – and, because I am now collecting email addresses, I can keep in touch in a more, to me, meaningful way.

I have also reconfigured all my Google + Circles – because, again, there was way too much repetition going on: because I had no idea who was following me on the blog, or on Google, this, I suspect, meant that some poor sods were getting notification of the same post about twenty times. I also had huge unwieldy Circles, composed, in part, I am SURE, of a number of people who had no wish to read even one blog post, let alone a steady stream of the accursed things!

My deep thanks must go to Mary Ann. She mentioned trust. I was hurt at first – but she is right, and I have said it myself, countless times: I am very un-trusting of others – and this saddens me deeply.

I can only think that the abandoned little girl (baby – I was only one year and three weeks old) is still holding court in there somewhere, and is remains frightened that the loved ones will never come back.

Now, a confession – and this is both upsetting and embarrassing. Shall I tell you how I spent most of yesterday and Sunday? Learning lines, of course, which WAS positive. But, other than that? Watching the most HORRIBLE, violent, scary and upsetting videos on YouTube. Graphic operations, childbirth, disturbing documentaries, that sort of thing. Unsurprisingly, I struggled to sleep.

Now, for a final quick, and possibly somewhat unintelligent question (asked so that I can thin out my Circles as stated above): if someone has added ME to their circle, does this mean that person automatically gets notification of my blog posts? Because, if it DOES, then I don’t need to add those people to any of my Circles.

Oh, Gods, this is SO confusing!

Want someone to analyse a piece of literature? I’m your woman! But, Circles?! Statistics?!! Social Sites?!!! Can’t cope at all – have to go and lie down in a darkened room!

Writing is my main addiction.  That and chocolate!

This is the last time I shall give up on something which gives me so much pleasure, keeps me sane (ish) and allows my voice to ring loud and clear.


If, through clumsiness, I have allowed anyone reading this to slip through the net of contacts, please let me know. I hope that ALIEN AURA, and all who sail with her, will glide far more smoothly now…





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Monday’s Musings


This brilliant piece was written by Jenni – and says it all as far as I am concerned. I may well be re-blogging the occasional post by other writers, as gesture of support, but will not be writing anything new until June.

Originally posted on Unload and Unwind:

So the Easter weekend has passed us by and some have celebrated with a dearth of chocolates, others with religious services and some a combination of the two.  There are those who don’t celebrate Easter in the religious sense but take the time to spend moments with family and friends and express themselves in that manner.

I have spent this Easter Weekend thinking of many things and have come to a rather sad conclusion.  A great deal of the work that I do for volunteer groups and those who are working hard to halt some of the more destructive environmental policies has shown me that we are on the verge of going one way or the other in terms of how we proceed with our planet.

So it came to me that this Monday’s thought care of Spiritualer is more apt than most would like to think.  It seems very…

View original 41 more words

Break till the end of May

My anger and distress this morning has made one thing very clear to me: I am at the end of my tether.

My comments on the two angry posts this morning were not directed at the many lovely people who read my posts and comment so beautifully. I AM SURE I SAID THAT LOUD AND CLEAR. But, if I failed to say it, I am sorry.

It is the system I am furious with.

Of course I don’t want people to feel they have to read every single one of my posts. How on earth could they? Why the hell should they?

The point I was trying – and maybe failing – to make was that some people on these big blogging sites follow as an empty gesture. THAT IS ALL. I was not trying to have a dig at any one I know, speak to and call by name.

Thank you for the many comments which have been left on my posts today; I am touched.

I am going to leave WordPress for the next month or so, however. I am tired beyond belief – and, with pages of lines to learn, simply do not have time to write on here as well.

I am sorry that I have upset and offended some of you. Offence was not meant, as expressed above.

I hope to be back end of May/beginning of June.






Going Wild: Saturday Night, Daily Prompt


Dancing, with such wild abandon that I am sweat-drenched and shaking oceanic fronds of seaweedy hair out of my face by the end; using limbs and spine and head to express the insistent beat of live music, played on a stage close enough to reach; dipping tongue into pints of dark and treacly beer, and downing great handfuls of peanuts, crisps, Cheesy Moments.

Playing fiddle in the band, and feeling that incredible adrenaline high as the notes blend and crazy rhythms unite our disparate instruments, styles and viewpoints.

Driving, with the like-minded one now sadly lost to me, under a Full Moon and through forests and past glittering midnight lakes – and making passionate love, out in the open and beneath the stars.

Those who want it are more than welcome to television, mild-mannered board games and all the trappings of civilisation.

My Saturdays thrum to an ancient pulse in the blood.

Satyr Day!

Saturn Day!

I was born under Saturn…

So to speak!

Goat Frolic Day!

That’s the one for me!

Fury at numbers

This is getting RIDICULOUS. The numbers on here simply do NOT add up – and I am feeling really fed up and discouraged.

Before I go ANY further, please let me say that the rant below is NOT directed at my loyal, supportive and lovely friends on here.

But I am UPSET.

This morning, for example, I have had ELEVEN hits. Yes, eleven. Set this against the twenty-five Spam comments since last night – and you get a pretty bloody depressing picture.

According to my list of followers (650 plus of them), I should be getting something in the region of 300 hits a day (this allowing for the fact that half of them either don’t bother to read my posts at all, or are Trolls of some description).

It is a sad indictment of the system that I am having to work so hard, and write so much, in order to get noticed at all. On days I don’t write, my hits plummet to almost nothing. Says it all, doesn’t it?

If you are following me, and have genuine problems getting on here, that is fine (and I know, as I said in my earlier post, that many friends would love to comment but CANNOT); but, if your following is part of your own numbers game, and you have no intention of reading any of my posts, would it not be more honest and honourable to unfollow me? You are not doing my self-esteem any good just sitting there like a pike at the bottom of a lake.

I have been on here since July 23rd 2013. In that time, I have received a score over 300 on exactly THREE occasions – and one of those was due to the nefarious attentions of a Hacker Site.

If I genuinely felt I were a crap writer, I wouldn’t mind so much.

I am spending far too much time and precious energy on blogging – and, to put it bluntly, am getting NOWHERE fast.

I feel a great need to make an impact, to be read – and am beginning to suspect that blogging is not the way to go about it. Reason:We are all competing for our space in the Blogosphere – and, no matter how supportive of one another we are (and I DO support other writers, always have), the bottom line is that it IS a numbers game, whether people like or approve of this fact or not.

It is like a popularity contest in which the contestants have no idea of the criteria for success – and said criteria seem to shift in the wind every five seconds anyway.

What does it mean to be a good writer? A poor writer? An excellent writer?

I confess I no longer know because I have seen so many examples of what I would call appalling writing being lauded by those who, one assumes, are trained to recognise quality when they see it.

But, fellow bloggers, if we are not being judged on our writing ability – on a WRITING SITE – what the hell are the criteria? And how can a serious writer achieve any kind of breakthrough when it sometimes appears that an ability to use words is the very last thing being looked at?

A friend sent me a link to a recently Fresh Pressed number the other day. I read it in despair and disbelief. I would have returned it for editing had it been handed to me by a bottom set year nine child (that’s 13/14 year olds, for those not familiar with the UK system). It was not, in any sense with which I am familiar, WRITING.

To me, the whole system is becoming, in some respects, depressingly like our adoration of Celebrity. Celebrities become celebrities – because they are celebrities! They are famous, or infamous, because they are highly visible. Talent is not a requirement. Nor, as far as I can see, are any positive personality traits necessary. Vapid and visible seems to be the rule.

There are some brilliant writers on here; there are people who gain attention for all the right reasons – because they can bloody well write, basically, or take superb photos; because they have TALENT; but, equally, there are those who rise to the dizzying heights simply because they are media-savvy, have manipulative and persuasive techniques applied to their blogs or steal the cream from the top of other bloggers’ metaphorical milk bottles.

Yes, I am angry. Not arrogant, because there are many better writers than I. But ANGRY.  And sad too, because it sometimes feels as if my writing dream is going up in smoke – and I do not know how to put out the initial conflagration, let alone how to prevent that noxious mist reaching my lungs and choking me.

April Moon 2014, Day 5: Focus

This is a timely reminder because I am allowing unhappiness, fear and resentment to cloud my focus.

Focus is zooming in on something: physically, with camera or eyes, in order to capture a specific energy/image, but psychologically too. We focus all our attention, via ears and soul, upon another person when listening to their joys, trauma, fears and triumphs; we narrow our Third Eye’s gaze  during meditations and path-workings in order to filter out the white noise our minds spin off all the time; we focus our minds during revision sessions – and, in any kind of job, we have to focus our attention upon the task at hand and not go wandering off into pleasant daydream, terrifying nightmare or sexual fantasy.

Focus is, if you like, a White Angel – and is ALWAYS at risk of temptation by the Red Devils of both body and mind. It is only too easy to give into the lurid and strident blatherings of the demons as they pour venom and insecurity down our ears and into our souls. It is horribly easy to lose focus, to give up in despair, to say, ‘I’ll do this some other time.’

Some recent examples from my own life should suffice. Blogging first, as this is what I am doing. Now, I tend to focus with great attention upon my writing. I do write a lot, it is true – and this may be a bar to some – but I always try to produce quality as well as quantity, and I will not post a piece if I consider it to be poorly written, full of grammatical errors or tedious in its tone.

I will confess, however, that the ‘It’s Not Fair!’ Devil does plague me from time to time. When I see some of the tricks – only word I can think of – which SOME other writers use to push their statistics sky high, whilst actually having the literary style and ability of a house brick, I feel great seething jealousy and despair rushing over me in a hot lava flow. Samir, bless him, has high-lighted one of the bloggy-dodges: those who Like all their own pieces. Here’s another: those whose blogs are parasitic and exist largely on the metaphorical food of reblogs from other writers, often without asking first.

I have clicked on to a few of these, by mistake – and what I have seen has, frankly, appalled me: it is very clear, from the writing of the blog owner, that a writer is the absolute last thing this person is – and yet they get vast numbers of likes, hits and followers through the efforts of other people. Is this just? I think not.

Now, let me make it very clear that I reblog friend’s pieces from time to time – as a gesture of support, usually because they are writing about an aspect of societal injustice which needs the eyes of the wider community upon it.

What I would never do – and what some people do, apparently without any conscience at all – is to trawl WordPress looking for successful bloggers, and then creaming off their work in order to enhance my own.

This next bit is not going to be popular, and I apologise in advance because it may well make me appear both arrogant and big-headed. Some writers use every wheeze they can find on the system in order to promote indifferent, turgid and poorly expressed pieces – and it becomes a latter-day example of the Emperor’s New Clothes. Other writers think, secretly, ‘God, what utter drivel!’ – but, because everyone else has rated it and the post has been Fresh Pressed, has gone viral, has been selected by the Team for praise, we all bow our heads in shame, thinking, ‘God, I am such a nasty jealous cow: there must be something there and I just can’t see it through my inflated ego!’ and click Like.

I do not follow, or befriend, such people – but am constantly amazed at the way non-writers can gain serious kudos on a so-called writing blogsite!

This is where the White Angel I referred to earlier comes under serious psychic attack from the Legion of Devils.

‘Give up!’ they screech. ‘There’s no point in focusing. You are no good. If you were, you would have ascended into the literary stratosphere by now…’

And the Angel, tremulous and distressed, pauses mid-word, puts down pen, or closes laptop – and head in hands, weeps silently over the ashes of lost hopes, disillusion and disenchantment.

Life is not fair, however. We all know that. And part of the tuning of our spirits comes from an acknowledgement of that fact and a determination to focus regardless of its sting.

I have woken this morning to find that my five pieces yesterday elicited almost no hits and am feeling rather sore about this. My focus is distracted by this stupid Numbers Game.

I have woken this morning, however, to find that my friends on here have been enormously generous in terms of loving and supportive comments – and this is far more important in the emotional sense: thank you, dear friends.

I am torn, though. Writers often are. I want my words to reach a huge audience because I do think I have a gift for words, and I think my posts are worth reading. But nothing I have tried thus far has moved me out of the tiny pond. No amount of focus upon excellent writing has worked.

I tend to give way to the promptings of the Red Devils only too easily – and staying focused is a constant psychological battle for me.

‘Why bother?’ is a question I ask myself at least once a day.

Learning the lines for this play is another example. I am in the village Spring Production of Mary Chase’s ‘Harvey’ – some of you may be familiar with it, may have seen the film with Jimmy Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd. For reasons which it would be inappropriate to go into, I find myself, with four weeks to go, sharing the part of Veta Louise Simmons with another actress. This is great, in many respects, but it means I have to learn a vast number of lines, be really focused, in a very short space of time – and I am battling my usual sneaky little, ‘You’re not good enough! You’ll never do it! You’re setting yourself up for failure!’ demonic beings. They caper around me, ringing their Hellish bells and sneering and trying their damnedest to put me off: after all, they are the Infinity-Damned, why not add another soul to the Pit of Despair?

So, you see, focus, for me, is not simply a case of concentration (which I have in spades) or a steady hand (literally or metaphorically) as I zero in upon the image I wish to preserve in the amber of words; it is also a fight between formidable Fencers of the Soul.

My pieces often go unread. They do not show up prominently unless attached, via pingback, to a prompt of some kind. Most of my six hundred plus followers have never shown themselves. Now, I do know, from friends, that this is because many cannot get onto WordPress to comment without signing the literary equivalent of the Official Secrets Act (and why the hell should they have to do that?) – but there are, I suspect, a fair number who simply follow me, in the hope that I might reciprocate, or to boost their own statistics.

Ultimately, though, I have a clear choice each time I write: do I focus upon the passion, the love, the words and write, whatever happens to the post – or do I get into the ‘I’m only going to do this if I come Top!’ mentality, become a complete Prima Donna and swank about as if I were Virginia Woolf reborn?

No one promised me success in life. Or love. Or gifts. No one said that focus and concentration would work miracles. It is up to me to make that leap of faith, to believe that I have talent and a voice worth reading.

The rest, as they say, is in the Lap of the Gods.


Adulterous Woman Sex Act Sin In Flagrante Sinner: ADULT MATERIAL

This post is ‘inspired’ (if that’s the right word -which I doubt) by the above legend: a search term I found upon my blog today. So, I have appeared to go along with the title, whilst actually doing something very different – as you will see, if you persevere to the end!


‘E isn’t mine. I ‘borrow’ him from time to time. Because he’s sexy, and she doesn’t understand him or appreciate him. I wear silky lingerie when he comes round, and just the merest hint of very subtle make-up. I depilate and spray perfume, clean my teeth and have the sex toys within easy reach: the scarves I uses to tie him lightly to the bed; the Rabbit for those intimate moments of mutual teasing; the leather gear just in case; the Nurse’s outfit, freshly starched.

We do not talk. Much. Just a brief air-kiss-chatter, a polite pause before the action.

Then, I let him lead me into the bedroom – for, like most married men, he plays away from home – and, watching his eyes dilating with lust, peel the only-just-concealing garments from my voluptuous body.I watch him watching me, and feel my arousal growing. I watch his hard-on, and, gathering the scarves, push him backwards on to the bed, tie his wrists and ankles to the bed-posts.

He is my captive. My sex slave. He cannot move. No matter how much I turn him on, there is nothing he can do but watch and hope for immediate relief.

It is power of a sort. It gets me wet and ready just looking.

I begin. The practised moves: hands stroking their way down my body, pausing at the places he loves most, licking my lips at the effect my self-pleasuring is having upon my lover. He groans. Pleads. Thrashes. The scarves bite deep, leaving indentations. He has pale skin, strawberry-blond hair; like many red-heads, he bruises easily. I do not know how he will explain the bracelets of bluish-purple flesh, the mottling of his pallid skin from my more assertive ministrations. I don’t care, either: not my problem.

If she really loved him, he wouldn’t be here, with me, would he? He would be curled up, an old dog in the familiar basket of marriage, snoring gently and twitching,from dreams of long ago joy,in his sleep.

I have met her. Just the once – and she isn’t a patch on me. She is so ordinary, so humdrum. All she ever does is to chitter on about their three children: BORING! He tells me he never wanted kids in the first place, but she manipulated him, played games with her contraceptive devices. BITCH. 

Can he see that I am actually enjoying this? That it is not feigned? That my groans and little mewling noises spring from lust not theatre?

His fingers are trembling, so desperate is he to touch himself, touch me, have me touch him, have me mount him.

I smile. Tease. Turn my back and then crouch down, so that he can see the swell of my buttocks and the glistening moisture between my thighs. Perfect – and out of reach. Enticing – and frustrating.

Ah! This is the moment of decision: do I untie him and have him all over me, fucking me before I have even finished the final scarf? Or do I take control, as I have all along so far?

Timing is everything. I can see he is close: he is licking the soft inner flesh of his lower lip; his eyes are glazed, the way they always get – and he is bucking, calling my name in little breathy half-whispers: ‘Mand, oh God, Manda…’

Do I think he loves me? No, I don’t, am under no illusions on that front. Oh, he cries out, ‘Mandy, I love you!’ when he comes – but the occasional, ‘Tracy, I love you…’ or, ‘Sarah, Babe!’ at such moments is a big give-away.

But, according to him, I am the only woman who can use her vaginal muscles to inch down his dick, tightening and loosening as I go. He asks me, ‘Where d’ya learn that, then, Mand? Thought you said you’d only had yer ‘usband before ya met me!’

He is right. I did. And it was not a lie. Compared to him, I am inexperienced…

But there are some things we are born knowing – and sex was mine.

I hover over him, a tempting crab shape of tits he cannot grab and pussy just out of range.

I never kiss him. Because, truth be known, I don’t like him very much. He’s a shit, if I’m honest. I’ve a suspicion he knocks his wife about. Though no proof. Just the way he looks at me sometimes, if I get a bit lippy and whiny. Just a curl of the lip if I don’t suck hum, fuck him and dress up for him on demand.

But, he’s got a great body and staying power you wouldn’t believe. He’s my bit of rough. He’s Mellors to my Lady Chatterley!

Squeeze, release, squeeze, release, muscle by perfectly controlled muscle, I clench my way down his erection, brush his chest  - with its unruly mat of sandy hair – with the breasts he so wants to hold…’


‘Amanda! I’m home! Need a hand, love, I’ve bought half the shop! Come on! My arms are falling off!’

Frozen with horrified guilt, I slam the book closed and shove it under my narrow virgin’s bed.

Mum’s back! Oh my God, I thought she’d be out for at least half an hour. Long enough for me to read the whole chapter; long enough for me to imagine what it must be like to have sex; long enough for me to touch myself Down There and feel the wild surges of relief which are my secret pleasure and shame.

I ALWAYS do this, when I am reading my naughty books – the ones my parents don’t know I have, the ones I trade for cigarettes at school – I replace the heroine’s name with my own. That way, her experience becomes my own – and, even though I am nearly seventeen and have never even been kissed, I can imagine that I am the sexiest girl in the world.

‘For heaven’s sake, Amanda!’

She’s getting angry. Oops-better get down there!

‘Have you nothing better to do than Dolly Daydream all day?’

If only you knew, Mum; if only you knew!

On second thoughts, thank God you don’t!

Take a chance on me



The greatest risk I have taken was to give up a secure, and relatively well paid, career as an English teacher for an unpaid and very chancy ‘job’ as a writer.

Has it been worth it?

In the financial sense – no. It has not. I have made less than a hundred pounds from sales of ‘Long-Leggety Beasties’, my humorous novel – and, for a variety of reasons, have not yet self-published either ‘Heneghan’ or ‘Rushing at the gates of sixty’. A member of my family actually said, ‘I assumed that you were going to give up teaching in order to become a famous writer and EARN LOADS OF MONEY.’

This seems to be fixed rigidly in the offending person’s head – and no amount of explanation by me, along the lines that the writing world doesn’t work like that (unless you are very lucky!), has made the blindest bit of difference.

From the point of view of getting read, and getting out there (wherever ‘there’ might be!), I have experienced slightly more success – but I am aware that I remain a very small minnow in an enormous ocean. I am aware that the vast majority of other people in the writing world have never heard of a creature called Alienora Taylor, let alone read any of her words.

And, in a very real sense, why should they? Why should anyone take a chance on a middle-aged unknown?!

But, I am fulfilling a passion; I am living in the sensual luxury of my longest love affair – with writing; I am inspired and happy and full of creative zing and fizz.

It is not easy. This is a very competitive world – and, as previously intimated, I am not one of the top echelon of writers. It is terribly hard to get noticed, to make an impact, to create that one post which might be deemed worthy of Fresh Pressed status, which might go viral and attract millions of readers.

But, guys, I am PROUD of myself. I am living my dream of some forty-six years’ duration. I am writing every day, either on here or in my journal – and it is SO exciting.

I have, in the last two years, written nearly ONE THOUSAND posts. Not bad for an old bag, eh?!

Along the way, I have met some delightful people, have written and received thousands of comments – and, although not in the top league by any manner of means, have gained a fair few likes, hits and followers.

Of course it would be lovely to be acknowledged as a brilliant writer. Of course I would love to attract the attention of a publisher – and, yes, it would be wonderful to make bucket-loads of dosh from my writing – because, let’s face it, it I were entirely dependent upon my earnings as a writer, I would have starved months ago!

Am I glad I gave up the day job?

Oh Gods and Goddesses, yes!

I AM a writer, whether I ever achieve fame and fortune or not. I always have been a writer, ever since that first laboriously-penned fairy story on that long-ago July day.

I suppose it all depends upon how one perceives success.

If it is simply seen in terms of worldly acclaim, millions in the bank and enough consumer durables to keep a Third World country happy for a decade, than I am the most abject failure.

If success hangs upon multiple sales of one’s books, interviews on the television and a franchise of toys, and other knick-knackery from one’s best-selling oeuvre, then I can only hang my head in shame and shuffle off, red-faced and humiliated!

But, if success is judged in more intangible, perhaps spiritual terms, if success is linked to the Muse and the words and the fire and passion of the creative process itself, then I am a vast success.

And will remain so, even if no one who reads this has ever heard of me!

Fear of anger

For as long as I can remember, I have been terrified of anger. My own and other people’s. I will soothe and smooth, grovel and ameliorate, back off and back down if I think that I am about to be told off or shouted at. For this reason, I am easily bullied. I don’t fight back; I freeze and wimp out. The memories I am about to share came to me, unbidden, as I lay in that disturbing hinterland between sleep and full consciousness.

I sit on the stairs, hidden by the banister – but not safe. I wear a terracotta coloured corduroy dungaree dress and a white cardigan. I am little, perhaps four, and I suck my left index finger for comfort, smoothing my upper lip with my bendy middle finger.

My little sister is snuggled against me; I can feel her warmth. We wear the same and she, too, sucks a finger, and looks at me, wide-eyed. She has very big eyes, very blue. She doesn’t squint and pucker up her face in the sun like I do. She is bold and brave, and I love her.

The kitchen has become a scary place. We are too frightened to go downstairs, but upstairs doesn’t feel safe either because, if they kill each other, we will be trapped, unable to get out of the house.

The noise is so frightening, I can hardly breathe; I can feel the familiar tightness in my lungs, the stop and start dragging air in. My sister is crying.

They are screaming and shouting. Great big angry words flying around that small space like missiles. Things are flying, rebounding, crashing, sent by rigid angry hands. They are consumed by the tornado of their anger. It whirls around the house, rocking the foundations. The walls shake; the stairs undulate and threaten to fall in on themselves, burying us under a crashing heap of timber and frayed carpet.

They hate each other. Do they hate us? Will we be next? Will they come out and throw objects at us too? Or will it just be the puce faces, the mouths open in a chasm of fury? Will they swallow us whole, our Big People? Will we just disappear into their angry tummies?

I freeze. My sister weeps.

I sit on the stairs. Sucking my finger. As usual. My mummy’s parents, Gar and Papa, are staying, and I can hear Gar, in Daddy’s study, singing a little tune as she polishes the bronze and silver ornaments. I can smell the silver polish, can see its blue and white tin in my mind, and the wiry woolly cleaning pads which feel a bit like my hair when I’ve just got up.

I am four. Not quite ready for school. No playschool, either, because I am very shy and timid, or so my mummy says. I am scared of my own shadow, never mind other children.

My nearly twin sits next to me. On my right. She often does. Usually, it is comforting and nice, to share that stair space, to cuddle up to another little girl – but today there is a crossness between us. We are looking at each other with down mouths and sparky nasty eyes. There is a buzzing on our stair, a prickling in my throat.

You, my baby, my bossy loved sibling, are sitting on my skirt, and I can’t shift and I want you OFF. I get tense and sad and boiling, and I tell you, ‘Get OFF. Leave me alone…’ but you won’t because you are small and tense too and the little devil has jumped into both of us and we won’t let go.

But, I am bigger and stronger than you. You have little twiggy legs and a skinny tummy.

I get up and shake, shake, shake you off, so that my dress is free…

And you tumble, down, down, down, sobbing and wailing.

And there is a horrible crash and crunch as you land. Your face hits the camel stool at the bottom with a huge bang. Through the silence, I know I’ve killed you and I start to weep and shake and hide my eyes and peep out.

Then you scream, and I know you are alive – but there is blood everywhere, and it is all my fault; I have hurt you really badly.

Our mummy picks you up and wraps you in a blanket and runs down the front steps and out of the garden. Our doctor lives next door but one, and she rushes you round there.

She doesn’t speak to me or look at me, and I know I have gone too far, that I am an evil child, that I will never be forgiven.

Gar calls me: ‘Bambi? Bambi. come here!’

And I go into the Study, crying, and she tells me I need to help, to do a little job – and she passes me the big square bronze kettle, and the orange-gold tin of Brasso with its creaky squeaky lid and its deeply lovely smell.

I am very very careful. I have got to do this properly, to make up for hurting my sister.

I rub and rub and polish until the kettle is so shiny that I can see me and Gar in it. My mind goes blank, which is a bit scary.

Hours go by. I think they are hours, but they might not be.

My sister has cut her top lip open and the plaster over the stitches covers the velvety soft bit we both like to stroke. I feel very sad because I have stopped her from using that small pad of warm security.

My sister has the scar to this day. She forgave me long ago. Not sure I ever forgave myself, though.

Left-handed or right-handed?

All pictures taken from Google Images:

left-hand-college studentpositionsraiganj 099

My  father should have been left-handed, but he came from the generation which had an almost superstitious fear of left; teachers, at his prep school, for whom the word’ sinister’, in the original Latin meaning, had crossed the line into horror film many decades previously, used punitive measures against any burgeoning lefties.

So, my poor dad, when he took pen in left hand, was hit with a ruler, hard, until he swapped hands and taught his brain to adapt. But, for the rest of his life, his handwriting – though incredibly neat (very like mine, actually!), was painstakingly achieved; he was a very slow writer, and was also clumsy and poorly co-ordinated, in some respects, physically.

Despite this, he was ear-marked for advancement in the Army. I did not know this until I listened, last Monday, to the CD of him talking about life as a diabetic. In a fine irony (which he laughed about on the tape), he received notification that he was predicted to reach the rank of at least Lieutenant Colonel one day – and, the very next day, the letter telling him that he was being invalided out!

Something else I discovered: as a result of changing from the Navy to the Army during the fifties, he was one of the only people to have entered the Korean War’s theatre of battle as both a sailor and a soldier.

Did his physical lack of confidence/coordination cross over into Army life? No, I don’t think it did. As a Captain (a rank he kept till the end of his life), he was in charge of others and, I guess, had to lead by example.

He used to talk quite openly about his memories of writing as a child, and I think it had traumatised him and given him some degree of sadness and heartache.

From my earliest days, I showed a strong propensity to grab things with my left hand. My parents were happy to let me make up my own mind on this one, and did not try and bully me into right-handedness. Very early photos show the little Bambi (as I was called then) sitting in a high chair spooning the glop in, holding said cutlery in the left hand.

Yet, when I went to school, I wrote with my right hand. I do not recall any bullying on the part of the teachers at primary school – though I, like Dad, was a painfully slow writer, and, even at age four, already showing signs of the clumsiness which, even now, causes me to trip, fall, sprain ankles – and cut fingers on any passing bread-knife!

Given how much I do with my left hand, however, I sometimes wonder if there was some form of coercion – so subtle that I do not now remember it at all.

I can write with both hands (though not at the same time, you understand!), but my right-handed writing is much better. Spoon, toothbrush, scissors, hairbrush – all are held in my left hand. I play tennis and badminton (rare occurrence since I am completely useless at ALL team games; to this day, I cannot hit or catch a ball, and I never learned the positions in hockey because I was too busy day-dreaming!) with my left hand – and, I suspect that, like my son, I would have been a left-handed fencer too.

I do sometimes wonder if my brain is wired wrongly. I say this because you would think that being ambidextrous would confer distinct advantages. Not with me it doesn’t; it just makes me twice as prone to cock-ups as most other human beings I know.

Although I play the piano and the spinet reasonably well, I am a painfully slow and inept typist, using, as I think I have said before, one finger on each hand. The multi-fingered approach is beyond me! I’ve tried – and it was embarrassing.

Texting, to which I have taken in a big way, is a haphazard and uni-digit affair. As I watch the dexterity of most other texters, using both thumbs and what looks like twenty five fingers, all at top speed, I confess to a feeling of deep inadequacy. ‘Plodding’ describes my style.

By a strange mirror-image effect, Son and Heir is also ambidextrous – but the other way round to me! Strange, eh? He writes, and fences, with his left hand – but spoon and toothbrush go in the right hand.

The Boy has, thank goodness, missed out on the Browning family clumsy gene. He is far fitter, more sporty and well-coordinated than I have ever been – such a relief, let me tell you!

In a sense the hand we use is down to conditioning – and our perception of what is socially correct and acceptable, both within the family and in the outside world. But, I firmly believe that our instinctive handedness, if you like, is consistent. By this I mean that hand or arm we use for things of the heart, things relating to intimacy and, of course, any reaction to the fight or flight response.

Try it and see!

So, when you hug a child, which arm feels most natural? Most of us don’t even think; our bodies make the decision for us.

Which hand do you use for the myriad tasks which require little more than a twitch of the brain? Things like opening doors, reaching for a towel, taking a book from a shelf…

And, of course, love-making! Again, think about it! I shall go no further with that thought, unusually for me. Suffice it to say, that some people reading this might be surprised by the answers to the above questions.

You may well write with your right hand – and yet find that your emotional and sexual self is very definitely a lefty!

Handedness is one of those things I have a peculiar memory for (a bit like birth signs!) – and, even now, I could reel off the children in my son’s primary school class who were left-handed; I could also give you their dates of birth! I won’t, for obvious reasons. But, even more worrying, I could probably give you a long list of left-handers I have taught over the past three decades (with birth dates, naturally!).

Weird, eh?!

Sixteen: Daily Prompt

Innocence and Experience


I can date this almost exactly: Winter 1974, probably February – because I was given the dress for my sixteenth birthday in January*.

‘Sweet sixteen – and never been kissed!’ as the saying goes.

In my case, it was absolutely true. I was an innocent in a world of madly-experimenting peers. Part of it was the all girls’ school environment; part the fact that I had no older brother to introduce me to his gorgeous friends – but mainly, I suspect, it was my own shy awkwardness around the male sex.

At around this time, and wearing the daringly short dress, I went to my first disco. I recall it with a certain degree of horror: a wallflower for much of the evening, I lurked in corners, trying not to be seen, trying not to cry, as other, braver girls danced to Abba’s ‘Waterloo’ ( which had just won the Eurovision Song Contest).

But, towards the end, to my delighted terror, I was approached by a youth called Dave and asked onto the dance floor. He was nineteen, smelled of smoke and onions and seemed very grown up to me.

I let him snog me – hastily looking round to make sure all my friends were watching! – and still remember his slightly dry lips, the stroboscopic colourful heat of the room, my head whirling after half a shandy…and the intimations of sex which I poured out into my little red journal the next day.

I read it back the other day and saw again the child I was then: the child who wrote of a room pulsating with sex; a child who knew nothing.

Whilst some of my friends were already sneaking off with lads from a local public school to DO THE DEED; whilst boys of my age were boasting loudly about how many notches they had carved into their respective bedposts – I was as pure as the driven snow!

And I confess I did not help my own embryonic love life one iota by going through an intense Mills and Boon period. It lasted six weeks – the duration of the Summer holidays, basically – and I devoured the things, six a day.

So, my strong sexual urges became tied up with the formulaic world of men with long lazy eyes and lantern jaws, who were uniformly beastly to the heroines and then, at a later point, confessed that they’d been in love all along.

This second photo was taken almost exactly three years later, in April 1977, when I had returned home from Aberystwyth after my second term there. I look more laid back, cool and confident, don’t I? Very 1970s garb, even down to the neck scarf.

And my love life? Hmmm! Innocence still could have been my middle name on that cold, but sunny, Spring day in the University Parks, Oxford.

My tastes had moved on: it was a case of, ‘Goodbye, Mills and Boon; hello ”Wuthering Heights”‘  - and I am not sure this constituted an improvement! For me, aged nineteen, the whole romance thing seemed to revolve around tempestuous storms (and equally tempestuous bosoms), darkly atmospheric living quarters – and a need to dig up the deceased remains of one’s beloved a la Heathcliff.

Not, you understand, that I was in the habit of pottering about Aberystwyth’s cemeteries with a spade; but, in my twisted love-and-sex-lorn mind, this was clearly the way to prove that you really really adored someone – with death from consumption coming in a close second!

Perhaps this is where the hippy expression ‘dig’ actually comes from?!!

No! Put that thought behind you…

At nineteen and three quarters, I was the oldest virgin on the block – virgin on the bloody ridiculous, if you’ll excuse the fall into levity!

And, to be perfectly frank, I got pretty cheesed off with being everyone else’s confidant: of people forever wandering into my room, looking either woeful and well-used or ecstatic and well-bruised – and telling me, in unnecessarily graphic detail, precisely which bodily part was inserted into which orifice.

To make things worse, the couple next door were at it, as far as I could tell, twenty four hours a day – and at a volume which made the ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ sound like a lullaby. I was soon in a position where I could have given them marks out of ten for their tedious and unimaginative performance: from tentative boing at the start to the whistling kettle noise he made at the end, I knew it all!

I don’t think I ever saw them with their clothes on!

So there I was, at an age when most girls had (allegedly) had more pricks than a second hand dart board, thinking I’d probably need to be deflowered surgically at this rate.

Fortunately, such extreme measures were not needed – and my Heathcliff (minus scowl, attitude and gardening implement of choice) came to the rescue just before I sailed out of my teens!

Experience at last! Oh, I cannot convey the joy this brought me! Such a relief, my dears! On all sorts of levels.

And, as I know I have said before, this rite of passage – like birth of son and birth of novel – happened during the Scorpio part of November…

*Along, no doubt, with the Henry V11 haircut…

Awards! Thanks! Nominations!

beautiful-blogger-awardpremio-dardos-a-cuaderno-en-piel-dr-lauzurica-dermatc3b3logo-www-lauzurica-wordpress-comblogger-award2wonderful-readership-award2Shauney Award

“Life is Moments”

Thank you so much to the lovely Teela Hart (http://teelahart.com/) for nominating me for the ‘Life is Moments’ award. Teela, who does so much when it comes to raising awareness about, and fighting, domestic violence and abuse, is an inspirational soul and always worth reading. A survivor herself, she writes with heart-breaking honesty. The award itself was created by a fellow blogger, Shaun Gibson, and the quotes below explains his philosophy. Thank you, Shaun.

“Life is moments and we ride the bad ones knowing good ones will come again, and by doing so it helps us get through bad moments. I believe in moments, I cherish them.”—Shaun Gibson.

Please go by Shaun’s place and give him a warm thank you for making this award just for us.

“This is an award for everyone who is part of the “Word Press Family” I started this award on the basis that the Word Press Family has taken me in and showed me love and a caring side only Word Press can.

The way people take a second to be nice, to answer a question and not make things a competition amazes me here. I know I have been given many awards, but I wanted to leave my own legacy on here by creating my own award, as many have done before.

This represents “Family” we never meet, but are there for us as family. It is my honor to start this award. Thank you”—Shaun Gibson.

I’d also like to extend very warm thoughts and much gratitude to Lydia Devadason, who nominated me for the Wonderful Team Member award and to HalfEatenMind, who nominated me for the Versatile Blogger, the Premio Dardos and the Beautiful Blogger awards. I have been much touched and heartened by these displays of support and belief in me as a writer.

I have decided to nominate my chosen TEN bloggers for all five awards – and would ask only that Shaun’s award is passed on to another ten by each of the recipients. NO questions to answer. Just enjoy having the awards. If you want, just pick out the ones you don’t already have! The following ten are people who have been there for me, one way or another, either on here or, in some cases, in real life. There are many more I could have chosen, but, with a limit of ten, have made the following choices:

Sue Vincent (http://scvincent.com/)

Running Elk (http://shamanicpath.wordpress.com/)

Richard Ankers (http://richardankers.com/)

Marilyn Armstrong (http://serendipity.wordpress.com/)

Maggie Wilson (http://mcwilson1956.wordpress.com/)

Joanne Best (http://joannebest.wordpress.com/)

Ivyon (http://ivymosquito.wordpress.com/)

Ranu (http://sabethville.wordpress.com/)

Jenni (http://jenniferann1970.wordpress.com/)

Scottishmomus (http://scottishmomus.wordpress.com/)

Letter to English State School System

Even since I left teaching two years ago, the system has deteriorated markedly – and I feel very great concern for teachers and pupils alike. The Sausage Factory mentality is ever more prevalent in our schools – and the System seems to take precedence over the human being every time. I wrote this letter last August, but am reposting it because it seems, if anything, even more relevant now than it was eight months ago.

If I were still a teacher, I would rise up and start chucking my weight around, starting with a stentorian roar, a bellicose, ‘NO way! Fuck off!’ – and would then go completely ballistic.

Dear English State School System -

Why, oh why, have you given up your spark? Why have you sold out to successive governmental bodies? You know: made up of politicians. Most of whom wouldn’t recognise a state school if they tripped over one. The vast majority of whom send their own cossetted offspring straight into the private sector.

And yet, YOU – State Schools R US – have allowed this to happen. Have turned a blind eye. A deaf ear. Your protests have been, at best, token, at worst mannerly and grovelling.

What is it? Do you have so low a corporate sense of identity, such a desire to please, that you just want to be Teachers’ Pet in the great school that is English Society?

It is so sad, and so galling. It makes me want to weep and scream and throw things. It always has. I ranted for years. Decades. My words fell upon the stony ground of terror and disbelief. Like Cassandra, I was ignored, reviled and told I was over-reacting…

I was not alone.

Many teachers have tried their damnedest: have marched and shouted, gone into the dizzying whorls of Industrial Action, even gone on strike.

And, when I first hit the fast-moving fans of the system, back in 1981, it seemed as if we were winning. We pulled together in stroppy mode and moved a few small hills.

But then, in those far-off halcyon days, individuals were still prized. There was still room for the maverick to roam, to roost, to roar. The Miss Jean Brodies of this world were still allowed to inspire and shock and delight and, at times, cause consternation.

And, believe you me, education was the better for them. They gave lessons that quirky edge. They kicked against the prick. They refused to give in. They luxuriated in their unconventional status.

And now? Now the Institutional Prick has taken over. All but.

The mavericks have been rounded up in large nets. Clubbed to death like seals. Figuratively.

When one leaves the profession, no more are waiting in the wings. Why? Because they will not be employed, are unlikely even to pass the rigorous demands of the PGCE. They are winnowed out, in favour of the obedient, the anodyne, time after time after time.

When I first started teaching autonomy still ruled very okay. A teacher’s room was his castle – and, beneath its turrets, he could tell wondrous fairy tales of monsters and dragons and princes and princesses. He could watch the children’s eyes opening wide with excited curiosity. He could make a genuine, and life-long-lasting, difference.

Now? The spirit is willing. There are still many dedicated and brilliant teachers out in the educational wasteland. But, the system is speedily eroding their hope, their self-belief, their individuality.

They are, increasingly, being herded into the vile pens of Performance Management, Lesson Observations, Punishment by Ofsted, League Tables and getting better GCSE results than all rival establishments.

They are being ‘seduced’ by the lure of the short-term advantages of Academy Status. Instead of common sense and care for the children, schools now have Mission Statements and high-falutin’ logos printed upon their ever-more strict versions of the school uniform.

The children are being squeezed out. In truth, they are no longer children. Not allowed to be anymore. They are now ‘students’ – and this, take it from me, is a reflection of their worth in the Government’s eyes. They are there only to be processed through the great Scholastic Sausage Factory. Their A* – C grades are what really matter. Their appearance as a high score on the CATs tests means far more than their happiness, their development as rounded human beings, their broader education FOR LIFE.

This is the legacy of governmental initiatives. Of successive tranches of political would-be-Top-Dogs fighting, through our children’s education, to worm their way up the next step of the ladder.

And we have let them get away with it. Because, like children with squabbling and ambitious parents, we have given them a power quite a variance with the truth. We have failed to stand up to them. We have neglected to say, ‘No!’

If every state school in the land stood up to the next round of pointless and jargonistic crap which came their way, what could the Government do, eh? Sack all teachers in the land? Close down all schools?

I was passionate about teaching, and gave my heart and soul to the system for thirty years.


Pink Floyd got it right thirty years ago.

Yours ragingly

Alienora Taylor

Are you a leg man or a tit man?

So, which would you prefer to grapple with, fellas? A succulent, tasty thigh or, to quote myself, a bit of tit? Or, indeed, both? Why not be omnisexual?! Is there such a word? If there isn’t, there damn well should be!

Aha! Got ya! Or did I? Probably not. Some of the more astute of my readers will, no doubt, have spotted the deliberate double entendre in my title – and will have realised that I could equally well be talking about that other favourite male past time: carving the turkey/chicken/quail/albatross.

I have had occasion before now to remark upon my own prurient nature – and so, in the interests of research, you understand (and not because I have a mind so steeped in vulgarity that no obelisk is safe from my coarser comments!), I ask this question: is there any correlation between the bits of meat we instinctively like to get our teeth into during high days and holidays – and, if I may be so bold, the portions of the female anatomy most attractive to individual males?

To put it bluntly, if you are a Tit Man in the sexual sense, do you also find your fork coming over all a-tremble when you see the tender white meat curving so seductively around  - er, a dead chicken’s rib cage?!

Ladies, we do not have quite the same dilemma, methinks. Or do we? Let us pause for thought a little at this point. Gentlemen, you might wish to avert your eyes for a few seconds. Frank, no-holds-barred ‘discussion’ coming up!

So, girls, what do we go for, eh? And don’t give me all that high-faluting nonsense about personality, sense of humour, size of…wallet, and so forth, because I don’t believe a word of it!

Bottom line – in all senses – here, chappesses: when you are in a bedspring creaking situation, doing a fair impersonation of the old beast with two backs, when the train has driven into the station, you are not going to be focusing upon the man’s character! Or, put it this way, if you are thus focused, you need to get stuck in with a damn sight more verve and enthusiasm!

Some of you girlies out there may well be driven positively animal (grrrr!) by your beloved’s man nipples, chest muscles and other bits and bobs; others will, as if drawn by a particularly strong magnet, go straight for either the Wedding Tackle, or the Gluteus Maximus, or both! Dick or Buns, as you might say. Oops, I just did!

Going back to my avian analogy, you may well be able to spot the drawback to any exact correlation here: unless you are a gastronomic fetishist, or come from a country where such foods are commonplace, any dish with the word ‘cock’ or ‘dick’ in it is notorious for its dearth of the actual phallic component! Look at Spotted Dick! Or, if you value your sanity, don’t!

I did once see a stomach-turning little snippet on the television, in which our intrepid hero (or stupid sod, if you prefer), having already downed a Hundred Year Old Egg, then tucked, with every sign of relish, into Fried Moose Penis (or similar; I cannot now recall which species provided the entree). It was a revolting spectacle.

My theory goes further, however! Because, I reckon that the way you tackle (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more!) both the carving, and the ingesting, of the festive bird says a great deal about your technique beneath the duvet!

So, Carvers! And I am really not being sexist here, for I am sure there are many women, up and down the land, who like nothing better than to get up close and personal to a slab of fowl with a number 5 Sabatier knife – but, in my immediate family and circle of friends it has always been a male activity!

Do you go at it like a Beserker on Acid? Are you more Whirling Dervish than Brain Surgeon in your approach? Do you need to hose down – or even re-paint – the walls after a typical Sunday roast?

Or are you the sort of person who carves with a set square, plastic apron, Marigold gloves and ruler to hand? If so, you may well also be the one who asks your significant other to bathe – in disinfectant – before sex; who puts a plastic sheet on top of the bed to catch the drips – and who looks as if he’d be more at home in a wetsuit during the actual act, skin being so easy to stain, don’t you know?!

Now, to the eating part of the equation – and, girls, you can join in again now! Do you tear at the meat with your teeth, voracious and unheeding, slurping and making disgustingly rural noises as you nosh? Or do you take teeny tiny delicate bites, patting your mouth with tissue or napkin regularly? Do you use knife and fork or hands and mouth?!

You see, my theory is that our appetites tend to have a lot in common with one another! And that the way we approach food and sex may well be identical!

Happy carving, boys!


Mission complete


Here’s Sue’s first piece on the weekend, with a photo of us all – do read!


Originally posted on Daily Echo:


New colony successfully established on Idos…

After an epic battle on the bridge of the Hawk, the machinations of the rogue cyborg Setaxa were overcome by compassion, forgiveness, love and understanding.

A wonderful weekend workshop drew to a close yesterday in Derbyshire. With loving thanks to all those who attended and supported our birthday weekend.

View original



The Hallowquest card for this week’s work has been The White Hart (the Lovers in a traditional deck) – and, truly, this has been a hugely strong influence this week – particularly this weekend. Love has been all around.

The Silent Eye weekend was beautiful, moving, inspirational, full of love and laughter – and remains, for the moment, in the Forge of Creation. Later today, in my role as Hephaestus, I shall heat up the fire and create a shining sword from the precious metal of notes taken during the three day adventure. For the moment, I give you this revised version of a piece written last year, for it expresses, very clearly, the process I have been a part of for the past two years.

Sometimes it is very hard to focus on the positive. When the Kingdom of my Psyche is ruled by tyrants; when the stern King Fear and his Queen, Pain, sit upon the thrones and rattle threatening sabres at me; when loneliness and despair and inability to confide in others weigh especially heavy upon my heart, it is good for me to pause…

Yes, pause. And reflect. Allow the Sun into my body and my spirit. Counting blessings is easy. We can all do that, Feeling them at a deep level is a very different matter – and it is here that I struggle. Why? Because I fear they will be stolen from me. That love will be withdrawn, backs will be turned, friendship denied; that, if I bring a blessing out to enjoy, I will be told off, told I am imagining it, that it is all in my head.

I am blessed by the warmth and care of people both known and unknown; by the response I have had on here, and on other sites, to my blog posts; to the wonderful, and healing, fellow-feeling which has come my way so many times. I thank each person who has taken the time to read my words and to write lovely things to me.

I am blessed by my family. It is not an easy ride. The mechanism has become jammed and the brightly coloured merry-go-round horses give pain and distress as they jerk and jolt their way around. But it is a psychological forge, watched over by Wayland Smith, Hephaestus. It hurts. The fire burns. The bellows cause panic. The branding tools wound. The hammer bruises and cuts delicate flesh. But from it come the Hallows of my Inner Logres. Hidden and sleeping at present, I have to believe that their time will come, that they will be called – by eagle and trumpet – to the battle, to the inevitable awakening.

I am blessed by my son. He is growing into a fine young man and I love him unconditionally.  His presence in my life is both miracle and gift.

My husband is a blessing too, for, through the inner action of his psyche, I have re-emerged – and though he has his own troubled path to navigate, and we rarely meet at the fords of emotion and understanding, he has shown me, indirectly, that forgiveness and an open heart matter more than material goods and the need to control the universe.

My friends are a blessing upon my sore spirit. They give me hope and joy and laughter. They soothe me. They both brighten and darken. Because I am empathic, and struggle with boundaries, I have never been able to ignore a plea for help, have never wished to withhold a plaster (whether literal or figurative) and try, when I can, to provide safety, a listening ear and love.

But my inner circle make me dance and sing; they give me a lightness of spirit and a renewed vigour for life. They have given me unconditional love and acceptance, have opened their doors to me when I have been beyond speech and rejoiced with me during the happy times. I am so lucky to have met them all!

Blessings are heaped upon me by other writers, one in particular. The happiness, humour, wordgames, sympathy, clever titles and inspiring interaction from fellow pen wielders has been one of the best things about 2014. I have become a better writer as a result of this. And I hope that I have given pleasure back, that my writing friends look forward to my responses as much as I do to theirs.

Finding my true voice as a writer has been an incredible source of wonder. Having left it until I was well into my fifties, I was secretly worried that I would not be good enough, that I would have given up teaching for an illusion of talent, a dream of arrogance. I have, I feel, proved that I AM a versatile writer, that I can weave a web of words in such a way that it catches the spidery emotions of others.

Rediscovering the sheer delight of playing musical instruments with other people has been such a revelation.  Dancing too! It is so good to let go, to shake one’s body wildly, to let the inner rhythm guide, to allow fingers to coax out tunes heard so clearly in the head. I am blessed indeed by the people who have unlocked that door for me once more, who have ushered me in with a smile that says, ‘You can do it!’

Though my voice has been dimmed, and my dancing feet tremble with uncertainty, that passionate spirit, that need to sing and let the music out remains intact – and will find an outlet no matter what the forces of chaos and domination set in its way.

Nature has been solace and incredible inspiration this year. From Full Moons to the strange Sun love I experienced upon a weeping walk one day; from dragonflies glimpsed over a small lake to Lake children beaming their broken beauty in a clearing; from hares to Moon Moths – each aspect of the natural world has been a gift.

In a strange way, the intense fear, panic and pain has also been a blessing, if only because it has allowed me to feel other people’s sadness and suffering as if it were my own. Their stories may be very different to mine, but the basic inner wounding is the same – and my heart goes out to their helpless and crying inner children.

I am, I suppose, motherly. People have always said that I am an Earth Mother type. I try to protect people, put my arms round them, hug them; I always want to make people better.

I recognise a deep need to allow blessings, solace, peace and healing into my life. It is easy for me to give such things. Much harder to open the hatch of distrust and let them flow my way.

The incredible difficulties I have faced with relatives this year have, oddly enough, constituted a blessing, albeit a dark one. At least things are coming to a head, are coming up to be examined and, with luck, resolved.  It hurts and will continue so to do. It has revealed deep grief, wrong decisions, weaknesses and insensitivity; it has shown, only too starkly, the breaking points, the flaws, the small cruelties. It has released the Furies from Pandora’s Box – and that box can never again be closed.


Truth is scouring and agonising as it rips scabs off and lets blood flow. Ultimately, though, if faced, it can bring in its wake the warmth of true bonds, the relief of healing and the blessing of deep communication.

On Golden Wing – The Song of Nephthys


I shall be posting my piece about the wonderful Silent Eye weekend later, if I have time, but, for the moment, enjoy this beautiful poem, from Sue Vincent’s  blog, which formed such an important part of the gathering of love and laughter.

Originally posted on Daily Echo:

On golden wing she glides.
still within the stillness.
Her heartbeat that of Nut, the sky
Unloved, unnoticed save by those
whose time it is to die
Between the lattice of time
Before the notion of cause
Within the will of the wind
Points the golden one downward
Childless, mother of the Walker
Strange beyond measure
Deeper than purpose
of thought of intent
Everywhere at once to those waiting
She emerges from time’s breath
And waiting is life
And living is death
And dying is birth
So she waits at the end of time
Alone, but she hungers
For the touch of a feather stranger than hers
For one who weaves silence with infinite grace
And will drive them,
spinning and screaming,
into the arms of the waiting earth

Steve Tanham, the Silent Eye, Land of the Exiles 2014

View original

Brief Hiatus.

Firstly, I do apologise for my lack of response to comments. I am preparing to go offline for the next three or four days, and there has been a great deal to do in order for this to happen. I WILL write back, Monday or Tuesday.

Secondly, I will not be posting anything until Monday at the very earliest – and, since I am having a screen-free three days, will not be able to access anyone else’s writing either. So, please don’t be offended if I do not read your posts.

I am, as many of you will be aware, taking part in the Silent Eye weekend. It is going to be amazing; I know that.

I hope to be writing at least one post about it next week.

Have a lovely weekend, all of you, and I’ll be back next week!





Please read. Many of you will have followed Marilyn Armstrong’s recent surgeries. This post shows, only too clearly, the dark side of the medical profession.

Originally posted on SERENDIPITY:

One of the things I’ve discovered about blogging is you can say stuff that you might be reluctant or timid to share in normal conversation.

I’m talking about myself and Marilyn. About the medical profession and patients. Marilyn is an aggressive advocate. I’m passive. I usually try to be diplomatic, relying on the quiet, persuasive approach honed over 40 years as a TV news reporter. Marilyn’s learned you can’t always be pleasant or nice in dealing with the establishment. Be it doctors, lawyers, politicians, merchants or your affable cable company. Nice guys often finish last. Even worse, in the medical profession, their lives are often in jeopardy.

I’ve sometimes thought Marilyn was too judgmental with doctors, nurses, medical technicians, medical office managers or HMOs. Color me naïve and maybe stupid for all my years in the news media spotlight. The past dozen years have been almost a continuing nightmare for Marilyn…

View original 426 more words

Fighting for the Underdog! Daily Prompt

My response to today’s Prompt.


Give me an underdog – and I’ll be in there, sword in the en garde position, mask on, ready to lunge, ready to FIGHT.

I always have been. Perhaps because I have been the underdog myself so often.

One duel in particular springs to mind.

Did I win? No. Not in terms of points scored, medals given, power grabbed back.

It cost me dear, in fact, in the material sense.

But morally?

Yes, I won that bout.

Gather closer, and hear my tale.

My philosophy as a teacher was always: Child first; system second. This did not always go down well, as you can imagine. I cannot bear this whole, ‘One Size Fits All’ approach to education – and fought it passionately. One size, quite clearly, does NOT fit all – and, if the child has any kind of Special Needs, the problem of rigid expectations and rules becomes exacerbated a hundred-fold.

I was a Deputy Head of Year, and an English teacher at the time. One girl in the House I worked with, Amanda,* was extremely troubled. She was being physically and emotionally abused at home – though the extent of this was not known at the time – and, although well above-average in intelligence, was being disruptive in lessons, under-achieving and truanting.

Her tutor, a brilliant and compassionate man, was absolutely on her side – and tried his best, against considerable hostility from other colleagues, to fight this girl’s corner.

But, the feeling was that exceptions should not be made – and that the full force of the Suspension Proceedure should be used in order to get Amanda to behave, conform, become a sausage one could feel proud of squeezing out of the Sausage factory.

I disagreed, felt, in my gut, that this child – punished so often and so violently at home – was unlikely to respond to a punitive and narrow regime at school.

A meeting was held, about Amanda. Senior colleagues were there, as was I and the tutor. I spoke up in defence of Amanda, and, in so doing, openly disagreed with the viewpoint being put forward by my seniors. Not the most diplomatic of moves – but I did not want this child’s welfare to be compromised because of a hard line being taken by the, to me, blinkered members of the team.

Fury was unleashed in my direction. I was accused of being disloyal, unsupportive, unhelpful.

Ultimately, this fiery outburst of mine meant that I progressed no further up the slippery and specious ladder of promotion. I was, ever after, seen as a maverick and dangerous to boot!

Good! Bring it on!

The tutor and I continued to work with Amanda for the rest of her time at the school – and she got through without being thrown out.

I have never regretted my actions, my anger and protectiveness. I would do it again if I were still a teacher.

The system does work for many children. But not all. And those for whom it does not work should not be penalised, have their spirits broken, be treated as criminals, just because they do not fit the educational identikit.

The senior ‘fencers’ won on priority. The fifteen points on the electric box mattered more to them than the actual child.

I lost, but Amanda survived.

Many young people do not

So, that is a loss I can wear with pride.

*not her real name


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The sweet things children say…

I read such a lovely post this morning. Written by Lydia Devadason, it shared the wonders of the child’ s mind, and the things our little ones can say! Link below:


This took me back to the days of my own child’s toddler-hood, and reminded me of the hilarious words which came tumbling out of his mouth in those far-off, fifteen-years-ago days.

He talked early, for a boy (not being sexist here; I have just been told, by many other parents who have had both, that girls generally get mouth into communicative gear earlier than boys!) – and was speaking in sentences before he reached two.

As you know, I have been keeping a journal since I was fourteen, and it contains many pages concerning my son’s development. The lines, taken from a conversation we had during Apple Day,  below were written in October 1999, a month before he turned two:

‘Mummy’s got snuggly arms!’

‘Beautiful sky, Mummy; lovely clouds!’

‘Baby rabbits? Quiet! Baby rabbits playing with mummy!’

‘Sunset: sun’s gone to bed.’

‘I had happy, busy day, Mummy!’

‘I happy boy!’

Apple Day

These still have the ability to reduce me to tears because they capture that tiny boy so perfectly.

Others, by contrast, were absolutely HILARIOUS and have become part of the family memory. Strawberries and raspberries, for example, were given a highly original portmanteau word by the small one: GORGIES! 

Once, stranded in the low branch of a tree, he was asked, by his father, ‘Do you need help to get down?’

And his response, a very polite but firm, ‘I can MADAGE, thank you!’  still tickles me pink.

But his funniest response, without a doubt, came one night when, after the story-telling, the hugs, the Mummy/Son Goodnight ritual, Him Indoors asked the two-year-old, ‘Would you like to go to bed now?’

The answer, swiftly delivered and unequivocal, makes me laugh to this day:

‘I’d rather chop my own bottom off!’

Well, that’s telling you, parents! Can’t be any clearer than that, really, can one?

That’ll be a ‘No’, then!

Liberation of a large and lascivious leman!



Pre-Raphaelite picture found on Google Images

What I need to today is…

A real feisty, legs open, let the world in, big hitter type of blogging experience. Not a disappointing dribble of words, seeping sadly into the linen of life. Not a miserable, head to the wall, eyes cast down, mouth-a-pucker, ready tears imminent, kind of post…

Nay, nay! I have done more than enough of that in my time – reaching timidly for this weedy, weaky, trembling persona of a female who is not, and never has been, the true me.

But the Wild Child is on the way back! She pushes me out onto a dark road, alone, on Moon Full nights; she reminded me of the self I was in Aberystwyth; she is shrieking in my ears, ‘Whose anxiety is it you are carrying anyway, Girl? Because a good half of it CLEARLY has been transplanted from elsewhere…’

Enough of this polite, little finger decorously round the thin porcelain handle of the tea cup type of attitude. I snap the fuckers off for a pastime, me! Out of sheer exuberant clumsiness, not malice!

If I want to dance outside, or play music with a Morris Dancing team in the street; if I want to dress strangely and risk embarrassing those of a more sensitive disposition; if, in a word, I want to be me, Ali, and not some pale copy of same, I will damn well do so.

I had thirty years of cramming my spirit down into the box of Teacher Identikit masks – and I am not prepared to do it any longer.

So, yes, I am a big woman, and by no means perfect: I eat too much, and often the ‘wrong’ things; I do not make the most of myself, I am regularly told, in the hair, clothes and make-up department; I am loud and raucous; I swear like a navvy and my laugh frightens some people because it is completely OTT; there are, and always have been, those who would dearly love me to tone down, be more feminine, be less rude, be quieter – whilst, at the same time, remaining sexy.

But, I have news for those people. You cannot turn yourself on and off, in that sense, on someone else’s whim. You cannot dumb down, squash down, pull in, cinch metaphorical tight belt round the waist forever – or not without causing damage to body and soul.

I am breaking out, folks; I am smashing the window of my cell and climbing to freedom!

Will You be my friend? Daily Prompt


Thanks to Google Images for the picture below:


Will you stick around,

And not laugh or judge,

When I take my violin

Out of its case, tune up,

Rosin the bow, and find

The magic of music in my head

Imperfectly translated

By very basic technique?


Will you be my friend

If, recorder in hand,

I wish to join in with street players?

If I want to perform Irish jigs,

Crazy sea shanties,

And folk songs, know and unknown,

In front of others?


Can I trust you

To look at my ritual robes,

Cords, Quarter Lights,

Books on esoteric subjects,

And still want to be seen with me?

Can I talk to you about Moons -

Full, Waning, Waxing, Blood Red and Super Full -

And know that you, too,

Are touched by lunar glitter?


Can I trust you

To acknowledge our

Differences without scorn, spite,

The weighted scales of judgement?

Or will you snap the band of prejudice

In my fearful eye, reeling off

The reasons why I am wrong, you right?


Can I trust you enough

To let go and weep

Without being told

My tears are manipulation,

Wanting to get my own way?

Will you put arms round me

And hug me warmly when I sob?

When I call, will you answer

Without conditions

Imposed to secure your

Image in the world’s eyes?


When I do something wrong,

Annoying, thoughtless, rude,

Can I trust you to tell me straight

And not leave me in purgatorial

Silence, fury’s waves beating me back,

For hours, even days?


Will you play with me,

Entertain the idea of unicorns

And wyverns, fairies, elves

And mystical kingdoms

Just to see the smile dance across my face?

Will you let me into

Your own Land of Imagination?

Will you tell me stories of

The younger you,

Knowing that I thirst for this glimpse

Of a self I shall never meet?


Will you call me, text me, meet me,

Show pleasure in my company -

As I do in yours – just BECAUSE?

Will you want to be with me

Because I am me and you are you

And we are loving warm friends?

Will you approach me

Without cynical agenda?

Love me even when I am imperfect?


Can I trust you to be committed

To me, to our friendship?

Can I trust you not to reject me

For more exciting, less anxious,


Can I trust that you will

See my huge insecurity

And not be put off by the flaws?


Will you hold my hand now, friend?

And let us climb to the top of this hill -

And, then, still clasped,

Roll, laughing, down to the bottom

Just because the sun is out

And the sap is rising

And Spring is blossoming

And it is a great day to be alive!


Will you slurp hot chocolate and marshmallows

With me, in a coffee shop,

Licking froth off lips and smiling broadly?

Will you share adventures with me?

Will you do the unexpected?

Will you watch me plaiting daisies

And not think me childish?

Will you laugh with me,

Support me, as I will you,

When things hurt in my life?


Or will you tell me

That I expect too much,

Am impossible to please,

Have serious emotional problems,

And am making things difficult?

Will you be put off by the cracks -

Which are many, I agree -

Or will you bathe in my light?


Will you see

The love in my heart,

The loyalty for friends?

Will you see

That I will hold you

In my soul’s Grail



Male, female, sexuality,

Colour, nationality,

None of these matter:

If you are my friend,

I will fight for you,

Defend you and yours,

Help you when I can,

Love your company,

And celebrate our bond.


And, when I die,

You will each

Be engraved

Upon my heart’s inner chambers.


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Thanks to Google Images for the sign below:Print

I confess that I do not want to understand the bullying mentality. Never have done. Today, I feel very sad. Part of that sadness relates to the presence of bullies in our world.

What kind of perverted power do they get from wounding the bodies, minds and souls of weaker, gentler, more Omega members of the tribe?

I was bullied, intimidated, even beaten up throughout my time at primary school. The cycle of emotional, and occasionally physical, violence continued well into my time at Milham Ford.

I shudder as I recall an incident which occurred when I was nine. I cannot now remember what I had done to annoy the Best Friend/Worst Enemy who tormented me for years – but, clearly, I had done something because, with an ease I still find terrifying, she had, by morning Break, turned the whole class against me. I shall never forget that years’ long twenty minutes as I wandered around the Playground, completely alone, looking at stony faces, backs turned, hearing my name being sneered threateningly through the dangerous air.

I was on a constant knife-edge as a child: Never sure of my ground, always fearful, seeking approval, flattering, grovelling I suppose.

But, what is really awful is that I became, for one brief and horrible moment, a bully myself. Even now this memory causes shame and utter misery, and a frantic wish to turn the clock back and have it not happen.

During the years of teaching ‘Lord of the Flies’, I always used the memory I am about to share with you as evidence of the Darkness within Mankind. And I think the reason the novel is so frightening is not because of its nihilistic message, or its murderous violence per se; I think it is because each and every one of us has to confront the Inner Jack, the Beast of Fear, the Bully Within. Each one of us has to come to terms with the lethal potential of collective rage, of the tribal mentality and the craven wish to follow in the slipstream of more assertive personalities.

There was a child in my primary school class who was the combined Piggy and Simon of the hierarchy: He was slightly disabled, and he was odd, over-sensitive, not quite like the rest. The other boys treated him appallingly, and some of the girls were just as cruel.

I tried to keep out of the cycle of nastiness – but I am also ashamed to say that I made no overt effort to befriend or help this vulnerable child. None of us did. He was friendless and alone.

Then, one day, the group mind took over. There is no excuse for this; I am just stating the facts.

There was a swimming pool near the dining area and we all got changed for our aquatic lessons in cloakrooms at either end.

I cannot now remember whose idea it was to steal our victim’s clothes and towel, to steal and hide – leaving him, frail and exposed (because his stigma was only obvious when he was unclothed), before us all.

What I can remember, very clearly, is the sun shining through the high windows creating planes and dips on the skinny naked form of the child as he walked, sobbing and shaking, his private shame on full view, and the awful echoing laughter of the stronger members of the class.

I can remember that I wanted to cry, but that I did NOTHING to stop the process.

When I got home that afternoon, I confessed to my mother straightaway.

So, I can understand how even someone who is not naturally vicious can get carried away by the group ethos. I can see that a combination of insecurity and a wish to be part of the tribe can end in tragedy.

Why has this come up, you may ask? I’ll tell you: A friend of mine has flagged up the whole business of cyber-bullying, that cowardly and nasty nipping in and out, often anonymously, of other people’s supposedly safe and warm on line ‘homes’, leaving their verbal carnage behind them.

It has happened to me in the past. I was frightened off for months. But I am not going to let myself be intimidated by bullies, be they cyber or actual, any longer. I have had enough.

Stand up to the buggers, I say! Show them what pathetic weedy little souls they actually are. Show them that we are bigger than their malice, their twisted desire to cause pain, their inadequacy.

Show them that love is more powerful.

I do not want to understand the bullying mentality – but, understanding and tacit acknowledgement both bring choices in their wake.

And I choose not to bully others.

Boredom! Wasted Time! If only… Daily Prompt



Focusing ain’t the problem, nor is meeting deadlines. In such matters, I am a complete ANAL RETENTIVE. I could have a PhD in GETTING THE WORK DONE. Such is my acute anxiety that the ‘DEAD‘ of ‘deadline’ has real meaning for me.

I dream of boredom! I would thrill to its dusty and turgid touch! I would embrace its mildewed old Oxford don, chuntering the endless cycle of Mediaeval History into thankless lecture rooms in  gloriously ancient colleges!

Time-wasting? Bring it on, in spades!

Boredom has answers. It has clear solutions and strategies. It is, when you get right down to it, FINITE.

Boring person? Maundering away in unenlightened and undramatic monologue about who cares what? Sack the fucker! Turn your back on him or her or it! Do not answer door, phone, text or email! Pretend you have been abducted by rabbit-headed aliens, that you have a revoltingly contagious affliction which causes you to burst, like an overfull Hoover bag, when the Moon is full. Lie, through teeth and dentures.

Time’s Winged Chariot sprung a very long, tedious and hard to fix puncture? Find something else to do! Make a luridly coloured Rainbow Cake. With Smarties! Count your moles! Floss your fangs within an inch of their lives! Buy a goat!

Hours hanging corpse-heavy on your hands? Pacing up and down the carpets in your abode, moaning, ‘God, I’m so bored!!!’

Read! Write! Pick your nose, or a quarrel with someone you detest!  Groom a guinea pig. Take the wheelbarrow for a walk. Propose marriage to a lamp-post!

When the Amygdala is set on regulo 9 permanently, boredom has the allure of Tantric Sex.

Because, you see, boredom implies a certain laid-back insouciance, an ability to be so unstimulated by life that you would willingly gnaw your own foot off just to get the adrenaline flowing.

It suggests a man, or woman, at one with the crazily vibrating screen of choice. Goggle-eyed. Literally. Thumb in bum and mind in neutral.

It also has, behind its everyday facade of emotional deprivation, the expectation that we all, in some odd way, DESERVE to be externally entertained – and stimulated (if you’ll excuse the double entendre!) – twenty-four hours a day.

And yet, for all this scathe and humour, I cannot help envying those lucky souls who bend to boredom’s flaccid and unadventurous whim.

But, mindful of the saying, ‘Be careful what you wish for: you might get it…’ I won’t offer to trade my anxiety for someone else’s Yawn Factor.



  1. Why Bother | AS I PLEASE
  3. When Morning Breaks | The Mirror Obscura
  4. Daily Prompt: Wasted Days and Wasted Nights- Psychology, Why People Are Lazy | Journeyman
  5. Procrastination | Knowledge Addiction
  6. The Match (Part 8) The Ride To Mother’s | The Jittery Goat
  7. DP Daily Prompt: Wasted days and wasted nights | Sabethville
  8. Daily Prompt: Wasted Days and Wasted Nights | The WordPress C(h)ronicle
  9. Focus! | The Ambitious Drifter
  10. directions | yi-ching lin photography
  11. Just Do It Piece By Piece | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  12. Forever Distracted | Musings | The Wangsgard

My favourite comment so far!


On June 19th, I shall have been blogging for two years.

In that time, I have received over seven thousand comments, mostly since I joined WordPress.

SEVEN THOUSAND. Isn’t that wonderful?

I am so lucky.

One stands out above all the rest, however, and amazingly, I have NO IDEA who it is from.

Here it is:

‘Your edgy and joyful bawdiness is like a bit of heaven here on earth.

Wonderfully expressed, deeply moving, vastly appreciated.

I do not know who you are, but thank you so much.

Ali’s Erotica: A gripe! Some swearing and anger.

I am a bit pissed-off, to be honest. I’ll tell you why.

My Top Search Terms every single day of every single week show one thing with abundant clarity: Sex is what some of the punters are looking for.

Or at least the written expression of sex.

One of my favourite types of writing is HUMOROUS EROTICA, the four Greek Sexy Sunday pieces being prime examples.


According to my statistics, in the eight months I’ve been on here, my sexual pieces, whether serious or funny, are enormously successful and get more hits than anything else.

Why, then, do individual posts get almost no likes or comments?

It makes my BLOOD BOIL to think that pieces I have crafted light-heartedly, or seriously, for fun, to provide laughter and a heart-felt message about sensuality, are being, in effect, RELEGATED TO THE GUILTY WANK PILE.

The impression I am getting is this: My Greek Sexy Sunday stuff, and similar, is being ignored on the surface – yet no ever tells me I am breaking any blogging rules by writing so graphically – and then people scuttle back to them, under cover of darkness and in anonymity, to feast, to read, to slaver.

But rarely to agree, support, suggest that I might not be alone in thinking the way I do about pleasure, sexuality, making love.

Come on, guys (in the non-gender-specific sense), someone’s reading the bloody things. LOTS OF SOMEONES, ACTUALLY.

Of the 30,000 or so hits I have had so far, I reckon AT LEAST TWO THOUSAND, AND PROBABLY MORE, have come from sexual posts.


And have I had two thousand likes? A thousand comments? On erotica, I mean, not the blog as a whole.


Every single sexual piece I write goes down like a lead balloon, or a rat sandwich, only to return at Masturbate O’ Clock at night, with the silent hands caressing it and reading its ‘sinful’ contents under the duvet.

Thank you so much to those who are brave enough to admit that my writing gives them pleasure (in the global sense); thank you to those possessed of a functioning sense of humour who can see that much of human sexual activity is FUCKING HILARIOUS! And thank you to those lovely people who are able to see that I am a wordsmith, and take a pride in my work, whether I am writing about tears, tantrums or tantric sex; whether I am describing a meditation vision or a spectacular orgasm.

Sex as Sin is getting a tad passe, in my opinion. Boring even.

The irony of this whole situation is that if I had set myself up as a writer of adult material, and nothing else, I’d be overwhelmed with likes and comments (salubrious or otherwise); but, because I am a general jobbing writer, covering a wide range of material, my erotic posts are seen, I suspect, as naughty, dirty, tasteless, rude, not suitable by many.

Do others of you out there, who dabble in the occasional sexual post, find the same? Or is it just me?



Family Outing from Hell: Daily Prompt




No matter how down in spirits I am, the memories of this crazy day eighteen months ago always brings a smile and a laugh or twenty. My sisters and I met up for the day, intending to take a scenic walk…

Blenheim Palace was to be our destination, the idea being to have a gentle stroll followed by a sumptuous repast down by – or, knowing us, in – the lake.

In England? In December?!

Yes, well, someone in the extended tribe had thumb in bum and mind in neutral coming up with that entry for Cretinous Decision of the Year Award. As the oldest member of the family who is still compos mentis, I take full responsibility.

With typical Our Family prioritising, we spent ten seconds planning the route and eight weeks squabbling over the menu. We don’t do map reading, by and large – and this is, perhaps, just as well since our driving skills tend to be execrable, and only one of us can drive on the motorway without a large bidet of Valium.

However, my father – faced with four daughters, poor sod – did manage to get us all married off before the grandchildren appeared (though in my case it was a tight call…), and so, on occasions like this, the husbands really come into their own.

I think they actually deserve a medal because, in addition to being geographically useless, we four ‘girls’ (stretching that word as far as it will go before it segues into ‘crone’), are quarrelsome, loud and cackle like witches at the slightest thing – usually the very thing that no one else in the entire world would find funny.

Someone, I can’t now remember who, had volunteered to spring the Chief Hag (as we affectionately refer to our mother) from her home – and all, therefore, was ready for a super day out..
We met in a pub carpark in Woodstock. Knowing that precise coordinates would be worse than useless, Sister number 3 thoughtfully told us all to look for the hostelry stuck slap bang in the bumcrack of the town. Who needs a map with that kind of instruction, eh?

By one of those odd little synchronicities that tend to occur in families, we had all bought newish cars since last seeing one another, and they were all the same model: to protect the innocent, I shall refer to them as quasi hearses for the duration. Different colours, thank God, but otherwise identical.

Once we’d done all the hugging and kissing and, ‘How are you?’ ing (in my mother’s case, ‘Who are you?’ ing), we looked at the storm-clad sky and, as one, decided that it wasn’t the right day (or country, or family come to that) for a walk.

Getting back into our respective hearses, we went for the large feast at nearest sibling’s house option - and thought that the convoy was the safest way of getting us back … though, as it transpired, police escort and helicopter overhead might have been a better bet.

We got lost, of course: the lead car – my branch of the family tree’s – turned right at entirely the wrong moment, following what can only be described as an inadvertent decoy. Well, in our defence, it was a green car, and it did have a certain hearsiness about it.

A few rustic miles later, Sister 2 rang me on the mobile and, amidst hoots of hysterical laughter, informed me that the rest of them had already arrived.

My advice: if you ever see three large cars, identical in design and piled to the rafters with screeching middle-aged females, beat your Sat Nav until it comes up with an alternative route.

And then, get off the road sharpish…

Ali’s Wings

‘Ali‘ means ‘Wings‘ in Italian: Valeriu D.G. Barbu (brilliant poet) told me this earlier in a comment on here.

How wonderful!

This knowledge is a gift.

Alienora‘ – light or bright.


Despite the humour of my ‘Greek Sexy Sunday#14‘(http://alienorajt.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/greek-sexy-sunday-14/) response post, I am feeling fragile and sad today.

The poem, ‘Soul “Rape“‘ (http://alienorajt.wordpress.com/2014/04/05/soul-rape/)I posted last night explains why.

This coming weekend, I shall set off for the second Silent Eye weekend.

My great furled wings come with me.

The link below expresses my hopes: that there WILL come an Unchain My Heart/Soul moment.


I have gathered these three recent posts here because, put together, they represent me: the humour, the bawdiness, the blunt, speech, the lyrical side, the magical element, the sadness and the attempt to break free from chains.

Thank you, Valeriu, for giving me my name wings.





Thanks, for this most unusual – and erotic! – Four of Clubs, go, once more, to Cardinal Guzman! Please click onto his link before reading my piece; that way, you will see exactly what I am describing!

Calliope speaks!

Ummmmmmmmm! I shall never be able to look a sauna bench in the eye again! My moist lips part a little at the memory and I dart a cat triangle of pink tongue out, lick, lick, lick, lascivious lick!

I had lusted after you forever, Manolis: found myself glancing up at your luxuriant beard, the tempting tufts of chest hair – and, dare I say it, the unmistakable shape of your phallus through the thin white of your Summer toga.

I knew, from your sidelong looks (when you thought I was so unaware! Dear man, do you imagine I was born yesterday?), that my fulsome curves attracted you too – and, let’s put it this way (Oh, Manolis, you can put it wherever you want!), the massive blood-rush you experienced that time on the roof went nowhere near your head!

Did I drape myself so becomingly on purpose? Of course I did!

Do you recall? That sultry sweaty day when you, with the rest of your battalion, came marching into Athens for a few days away from military exercises.

As I heard the stomping of sandal-clad feet in the dust, as my womanly areas felt the usual frisson at the presence of your manly physique, I, ever so casually (claiming, to my maid, that I was afflicted by a touch of heat stroke!), removed my floor-length gown and, letting it fall to the surface of the roof, upon which I was reclining, stood up – just as you walked by!

I still don’t know quite how I managed to drop that precious vase in the road at your feet, nor why I swayed as if overcome by swooning faintness, showing – I will confess – the tautness of my large breasts and a brief glimpse of the silky black hair between my thighs.

You looked up! Of course you did! And, oooh so exciting, your face flushed a terra-cotta colour at the body posed so erotically before you.

Even from my perch atop the roof, I could see that you were interested, to say the very least! My own response was immediate – and, I knew, in that instant, that I had to have you right then and there!

Put it down to the heat if you will – but I was a woman on a mission; I was on heat myself to such an extent that an entire pool full of cold water would have sizzled had I leapt in to cool down.

Making sure that the sensual poses remained, I undulated down the outer steps and, panting like a hart at bay, flowing from some areas and jutting out in others, I grabbed your dirt-ingrained calloused hand and pulled you with me – towards the communal sauna!

Now, as an aside, some of my female friends (once I had confessed ALL, as we girls tend to!) expressed huge shock.

‘Calliope!’ Helena said, in horrified tones, ‘How could you? He must have been all dirty and smelly and – oh Gods, yuck, no thank you! I always make my men wash, scrape and shave before I permit so much as a chaste kiss!’

Aha! Ladies of Athens, I am known as an oddity! Yes, ’tis true: I find a sweaty, smelly, well-exercised man a HUGE turn-on!

And, let me assure you, my reason for luring you into this heated area had NOTHING to do with cleanliness!

Were you embarrassed? Shy? Worried?

Did I care?

No – and NO, definitely NOT!

There comes a time, in the rushing tide of lust, when morals go out of the door – and one would be unable to stop even if the entire Greek Army were watching!

I had reached this point – and knew that, if I didn’t have you within seconds, I would, in all probability, burst and become laminated all over the walls!

I lay down upon the hot slatted bench – caring nothing for the first degree burn stripes I would suffer from later! – and, lowering my eyelids to half-mast, slowly ran my tongue over my inviting lips, opening my legs as I did so.

The huge pillow (or possibly small dancing-girl: frankly, I was past noticing or caring) slipped beneath my back allowed me to lift my prize peaches off the fiery slats – and, as you knelt in front of me, I could see that your Weapon Of Mass Seduction was quivering in pre-orgasmic strain!

Now, again, I must pause at this delicate moment: again, I am in a minority, according to my more decorous female friends, in my sexual tastes.

Maria said to me once, ‘My favourite part is the after – when he tells you how beautiful you are and how much he loves you. The actual act bores me rather!’

‘Well,’ I said, in my forthright way, ‘each to her own, but I love a good thick phallus inside me!’

Maria has not spoken to me since – and cuts me whenever we pass in the streets, the prissy mare!

Where was I? Oh, yes, about to receive that which I like best!

Manolis was just resting upon the rim of my vaginal vault when, bugger me sideways, the door slammed open and a hideous creature towing an easel crab-wised his way into our spontaneous moment.

‘Wait!’ he bellowed in a petulant voice. ‘Don’t go any further. Four of Hearts!’

But he was too late: Manolis had reached the point of no ejaculatory return and with a swift slam into me, he started to thrust like a bucking horse,  with me giving him every encouragement and arching my own body underneath.

The painter (for such the repulsive little homunculus was) was torn, I suspect, between capturing what he could remember with his pencil – and reaching into the foetid depths of his toga for a tug of his loin implement!

His portrait of this lubricious moment has caused many a masturbatory fantasy when I am, as you might say, between cocks!

We came simultaneously.

All three of us.

Though not, I rather think, the flattened slave-girl!




Mythical Beings


Dark Wings:This name was given to me a year ago – and I love it. I have always known I had wings – and, aware of their infinite possibilities, instinctively saw them in dark shades, never the traditional white and gold.

I love to drift away upon the feathers of the imagination. Especially at the moment when my rational, everyday world is studded with the metal tips of pain and panic.

Why shouldn’t there be fairies, elves, mythical beasts, alternative universes? Why can’t we see, and speak with, hares and gryphons, satyrs and centaurs?

I do not like to limit myself! I like to soar up to the stratosphere, and beyond; I like to peer into all the little celestial cubby-holes and see what manner of life lurks there!

Unicorns? Bring them on!

We think we are taming the world through Science and Logic – but it is more elusive and elastic, sentient and wise than that. It keeps its secrets, and smiles politely in the face of each new wave of modern enthusiasm.

We all have wings. We just choose not to use them. We become earthbound as an act of will, not out of inevitability. We will the child out of our systems: ‘Go, Child!’ we say, in one form or another, ‘And do not return!’

Crouched beneath my dark wings, I have protected that little child, that former me – the Bambi self. And I still let her spin in the rain, wet hair flying madly around her head; I allow her to follow butterflies, dragonflies and invisible beings wherever they take her. I encourage her to dance wildly, sing out of doors, find enchantment in EVERYTHING and fall happily asleep in the sunny meadow of restful silence.

I shall stretch out my dark wings to protect it, and me.

And you.

Dark Wings and Peacock Hope: Daily Prompt



Picture painted by the talented and lovely Sue Vincent – and given to me a year ago.


Sometimes, we go into a long hard Winter in our own lives. Like Persephone, we travel to the Underworld. Symbolically, Summer is the time of return. It is the time of the Sun’s rebirth – and, if we allow it to be, our own. This is a metaphorical response to the prompt.

I did not choose you, black and painful feathers dragging upon shoulders and back. You, it would seem, chose me. Dark Wings is your name, and you have travelled with me every step of 2013 and 2014′s way. You will not go away. Though you are weak and unstable, unsupportive and capricious, I cannot banish, burn, bend or break you. The times I have left you – in forested areas, slipped into fast-running streams, wedged between grey rocks on high Tors – you have cried out, in your own strange tongue, and followed me via the unwitting hands of others. For, despite the terrible wrenching pain, and the bloodied furrows, I have pulled you out, screeching quill after screeching quill, on several fruitless occasions.

But you are more than a word, aren’t you? If you were just letters, an inanimate alphabetical soup of meaning, I could cope. But you aren’t. No, you are pain as well, and fear so intense that, sometimes, I think I am going to die from it.

I feel it now as I write.

I long to turn the dark tide, to grasp greedily at the Grail of Sun and hope, to drink warm and positive and joyous things.


Two days ago, during a meditation, a new word began to grow. A word which has many associations, all lovely, and which could herald a true breakthrough.

I shall share it with you. Let me just explain, for those new to my writing, that Amgel is an alter ego: she is a young, silver-white haired Priestess, trained, I suspect, in Atlantis, and I have seen her many times on the Inner Planes. She is, if you like, an aspect of my Higher Self.


Robed in peacock feathers

Wings of the West

Hollow cartilage tubes

Filling with Moon water,

Amgel looks on:

Our girl, and yet not her,

Higher self

Tending to lower wounds.

Wings, dark and damp,

Pinioned to frail flesh

and faltering hope,

As if squeezed through

The universal birth canal

And left to dry in

The salty aftermath of tearful tumult

Gentle skull planed with love

Fingers stroking

As a mother, not a lover,

To comfort and heal and reassure;

Hands warmly tracing

The dips and curves of face,

Neck, shoulders, arms, hands;

Down over the faint ghostly breast bruises,

The motherly cuddly plumpness of tummy,

The sore and tense length of spine,

The hurting private areas.

Cupping buttocks with infinite softness

Running down thighs

Over the ridged ledge

Where dog’s teeth once ripped,

Soothing fraught skin

And sad aching bones,

Moulding palms to rounded knees…

‘Love of self is where it starts,

Peacock-Winged girl!’

Velvety finger pads press lightly on hair

A blessing and a combing from the heart.

‘You are broken -

But you can mend…

With love, care, patience, gentleness.

The right hands will appear

In time -

And you will recognise them

As your own…

And those of the beloved Higher one.

‘Fly free, Peacock girl!

The dark coverings are moulting,

As they must…

Leaving the viridescence

Of true splendour behind.

‘You are the baby of your own heart,

The lover within your own arms and body.

And YOU decide who comes in and who stays out,

Who is welcome and who is not.’

The dragonflies alight upon the crown

Moon Moths cluster at the aching throat

Hares nestle upon the secret lap,

The salmon swims, ancient and wise.

She knows she is loved

And protected:

The creatures guard.

Maybe any transformation, like human birth, hurts intensely and causes great fear. Maybe I cannot escape this part of the cycle, as my raw new self pushes its way down from the Chalice of Rebirth, through the deep and dark tunnel and out into the world.

Soul ‘Rape’

I have been reading, and responding to, Gene and Diana’s brilliant thread on Rape. Here is the link: 


This poem deals with a specific man, and a very personal incident. It is NOT, in any way, meant to point the finger at men generally. But it does show the way that Gas Lighters, and Narcissists, and predators (all three of which contain both men and women) ‘persuade’ their supply that they are, inevitably, in the wrong.

I am lucky in the sense that, though the sexual attack did involve some painful probing, I have never actually been raped in the purely sexual sense. But, assault tears part of the psychic protective layer, makes us vulnerable to the far more insidious – yet just as damaging in its own way – emotional rape. It is the latter I describe in this poem: the way a dominant personality can work on the mind to such an extent that the ‘victim’ comes to believe every single derogatory word said against him/her.


Is it right

That you point the finger at me,

Spit harsh words in my face,

Accuse me of Sin?


Is it just

That you shriek at me

That I am thrusting my tits

In other men’s faces?


Is it true,

As you snarlingly insist,

That my pupils dilate,

I am girlish and giggly?


That I am,

In the unspoken word

Which speaks volumes,

Asking for it?


Am I a Lamia,

A harlot of a certain age,

A temptress, well-hidden

Behind weight and poor dress-sense?


Is it fair

To claim, as you do,

That I FORCE other men

Into suggestiveness with me?


Is it sane

When you tell me

That my provocative remarks

Are bound to arouse?


Is it true,

As you imply,

That NO man can control

His private urges?


Do I believe

That I am at fault

For triggering, with my body’s unconscious moves,

The lust which cannot be reigned in?


Am I still convinced

That your erection,

Thinking of fantasy scenarios,

Is my responsibility?


Am I still caught

In the net

Of agreeing to sex

On demand?


Do I still paint Eve

Upon my shamed forehead,

Lower my head

And raise my knees for you?


No. I do not.

Though tears flood,

Though body aches

And loneliness threatens.


Because, It is NOT true

That I am tart, flirt,

Lust’s withered trigger:

It never was.


It is not about

My being irresistible -

Something I have never felt

With you.


It is not about

My being so loved and sexy

That I turn you on

Twenty four seven.


If it were

My stumbling, fearful, ‘No’s

Would not be met

With back-turning fury.


My so-called free choice

Would not be

Stabbed with

Blackmail’s sharp sword.


My spirit, long chained,

Is bursting free,

And the spark

Lends colour to face.


My joy, long undermined,

Smiles, laughs, is ALIVE:

Finds pleasure

In meeting of minds.


I am not a trap,

Or a heartless siren;

I am me -

And I can love without sex.


Can YOU?


A soul and a heart can be ‘raped’ too.



YouTube Clips: Daily Prompt


Ah! I love to act, sing, dance, play musical instruments and express my love of life through body, voice and spirit. Unfortunately, I have cut my right index finger on the guinea pigs’ cage (clumsy or what?!) and typing is difficult and painful – so, instead of a long written piece (or even a short one), I am sharing two YouTube clips of me reading bits of my humorous novel – ‘Long-Leggety Beasties’ – out loud! They are very far from perfect, as you will see. Enjoy!

They are not very long – and, once all six are put together, they tell of a Cookery lesson at the fictional school which lies at the heart of the novel. I felt, however, that six at once would be completely OTT, so am breaking you in gently with a mere brace of the damn things.

If you want to view the rest, just scurry along to YouTube and type in ‘Alienora Taylor’.

I look ghastly and sound like Joyce Grenfell – but, frankly, who cares?!


kbacks & Pingbacks

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  5. The Match (Part 5) 40 Acres | The Jittery Goat
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A walk with the Fairies?

Some places have very strong otherworldly activity associated with them. The veil is thin; they are liminal areas – and, for those attuned to such things, all manner of visions and sensations can be picked up.

Velvet Bottom, a favourite dog walk of mine, has never been such a place in any obvious sense. I have walked its green and undulating landscape many times – and have never felt any tingling, unease or strange fleeting joy.

Why even the name  sounds pleasingly rustic – with just that small hint of the erotic, which so characterises Somerset names. Let me give you Nempnett Thrubwell as another classic example: sounds like a sex act, doesn’t it? Or possibly a brand name for a washing machine: ‘Ooh yes, Gladys – just throw all the dirty garments in the Thrubwell…’

Be that as it may, I took Jumble for a walk in the aforesaid Satin Posterior about ten days ago – and the following account, drawn directly from my journal, tells a tale of a very different sylvan setting.

Thursday 27th March 2014

There was strong Fey type activity at VB this morning. It started when my mobile phone signal  - which usually works there – disappeared. Completely. As if a spell had been cast on the place.

Initially, I felt perky, lively, full of energy, fair bounced along – until we got past the cattle trough on the bend. And, suddenly, the air was thronged with very noisy black birds (crows or ravens); to my right, and almost as if perched on my shoulder, came the guttural rattle of another creature of the air (sounded a bit like a pheasant, but wasn’t); it came with me, kept pace, as did the wheeling flurry above.


This picture, taken from Google Images, shows the area very well. It was here that I experienced the lassitude and the intense anxiety.

I began to feel very tired and was gradually shawled by a feeling of anxiety which verged upon dread.

It felt as if the birds were trying to warn me (the only way I can explain this). As I traversed the winding back of the ‘snake’ (a serpentine path), leading to the deep dip and the open plains, the volume of birds and their noise increased.

In the end I stopped and decided to turn back.

The moment I turned round, the birds disappeared. Totally. As if they had never been there.

The walk back over the bumps and winding paths was physically arduous: I felt exhausted and as if chains, wound round my body, were trying to pull me back.

At one point, and to my left, I caught a quick glimpse of a girl (wild, late teens/early twenties, clad in long seventies type dress in orange and brown swirls, with long unbrushed curly brown hair) – and yet, when I looked again, there was just a slim tree.

My immediate thought was, ‘A Fetch…’ I felt as if I were interacting with the spirit of the place. It felt as if some immense reservoir of feeling/emotion/sadness/wild grief were trapped under those familiar hillocks – as if something had happened to the girl I ‘saw’ and the echoes were, for some reason, reactivated today.

Once I got past the trough, the ‘chains’ gradually disappeared – and, gradually, my energy returned, though the mobile phone signal remained resolutely off.

I think that my work on the Hallowquest has reopened my Third Eye – and the lesson I’d got to (outside the Hallows themselves) was ‘The Goddess of the Land, with, as one of its tasks, an exercise to do with noticing the energy/vibrations in various different places.


The Goddess of the Land (Caitlin and John Matthews’ Arthurian tarot deck) taken from Google Images.

The strong Fey presence has now been with me three times in recent days: once on a visit to a friend who lives in Devon, the walk above – and, the third time, in a meditation, which I shall post separately, probably later on today.

Jealousy: Daily Prompt


Today’s entry – a fictional piece which contains some sexual references – deals with the results (including flute-inspired jealousy) of a  spat between the god Pan and the Archangel Michael – and involves, amongst other characters, our hero, Peter Piper, a Viking ghost named Harald and a duo of Fallen Angel-cum-Crusties. Read on if you dare! Dark humour used throughout: be warned!PAN url

Pictures of Pan and the Archangel Michael taken from Google Images…

Pan’s Pipe

Pan leered, huge priapic member thrusting out from dusky undergrowth first, horned and slitty-eyed visage following a throbbing nut-sack behind.
Green fur matted with primal and seminal ooze, the sharp tom cat odour of sex so strong as to be nose-clogging and unpleasant, the great being swaggered and clopped and posed his way through the dryad-draped long grass to the thin pathway.
Females of many species trailed in his wake, unable to prevent themselves, their bodies sucked into his powerfully malodorous presence.
Ignoring many, stepping on a fair few, nodding meaningfully at a particularly beautiful virgin, Pan reached the snake-like path and, with one fine over-arm throw, pitched his pipes into the middle. A small tornado of dust, kicked up by the God’s jagged and dirty green hoof, covered the gleaming metal briefly.
Giant and luridly pink flowers, vagina-shaped and coloured, pouted and pursed their luscious lips, gushing great floods of nectar – more than ready to be taken by the vast empurpled bees which buzzed seductively all about.
Grabbing at the pale virgin’s left breast with a none-too-gentle hand, Pan led her into the thick and pulsing heart of the forest. Animal cries followed his exit.

The Archangel watched the road, shaking his head slightly at the Horned One’s sheer musky audacity. Pan’s earthiness inspired both disgust and fascination.
‘Left it to me to finish the spell,’ Michael muttered. ‘As usual…’
Blowing aether in the direction of the instrument, the Celestial One watched as a small localized storm blew the dust away, and the pipes quite out of shape.
Transmuted, and now singular, it lay in the road’s first bend, a battered silver shape with many holes and, as yet, no name.
Michael held up his right hand, palm to the wind, and spoke thusly:
‘Thou shalt be called Flahute, Oh being of silver and music, and thou shalt travel to many lands, from the Gaulish to those as yet undiscovered. Thou shalt give much pleasure, the divine gift of song and the ability to call the Messengers. So mote it be!’
Great wings of gold and scarlet caught the heat of the noontime sun and, briefly aflame, the Being rose in the air and disappeared back into his fair and pleasant Southern Realms.

And so it came to pass as he had specified. And, hidden within its delicacy of sound, coiled like a snake ready to pounce, lay the inner secrets ejaculated by Pan.

The Flahute inspired greed and possessive love; it was stolen several times; men cut one another’s throats to gain control of its power; young women, snared and innocent, drew satyrs and seducers into their lives and bodies – and were spat out, more or less in one piece, days or weeks later.

Pan, pausing from his latest conquest, smirked.
Michael sighed.

The centuries unrolled like a world-sized map, each one uncovering another slice of the planetary pie.
And, in one hundred-year stretch – called, for Godly reasons, the twentieth of its ilk – it reached the lands now called America, where it lay, in its case, in the back of a shop almost as musky and dusky as the Horned(and horny) one who had started the whole thing!
Our lad, Peter Piper, had many of the attributes necessary for Quest-and-hero-status. He was, indeed, tall and dark and handsome; he was certainly – as fairy tale princes should be – one of three brothers though not, in the strictly chronological sense, the youngest.
He was a fit and sportsmanlike young man, adept at the modern versions of ancient games featuring odd-shaped balls, bats and large grassy areas.
That he was not a Squire in Knightly training might have caused the odd squirming gurn from the Team Up Above – but he wielded a sword of a very different nature: he was a Master of the Mac, and used it to slay dragons, rescue princesses and find Grails. He would do, at a pinch!
The Flahute, meanwhile, had lost its ‘a’ and its ‘h’: careless of it but, in the wider scheme of things, necessary.
It had to blend in, had to be a part of its time – and extraneous fourteenth century letters rather gave the game away.
Peter was a rational man, trained to follow the Journalistic Dictum of checking three sources, trained also to look at the available data before leaping the chasm into the Fey Realms.

These traits caused some consternation Up Above; in fact, Gabriel and Michael almost came to blows over it.
‘How do we get him into the emporium in the first place?’ Raphael snapped, silencing both, in the end.
Uriel, who had remained quiet up till that point, shook his hoary old head and intoned, in a voice like Continental Drift:
‘Lure him in with Retrospective Jethro Tull! Blast out Locomotive Breath and Bouree until he’s ready to sell his soul for a flute! Magic him a guru-teacher and Thor’s your uncle…’
‘Actually, it’s Bob!’ Raphael, a bit of a pedant in these matters, remonstrated.
‘Thor’s your Bob, then! Who, when you get right down to it, really cares?’

Michael, as usual, got the short straw – and was dispatched, with all speed, Down Below in order to, ‘Crank up those albums, man! Pass the bong!’ as Gabriel -who had recently come over all Sixties and was, frankly, an embarrassment to all and sundry – was wont to drawl through veils of whacky-baccy inspired smoke.

And it was so!
Suddenly, it seemed as if our Peter could not pass a street corner without Ian Anderson’s flute, vastly over-amplified, assaulting his very bone marrow.
It quite took him back, to the year he was eighteen, when he’d seen them in concert – and reignited a passion never quite spent.
He sighed. He tried cold logic. But, this was a proto-hero who had received a ghostly visitation before he hit First Grade – and, eventually, thought processes crashing down like a line of dominoes, he and the shop collided mid-Aqualung.
And this was the point at which Pan’s spunky contribution came into its own. The Flute, alerted by mystical runes to its Owner, beckoned and undulated like an especially accomplished houri. Had it had eyelashes, it would have fluttered and batted them. Its breath and finger holes opened with such blatant invitation that Peter, who had been feasting his eyes upon a Gibson Paul at the time, ricocheted to the music case as if catapulted by trebuchet.
He bought it. Or it bought him. The Jury’s still out on that one.

He loved it. And it loved him, as it had been programmed to do. It guarded him jealously. Vetted every girlfriend he undertook. Had effective strategies for dealing with those who fought it for Peter’s soul. It was capable of ascending right up to the Angelic Realms, in octaves of silver loveliness, if pleased; equally, it had more than a touch of the bite and snarl about it if riled.
The Music Magician was duly found. He had been mouldering away in the Renaissance, trying to make sense of Leonardo da Vinci’s cramped mirror writing and quirky designs. This would have been fascinating for future historians, no doubt, but was a waste of his unique talents.
Whether one-legged (apocryphally) or bipedal, long-haired or shorn for respectability’s sake, through a whole range of clothes, lady friends and writing assignments, our Magician led Peter inexorably onwards.

The carpet of years continued to unroll. Peter left for a new land, with the maiden who had become his princess and their two little girls.
The Flute led him to Logres, to the mystical South Western lands.

Pan barked with wry laughter and called up the Viking – just in case. Harald Larusson was a hard man, a jolly old pillager – and, more to the point, a Ghost For Hire: a spectral mercenary, able and more than willing to bend to the highest bidder.
The Horned Capri-man left the wild-life -and-fairy-visitation side of things strictly to Them Upstairs, feeling that the sentimental aspect of such hedge-witchery was not really his bag. If it didn’t involve fucking, he really wasn’t interested.
Harald was not, initially, best pleased. His new des res was anything but: it lacked coasts, longboats, virgins (willing or unwilling) and mead – though not necessarily in that order.
Unable to burn, pillage or exercise his Icelandic Totem Pole, Harald took to lurking despondently on the stairs, wailing occasionally or banging his horned helmet against the walls just to keep his hand in and justify his useless store of buried gelt.
He knew that the rheumy and disgusting old Goat-Man had given him a message, and he had a feeling that the Other Side had as well – but what with his seething envy of the former’s ability to attract – and shag – the most desirable females seen this side of Valhalla, and a most unfortunate evening spent quaffing what tasted like the contents of Woden’s boots whilst clearly containing the strength of a Valkyrie on heat, the memory had, very sensibly, packed its bags and scarpered.
The Archangelic Quartet smote their respective brows, and Pan pummelled his pecker – all in vain.
Harald saw a succession of oddbods, couples and families in and out. Sometimes, bored, he scared them away. Occasionally, the Grim Reaper beat him to it – and, at the doorway, the two would exchange the ironic glance passed from one professional to another at such times.
Harald kept a tally. Eternity is, after all, a hell of a long time – especially when your raison d’etre does not translate into your raison de mort.
The illegible scrawl he used on the stair panels always caused the incomers to assume they had cats, and Harald to mutter, sarcastically:
‘Oh, yeah, cats six foot tall and able to write in Ancient Icelandic Rune. A likely saga!’
Thus far, the total went something like this:
Harald: 205*
Reaper: 200
*with an indignant line scratched through the 5 and a neat 4 placed in its stead, next to the somewhat acerbic comment: ‘Actually, I think you’ll find that was one of mine. Double Pneumonia, as I recall.’

Meanwhile, Peter Piper, our Mystic Mac-Man, immersed himself to the hilt in his new land. He got, as they say, stuck in. He travelled afar and he played parts; he partied, wrote, cycled, jogged and made friends both near and far.
Like Harald, he forgot – though for very different reasons. Our hero was following the Hearth Path and it was, though glittering and glimmering with pleasure’s colours, a distracting pas de deux (as these things tend to be). His silver houri remained, for the most part, clipped tightly in her case, sullen and neglected.

Gabriel, under the influence of something herbaceous, caused local flooding. Pan ignited the fire of rebellion in Egypt.
Michael, the Messenger-in-Chief, dragged two Fallen Angels away from their hedonistic daily round of hookah-smoking and magic mushroom masticating – and sent them round to Peter Piper’s pad, telling them that the Pipe itself would give them the cue, and hoping to all the gods that he was right!

Harald, alerted finally to Peter’s existence and now on standby, watched in horror as the Piper, his family and friends had what they quaintly termed a barbecue – and Harald privately called, ‘A wicked waste of a bloody good orgy. I mean, where’s the whole roasted bull? Where are the dancing girls? Why has no one stabbed anyone else? Why are the neighbouring longhouses still standing?’

But the Pipers were happy, so much so that Peter harkened to the Siren call of his old sweetheart and, tenderly taking her from her case, set her to his lips and began to play.
The Fallen Angels, specially grimed and dread-locked for the occasion, had, in the meantime, fallen still further, having landed, by mistake, in Glastonbury – and having bumped into a veritable Fagin of a Dealer. He saw them coming an Apocalypse off, and was able to palm a noxious mixture of street cocaine and horse tranquillizer off on them before disappearing back into the Underworld from whence he had crawled.
Clambering Tor-wards, the FAs skinned up and, against a sky of magnificently regal colouration, vacuumed, toke by toke, any vestigial sense clean out of their heads.
But, they still heard the liquidy notes of the Pipe flowing over the marshes of Avalon – and, pausing only to start, and hastily extinguish, a small fire, they hitched a lift with Puff, the Magic Dragon (or the 121 Glastonbury to Bristol bus, as it was rather more mundanely called) and landed in the woods above the Piper abode – just as Peter, inspired, perhaps, by the Fey, was about to go nuclear on his Beloved.
The FAs, having drifted down the lanes and into the Piper garden, were not received with unanimous rapture – though Peter recognised them for that they truly were underneath the ordure and oil of Patchouli.
Given the Order of the Boot eventually, and completely unable to remember who they were never mind the message they were supposed to be delivering, FA1 and FA2 disappeared, both from the village and, as it happens, from this narrative.
Bombed off their gourds though they undoubtedly were, they still possessed enough Divine Grace to recognise an exit line when it kicked them squarely in the bollocks.

‘Oh, for f***’s sake!’ Raphael was heard to mutter, unable to contain his chagrin.
‘Can’t get the staff, can you?’ agreed Uriel.
‘Pan’s probably got something up his revolting loin cloth,’ Michael added.
‘I am the walrus!’ Gabriel trilled. ‘I am the Egg man…’

Pan, using some of the more explicit gestures ever seen, explained exactly what he wanted Harald to do – though he did encounter an unexpected problem in terms of the Big Viking’s perception of mankind.
‘The bugger you want, ‘Pan explained – with remarkable patience for him – ‘is a tall, dark-haired bloke – and, bit of a give-away, this, he’ll have the Flahute with him!’
‘All look the same to me,’ Harald bellowed. ‘The Living, I mean. Give me any dead Viking and I could tell you his ancestry right back to the Dawn of Time, but those Air-Breathing sods, like so many acorns lying under Yggdrasil.’
‘Riveting,’ Pan said dryly. ‘Just do it…’
He paused, knowing Harald’s weaknesses only too well.
‘…there might be a virgin in it for you!’

Invited by the Sprites of Skiffle Bottom to a Musical Soiree, our Hero packed his Pipe into a rucksack (a free offering from the Far East) and bounced his way down the road.

Three Archangels held their collective breath (and Papua New Guinea was afflicted by a short lasting, but acute, mass attack of asthma) and the other, imagining that he was Bob Dylan, sang a discordant version of ‘Idiot Wind’ on Air Guitar.

Pan punched triumphant fists skywards and, job done, climbed back on board his favourite nymph.

Peter, once he’d side-stepped the Chaise-Longue Shaggers, joined in with bass guitar and his usual enthusiasm.

Harald, hampered by his lack of body, and operating from a brain which had decomposed centuries earlier, was struggling a bit with the finer details. Air up a wench’s skirt was easy peasy – though he would have preferred a hand – but this smell was getting everywhere and making him feel quite light-headed and full of the strong desire to laugh his (non-existent) head off. If he could just siphon it off in the man with the Pipe’s direction, all would be fine – but the smoke was now so thick, he could barely see his own ectoplasm never mind which of the wailing wraiths was wielding the warpipe.

Fortunately for all concerned, Peter Piper chose this moment to stand up – and, what with the low ceilings and the Hobbits in residence, a light finally went on in Harald’s see-through skull.

In his helmet, Harald stood nearer seven feet than six and, although our hero was on the small side for Viking purposes, he was, clearly, a Long Man.
The magical notes of the Flahute clinched it – and Harald began blowing out that weed, as instructed by the Horny Son of the Forest.
The effect was immediate. Nostrils agape, the Sprites and the Piper hoovered it in until their eyes began to cross, and nonsense started to seep from sagging lips.
Harald, his message finally clear in his mind, readied himself for delivery.

Our Hero was co-opted to investigate. It was, after all, his Quest, the others being Lesser Knights in the Court of Camelot.

Trusty nose to the fore, The Piper stepped forward.

Archangels cheered. Pan stuck two fingers up, possibly as a symbol for victory…

Harald, now so stoned himself that he could hardly blow for laughing, watched eagerly as the Long Man sniff-sniffed his way ever closer.

Peter arrived, as all good heroes must, at the precise spot.

The world held its breath.




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Land of Confusion: Daily Prompt


My Land of Confusion cuts across all lessons at school, and right through my day-to-day life: asking for help is my area of extreme anxiety.

I am much better than I was – and have, three times in recent months, gone round to a friend’s house unannounced; I can now email and text people (just my inner circle) and call on them for assistance and support. But, it remains a real problem – and my head knots up tight in panic at the very thought.

I can rattle off four letter words until I am blue in the face – but I cannot say the word, ‘Help!’, never have been able to.

I so envy those of you who are able to pick up the phone and pour out your sorrows into the ears of others.

It is a trust thing. I used a metaphor during the Summer: the Trust Exercise used in Drama lessons at many schools. A student, surrounded by others, has to fall backwards, trusting that the others will catch him or her.

I am regularly the catcher in life.

Therefore, I should be able to allow myself to fall back into the arms of others, shouldn’t I?

Yes – and no.

This weekend, I went to stay with Fliss and her lovely family – and, to my delight, my beloved sister had sorted out photos, from our past, for me. We are sharing two precious albums. They cover the period from January 1958 to Summer 1967. I am borrowing them for a while, so that we can scan the images onto the computer.

In the first picture, my parents sit together. It is very snowy outside. My mother is heavily pregnant with the baby who became me.

I felt an unexpected surge of sad tenderness when I saw that old, old picture. They must have experienced such a blend of hope and fear, wonder and anxiety at that early point in their marriage. Hope because a child does represent a new start, a fresh spirit, a deeper bonding of the parental relationship. But, by one of the many ironies of their fifty years together, my parents occupied opposite wards in that Aldershot hospital on the Winter night I was born. I was born into anxiety.

Many are.

From an early age, I felt the urgent need to protect them. I can vividly remember lying in bed at night, planning how to rescue the rest of the family in the event of a fire, whilst listening for the slightest sound indicative of my father going into a diabetic coma, my mother crying.

Many children do. I am not claiming special status here. Just trying to trace the line of distrust.

As a child, I confided in people rarely – and was, in fact, visited, at primary school, by an Educational Psychologist because teachers were concerned about my difficulties making friends, and the fact that I was unhappy and withdrawn.

Thing is, I always felt convinced that others were more needy and important than I. Still do by and large. I took the expression, ‘Think of others worse off than you!’ totally to heart as a child.

I had a little meltdown on Saturday.

And one of the things it triggered was this lack of ability to ask for help.

A memory, which I had ‘lost’, returned just as I said farewell to my sibling yesterday.

Fliss was talking about my blog, specifically about the posts relating to the attack. She apologised for not really knowing what I was going through because, at the time, she was very tied up with small children. And I said – as an aside really, ‘I didn’t even tell Mummy and Daddy until much later…’

Fliss was, I think, shocked.

And it does, I suppose, seem odd.

Here’s the story, briefly. My parents were due to come and stay a week or so after the attack. I was terribly torn: wanted to spare them this awful occurrence, but also wanted to be held and comforted and soothed by the people I’d known longest.

I was frightened, too, that they would be angry and think I’d brought it on my own head.

But I had nerved myself up. Planned to ply them with wine and then, when we were all relaxed, slip the assault into the conversation.

As soon as I saw them, I knew something was wrong – and, sure enough, they said they had something awful to tell me.

I can remember thinking, ‘If it isn’t too awful, maybe there’ll be time for my sorry little tale later.’

What had happened was that one of my sisters, at that point unmarried, had become pregnant at a fairly young age – and my parents were absolutely devastated.

What could I do? They needed to talk about it, needed to clear their heads so that they could return home and offer my sister their support and help. Which they did, fully and generously.

I did not feel I could say, ‘Please listen to me for a moment. I am hurt too,’ even though I desperately wanted to, because that would have been yet another burden for them to bear.

That night, I heard my mother’s desperate sobbing, my father’s attempts to comfort her – and I knew that I had made the right decision.

Now, I don’t want to give a misleading impression here: I was able to turn to my father, in particular, for practical and financial help – but I did not feel I could trust them in any kind of emotional crisis.

This post may well hurt my siblings – and, if it does, I can only apologise. It might just have been me. Maybe I was just more stubborn, closed and reserved than the other four.

So, in answer to the question, ‘Why didn’t you call us?’ I can only tell the truth, which is, ‘Because I was scared, scared that I would be told to go away, wait till later, get in the queue…’

Like I was so often as a child. And I say that because for me to bottle up my emotions, aged thirty, after a serious assault, suggests decades of similar behaviour; it suggests a deep-rooted pattern of fear and self-effacement.

If you are lucky enough to be trusting and positive, please bear with those of us who find both things difficult. The former is a state of grace, a gift conferred; not all of us receive a birth visitation from those particular fairy godmothers. But this does not mean that our gifts are any less valid. Darker, maybe, less pleasant and socially acceptable – but still a part of the tapestry of personality we all have.

I was born in the depths of Winter. A time of starkness, of bare trees, of beauty hidden, of waiting and darkness.

Perhaps my role in life is to reach out from darkness and offer the chalice of light to others.

Since first posting this, I have been reminded, by a friend, of the Grail Question:

Whom does the Grail serve?


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Best Moment Award

Many thanks to Mimi (http://psychologistmimi.com/) for this award. It has perked me up considerably.

Best Moment Award

“Awarding the people who live in the moment,
The noble who write and capture the best in life,
The bold who reminded us what really mattered…
Savoring the experience of quality time.”




  • Winners re-post this completely with their acceptance speech. This could be written or video recorded.
  • Winners have the privilege of awarding the next awardees!

This is a lovely award to be given and I feel very touched. I do not always feel that I deserve awards, and am, behind the loud persona, very self-doubting, especially at the moment. So it is wonderful to have received two nominations during one of the most difficult weeks I have experienced for a long time. Thank you, Mimi: you cannot begin to imagine how much this means to me.

I know that there are people – probably stronger, more balanced and secure than I – who feel that such things as awards and Freshly Pressed status do not matter. I utterly respect their views – and wish I were like this myself!  But I am not. I AM lacking security – and struggle to believe that I matter, make a difference, am any good at anything. Recent blows, deliberately aimed as far as I can make out, to my fragile self-esteem have made a bad situation ten times worse.

My passion for writing remains undiminished, even though I go through phases (like now) of doubting that I have that special magic with words.

Thank you – not just to Mimi, but to everyone who supports me on a daily basis. It makes a huge difference.

Please forgive me for not doing the nominations part of this immediately: I shall be going to a funeral shortly and will be off line for a day or so. I WILL get back to you with my Best Moment Award lovelies soonest.

Wonderful Team Member Readership Award

Yayyy :D

Thank you so much to Samir Mishra (http://viewsplash.wordpress.com/) for nominating me. I so need the boost at the moment – and the generosity of spirit shown by so many fellow writers often reduces me to tears. I do think that the ability to send love, sympathy and support to others is an integral part of being a writer.  Of course it is delightful to receive comments praising a particular post, but messages of care and concern about the contents are equally lovely. For me, it is the WRITER who comes first.

The rules are:

1.-The Nominee shall display the logo on their post/page/and/or sidebar.

2-The Nominee shall  nominate 5 best team members over a period of 7 days and intimate each nominee individually.

3-The Nominee shall make these rules, or amend rules keeping to the spirit of the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award.

4-The Nominee must finish this sentence and post: A Great reader is -

A great reader is  a champion of the writer’s deepest cause, a mirror and, at times, a stern task-master; he/she must also be able to read with heart and soul, and to catch the drifts of need, of hope, of success and of failure in the being of the writer, for then his/her response is rich with the many-hued wonders of the world and its beings, and empathy is brought to bear upon the unspoken.

My nominees are people who share, who respond generously to others, who take time to make that special comment which makes all the difference – and who pledge themselves to matters higher than our individual success as writers.

My first is Gene O’Gordon (http://sourcererblog.wordpress.com/), a blogger I admire hugely. In addition to being a damn fine writer, he also fights for equality and justice in our world, and his current support of the rights – or lack thereof – of the LGBT community in Mississippi has been absolutely brilliant. Please visit him and help with this important cause.

My second is Vic Briggs (http://shardsofsilence.wordpress.com/) – she is a fantastic writer of prose, poetry and play scripts; but she is also a passionate and feisty advocate for issues which burn and maim in our lives. She works regularly with other writers, and is, at all times, a supportive and caring member of the community.

Thirdly, I should like to nominate Chris Donner (http://61musings.com) who has done so much good for those of us who are introverts. Her wonderful posts, her quizzes and little challenges are always fascinating to read, great fun to do – and have done much to bring greater knowledge of the true nature of introversion to the general public.

Fourthly, Jenni (http://jenniferann1970.wordpress.com/) of Unload and Unwind. She is great fun: very funny, very down-to-earth and someone who tells it the way it is. I love reading her posts. But also she cares, deeply, about wider issues and has posted several thought-provoking posts about human rights not just in her native Australia, but also in the world generally.

Last, but by no means least, I want to nominate Teela Hart (http://teelahart.com/) of Surviving Domestic Violence, who is doing so much to spread awareness of this dreadful blight upon our world. A survivor herself, Teela writes candidly about her own experiences, but is also most generous when it comes to posting the thoughts and stories of others. Please visit her if you haven’t already.

I could have nominated another twenty easily – and several more came to mind! – but five it is!

Thank you again, Samir. Your gesture brought light to a very dark evening.



I posted this on Kerry Whiteley’s blog on Friday. Here it is!J-LINK3C DIGITAL CAMERA


Alienora Taylor


I did not expect to become a mother.

My thirties inched towards the forties and I watched as two of my younger sisters brought beautiful children – five in all, at that point, between them – into the world. Auntie, I was, and proud of it: loved my four nephews and one niece. But, if I am honest, my feelings about motherhood were ambivalent at best.

I dreaded the mess I was convinced I would make of such an important role: was convinced that I was too screwed-up and neurotic to become a mother – and, as the months and years advanced, I told myself that I was probably borderline infertile anyway.

But, there was always a secret part of me which longed, with total passion, to conceive my own child.

I denied this little voice, the tiny proto-human waiting in the wings of my womb, for years.

But some things are stronger than our minds and moods, are they not?

Did I mean to get pregnant?

Yes. At some level, I think it was intentional.

It was Valentine’s Day 1997 – and my partner and I had sex. I lied, said it was a safe time – and, drunk, we did not use any protection.

I was thirty-nine years and two months old.

I did not wish to trap this man, but there were insecurities at play in the relationship.

I knew almost immediately that I had conceived: it felt as if a trap door slammed shut inside me – and, of course, there were other, more conventional signs: lack of period, sore breasts and intense weepiness.

At the clinic, three weeks later, I tested positive. Of course I did. I was never in any doubt that I would.

I knew that the child I carried was a boy well before that fact was confirmed via scan; I also knew that he was here to stay – that he would not escape before his time or be lost in a great rush of blood.

He arrived, this perfect tiny being, at 10.32pm on Tuesday 11th November 1997 – and I loved him straightaway.  I would have fought dragons and moved mountains for him. I would have protected him by giving up my own life had it come to that particular crunch.

It has not always been easy – for any of us. For reasons which are not relevant to this post, I had to go back to my full time job as a teacher when my child was three months old.

I have NEVER forgotten the heartbreak of that drive, taking my baby to a childminder for the first time, my breasts leaking the milk I should have been feeding him into inadequate pads all day, as I tried to teach adolescents about Shakespeare without bursting into sobs. The physical longing for that tiny scrap of humanity was so intense – and, when I picked him up at the end of the day, I just fell upon him, inhaling his milky head smell, his baby perfumes.

For financial reasons, I had to work full time until two years ago. I then took early retirement.

This has meant that I have never been able to take my little one to school or pick him up; it has meant (because my husband worked as well) that our boy needed to go to a childminder before and after school until he went to secondary school.

But, weekends, when he was two, he and I started to go to car boot sales in the local area, and stopped at cafes afterwards. This was a great bonding experience. We even had our own car boot song which we used to sing lustily on every journey.

As I say, it has not always been easy. Because we are older parents, the boy has suffered more than his fair share of bereavements, family illnesses and, in my case, breakdowns and anxiety/depression.

He is now sixteen – and has already been to more funerals than I had when I was in my mid-thirties.

But, he is a wonderful boy. He is able to assert himself when he needs to – but is a gentle soul at heart, and very perceptive, empathic. He is extremely good-looking – and talented: musical, a gifted writer, en excellent fencer and possessed of a fabulously dry wit.

He is moving fast into independence – as he should be – and I am having to learn to let go, to reel the umbilical cord back in, to give him his space.

But he is, and always will be, my dowd/doude – the gift from the Creator to my middle years.

And I shall always love him.

Share your world 2014, week 11


Share Your World – 2014 Week 11

Thanks to both Chris and Cee for alerting me to this: I read about it on Chris’s lovely blog (http://61musings.com/) and then hopped over to Cee’s equally magnificent site (http://ceenphotography.com/). Seconds later, and thinking to myself, ‘Ye gods, I could NEVER have attempted anything this complicated three months ago,’ I was ready to roll!

If you were an ice cream cone how many scoops and flavors would you be and why?

As a bawdy and sensuous extremist, with the sweetest tooth in the known universe, I would be hard put to limit myself! Chocolate Chip, Raspberry Pavlova, Fudge, Fudge, Fudge and yet more Fudge, Plain Vanilla, Cornish Vanilla, Lemon Meringue – and that’s before I even attempt the quirky and complicated flavours; you know the sort of thing I mean? The kind of crazy combinations so beloved of Heston Blumenthal: Dormouse and White Chocolate,  Ambergris and Three-toed Sloth, Guinea Pig Surprised (and it most certainly was!)…

Put it this way, I would need all the crevices between all my toes and fingers to carry the gallimaufry of scoops I would need – and why? Ah! Let me tell you! We are all dead an awfully long time. Why, then, do so many of us purse our lips and deny ourselves the fruits and grains and chocolates and grape-based products of our brief span upon this beautiful earth?!

And, I ADORE ice cream!

Are you left or right handed?

Should be simple, eh? Not with me, it ain’t! I am ambidextrous – or, as I put it, equally clumsy and useless with both hands! I write with my right hand (though I can write left-handed), but tooth and hair brushing, spoon holding, tennis racket wielding (I don’t play tennis per se; I just hold a racket menacingly to fend off the terminally hearty!), cutting are all the responsibility of my left hand!

Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say?

I absolutely loathe talking on the phone – and avoid it whenever I can. For me, the anxious wait to actually use the damn thing is akin to several hours with Torquemada and the rest of the Spanish Inquisition. Rehearse?!  Nay, nay: I usually have nightmares for days, wake sweating on the designated day – and sit holding the phone for up to two hours, weeping and trembling, and hoping that someone will make it all go away. I will then mumble and grunt and gurn and cough and- long story short, be about as coherent as a drunk warthog!

How many rings before you answer the phone?

Because of my global anxiety, I leap upon the accursed instrument straight-away – and, if some other member of the family grabs it first, I wait in a lather of terror, misinterpreting every solemn tone of voice or long pause as dire news.

I’d love to be one of those people who can listen to the thing making its scary noise and just shrug and carry on eating, sleeping, mucking out the Augean Stables, feeding the Gryphon – but I am far too nervous to be able to cope with such fabulous insouciance.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am intensely grateful to Caitlin and John Matthews for creating both the Arthurian Tarot Deck and the ‘Hallowquest’ book, and course; I have been working with the cards for twenty years and started the Quest a week ago.

I am hugely grateful to the many people who read, Like and write fantastic comments on my blog, particularly during the last two very difficult weeks.

I am so grateful to my precious sixteen year old son, who took me out to lunch and gave me a delightful gift for Mothers’ Day. I am so proud of the young man he is and I love him unconditionally.

And, finally, I am so lucky to have the two friends in ‘real’ life today who sent love and gave support to the trembling wreck I was this morning.

This coming week, I am very much looking forward to a fleeting trip to Port Isaac, in Cornwall, to see members of the extended family – and I am also really excited about posting some more of my Virginia Woolf novel (written thirty years ago, when I was in my twenties, and as yet unpublished) on to the blog.


Thank you for these questions, Chris: they really got me thinking.

Emotional Manipulation: Daily Prompt


Emotional manipulation – and, indeed, ANY form of bullying – drives me crazy. This poem takes a look at ONE form of bullying. The gender is irrelevant: I have used he and she, but it could equally well have been she and he, he and he or she and she. The male in this could be a father, a lover, a brother; again, the precise nature of the relationship doesn’t matter. There is a HUGE difference between being unable to forgive/being overly attached to hurts and resentments – and coming to a point where you are no longer able/willing to put up with intimidation and mind games. Often by agreeing that you are difficult, unforgiving, resentful, you allow the toxic situation to continue. Because of course, your guilt, your low self-esteem is tacit acknowledgement that you have no boundaries and that you are open to more abuse. 

Since writing this, I have received a brilliant comment from Jenni (http://jenniferann1970.wordpress.com/) which I am going to write out again, even though it is on the comment section, because, for me, it has proved to be that ‘Eureka!’ final piece of the jigsaw moment:

‘Those who seek to dominate must undermine first – convince the other party that they should be grateful for their tolerance…’



He sneers at her interest in Tarot cards:

Calls it a load of old tosh -

And the same goes for spirituality:

There is no such thing as a soul!

He tells her

He is embarrassed to watch

Her performing music in public -

And why do it if she is not good enough? -

Because she is not a very good singer,

And she is not good on the guitar;

Her notes do not catch life’s spark:

He tells her it is understandable

That he does not watch her shows

Because, why should he?

She is not, the group is not,

Up to scratch.

And yet, she is -

The most self-righteous person

He has ever met;

She is ruthless

When it comes to getting

Her own way -

Even if others are hurt

In the process;

She is, he implies,

A spoiled little girl,

A princess -

And she begins to wonder

If  she is going the way of her Great Aunt.

Yet, he accepts her totally

And loves her -

And is longing to play with her.

As long (she says in scared brackets)

As they are playing

By HIS rules -

And it is HIS game,

And the players are PERFECT.

And she is so confused,

And sad and aching inside.

He shows contempt

For so much

That is a part of her -

Yet, he shows fury

If  she hides in her bedroom,

Feels fear around him,

No longer smiles,

Or laughs or relaxes

In his company.

He seethes,

And feel she is disloyal,

If  she laughs, comes alive

With others -

But he cannot see,

Or will not,

The years of shy and shamed

Guitar playing in the garden shed,

Feeling  she was useless,

Feeling his judgement,

Settling, radioactive waste

Upon the bright green

Of Pre-Apocalyptic hope.

Knowing that, however hard she tried,

She could NEVER be good enough:

Her guitar, her less-than-average voice

A metaphor for HER.

And his whole attitude:

She is welcome to be self-blind,

To be credulous enough

Stupid and gullible enough

To believe in crap,

To think she could ever wrest

Sweet tunes from her woeful playing,

That her voice could ever

Give life and harmony to a song.

And this is the crux, the crunch,

The awfulness beyond all else:

Her words to him -

Which he claims hurt so much -

Are not actually believed:

Because the problem is HER.

She shows her fangs

Because she wants the manipulation to stop.

His words are spite

And hatred

Because he wants to hurt,

And he wants her to believe -

As he appears to -

That she is madness

Just waiting to happen.

That she is tomorrow’s

Strait-jacket patient.

Leonard Woolf ‘speaks’:Daily Prompt


Virginia Woolf suffered from intermittent bouts of madness – as many of you will be aware – and was often at her most vulnerable just after a book had been published. Eventually, fearing that her madness was retuning, she drowned herself. In this fictional take on the story, I write of a brilliant writer who was, literally, driven crazy. She prevented the craziness by killing herself.

After an indescribably unhappy weekend (emotionally), I cannot write anything new today. This is the first part of a novel I wrote, in my early twenties, about the life and death of Virginia Woolf. Woolf, along with her sister, painter Vanessa Bell, was one of the leading female lights, and original members, of what has become known as the Bloomsbury Group.

The novel starts with Virginia’s death, by suicide, in March 1941 – and then fans out into the past. The first section (of which this is a part), is narrated by Leonard Woolf and covers the three weeks from her disappearance to the discovery, in the River Ouse, of her body.


Pictures(taken from Google Images): top left, Leonard and Virginia Woolf; middle: Virginia in her fifties; bottom: Virginia in her early twenties.

Rushing at the fence of sixty (draft name for novel)- relevance: VW died aged 59.
Part One: Leonard Woolf
March 1941
My tremor is pronounced. The fingers undulate separately to music I cannot hear. It is late, six in the evening, and my wife has not returned from walking.  Her familiar stick no longer rests against mine; I sense her absence in the entirety of the house.
Now I must knock my pipe into the grate and walk to her writing room. This is part of the fear which has gulped intermittently during the twenty-eight years of our marriage. Several times she has disappeared from me, has shifted in her relationship to reality.
I am walking. The crude hall mirror smirks back at me. Looking at my stooped frame, it feels like twenty-eight years of gradually shrinking away from man size to child size. My hair is wispily white; I am sixty one, an elderly Jew – and the fire banked in me lies beneath her iron grey hair and few teeth.
I have shed ashes, fire fragments, into the black metal hearth.  Dread moves my rivering fingers.
I can see from here: the door is neatly slotted into its shape. My knees ache as I run. It is cold and still; translucent light forms a pool of white-gold for the falling stately blossoms – vivid pink as a splash of Nessa’s paint on the walls at Charleston. Spring time. Life time.
The door yields even to my hand; squares of garden  stare blind at me through the windows; the typewriter is stilled, dusting in a slant of late sun; precious early Hogarth Press volumes hover precariously at the desk edge. Quill pens stick up from Angelica’s  white pot; type script waits like an unseen doom; her diary lies closed with the brown spectacles guarding it.
There is a letter, for me. Blossom time. Death time. She is gone. The angular black writing spikes me with her distortions. I am in dread communication with her panicked flickering around this room, hours minutes seconds before. I have seen her so before – I know.
The room guards her exit well. I have to sit down before I fall. Age hoops me. I see her eyes before me: neither blue nor green, they swim with light, bubbles of intensity…and, even as I look, they shift to the left, darken over; her whole face draws in, pushing the fine bones out.
I have walked for hours; darkness has now sealed off the view. Through the meadows I wandered. A triangle of gulls, breasts flamed with sunset, pointed my way. Sweep, by my side, whined suddenly and lifted his head. The river – a chill, dank place. Her stick lay in the mud. The water flowed by. I stood and watched and she did not appear – death moves on too. The stick was cold and damp, slightly slimy. Hours rather than minutes, then.  I scored a track in that cold, wet place, marshy grass seeping into the fibres of my shoes.
I am sleepless. I have done the unthinking necessary things: rung the police; alerted Nessa, Vita*, Ethel 1. There is silence – and we wait, all of us, separated by our experiences of her. No one weeps; it seems beyond tears.
Ethel  crackled into nothingness; her voice went out like dying static. At any other time, I would have laughed; so would Virginia, which is why I don’t:
‘Good Lord!’ she would say, drawing lines in the air with her cigarette holder, ‘Ethel silenced? The ferocious cat quiet?!’

I sit in the springless armchair by the window in our Sitting Room. The room smells faintly of cigars and something else: recent, not yet dissolved, life. She is dead – and the shape of her living still fills the house.


*: Vita Sackville-West, with whom VW had a brief love affair and then a friendship which lasted until VW’s death.

1: Ethel Smythe: composer, elderly, fell in love with VW and, though at times an irritant, remained a friend.

Charleston: farmhouse, in Sussex, taken over by Vanessa, Clive Bell and Duncan Grant – and filled with VB and DG’s  art work.

Angelica: Angelica Bell, Vanessa’s daughter.

Hogarth Press: set up by Leonard and Virginia.


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Guest Post from Kerry Whiteley of Winding Road

It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Kerry Whiteley. Her wonderful blog site, Winding Road, is a must-see – and I love the way she has written the post below. Why not pop over and visit her once you have read this piece?


The Journey

by Kerry Whiteley of Winding Road

The name of my blog may not be original but it is the description of the life journey. There are smooth roads, pitfalls, mountains, valleys, forks in the road, and paths unpaved. Yet, it is not just my journey of which I write; it is everyone’s journey. Often I write from my own experience but other times I write from my perception of others, particularly those close to me. I feel what they experience deep inside almost as if it partly belongs to me.

This morning as I was marinating in the experiences of someone very close to me and her words recently that though she likely can take on more stress, more blows, more problems to solve, she is not so sure she isn’t just on the brink of madness from it all. I have felt this before, just when you think you might crack from too much of something be it labor pains,  loss of sleep, job stress, or troubles with family is precisely the moment that universe tips the scales in your favor. During difficult times as these when I feel that I or someone I love can’t seem to catch a break, instantly Robert Frost’s words appear in my mind, like a brain notification scheduled for each almost-breakdown.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

For me, this poem is the reminder that we must keep going. We mustn’t attach to our woes. There are struggles ahead and struggles lingering behind, but it is our path to forge. I believe it is the attachment to our struggles that becomes our definition and the idea of separating from that toxic attachment can be just as scary as becoming it. Who are we if we are not justified in our anger toward someone who harmed us? Are we still whole and strong if we forgive?  Who will we be if we let down our walls? What we think we so desperately want and work so hard for can sometimes morph into exactly what we fear.

As I was ruminating on Frost’s words and listening to Mumford & Sons on my way home from yoga, the connection between Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening and Hopeless Wanderer called my attention. There is a reason we are all here. While we may want to attach to ourselves, to our thoughts and feelings, and decide who we are once and for all,  we also want to float and be  whisked away from our hardships. Yet there is no place to go but within. When we go within ourselves, we detach from the illusion of self-definition grabbing at our minds each moment. And the hardships float by rather than us escaping them.

Hopeless wanderer

You heard my voice I came out of the woods by choice
Shelter also gave their shade
But in the dark I have no name
So leave that click in my head
And I will remember the words that you said
Left a clouded mind and a heavy heart
But I was sure we could see a new start

So when your hopes on fire
But you know your desire
Don’t hold a glass over the flame
Don’t let your heart grow cold
I will call you by name
I will share your road

But hold me fast, Hold me fast
Cause I’m a hopeless wanderer
And hold me fast, Hold me fast
Cause I’m a hopeless wanderer

I wrestled long with my youth
We tried so hard to live in the truth
But do not tell me all is fine
When I lose my head, I lose my spine
So leave that click in my head
And I won’t remember the words that you said
You brought me out from the cold
Now, how I long, how I long to grow old

So when your hopes are on fire
But you know your desire
Don’t hold a glass over the flame

Don’t let your heart grow cold
I will call you by name
I will share your road

But hold me fast, Hold me fast
Cause I’m a hopeless wanderer
And hold me fast, Hold me fast
Cause I’m a hopeless wanderer
And I will learn, I will learn to love the skies I’m under
And I will learn, I will learn to love the skies I’m under
The skies I’m under


When we find that place within ourselves that ultimately belongs to everyone, we find it is exactly the place where all truth resides. From our truth we can move forward in the woods, we can keep moving forward and share our road, our journey, with others;  for we are all on the same path.

*My apologies for seeming to ride on other artist’s words. Frost’s poem and Mumford & Sons lyrics seem comparable on many levels and the two together seemed to put it all in perspective today. 


Mothers’ Day



You planned to take me out, precious boy -

And, bookings having been made,

Gathered your money together,

Bought me Yankee Candles -

Mandarin-Cranberry scent:

You know me so well! -

And we hugged, in the doorway,

Your tousled hair wet

From the morning’s shower,

The contours of that form

I grew in my womb,

Now sculpted and manly.


And it was so lovely, son:

Food, in a Greek Taverna,

With Spring – rich,golden-green -

Vibrant with promise as you,

My best-beloved boy.

We ate, and laughed and joked -

And you paid the bill,

Left, as I knew you would,

A generous tip!

My heartfelt thanks,

And the hand on your warm shoulder,

Were wider, by far,

Than food shared

On a March Mothers’ Day:

They were the wonder

Of all you have brought

Into my life;

They were the joy

That, through you,

I have known

Unconditional love -

The giving heart

And playful spirit,

The fears and joys,

Which make up



Speakeasy#155: Liena’s journey


Even if it's invisible.

Thanks to the lovely Ivy for the image.


Without a word, she dropped to the ground.

Impossible, you might say.

Sculpted for eternity, her beige wood fading in the colourful kaleidoscope of the seasons, the vast cat hugged the tree’s taut stomach, her tail a question mark, claws leaving runnels in rain-softened bark.

Carved, planed, sanded down, a creature summoned from the very sinews of the living tree, she stood out against the curiously spiky branches.

Paradox. If real, how could she, stone-like, assume so still a position? And, if unnatural – a benign growth upon the pulsing deep life of rumbling sap-form – how was it that the slender contours of her host did not bend in the parabola weight brings?

Ah! Gather around me, children, for I am Tree Spirit. I have caught the green, sparkled in the delicacy of sun’s dawn jewelling of the humble web; I have plaited the honeysuckle scent  along slumberous fencing; I have groaned in the depths of snow and shaken the sorrowful beauty of my leaves – shedding tears of pink and red, gold and orange – upon the frosty lace of ground.

I hunkered, fairy-small and delicate, in fresh peaty earth while your kind were bone-knifing the bloodied hides from mammoth and lining cave walls with crude symbols of the universal hunt.

A story I tell you, my sweet little ones. Huddle under my gentle parasol of Spring leaves; feel the sun warmth of my rough body, its heart-beat too slow for your brief span to hear, and listen, listen, listen…

Lions, they say, do not climb trees. And, in the main, this is true. But our world, like your language, is built upon exceptions to the rules, is it not? And there once was a lioness who did, indeed, clamber up into the nestling safety of the upper branches.

Liena, she was called. Or some sound approximating to the strings plucked out of the harmony you humans call ALPHABET. Scarred, she was, and limping too, for the tribal leaders had decided she was Killer and, cornering her one Winter’s day, had so pierced her skin with spears, had so smashed her gentle nature with stone and sneer and wine-thick breath that her blood had written a sad poem in the deep snow.

Her cubs, little more than curled embryos still fresh from the amniotic sac, cried blindly for her warmth, her rich milk and her gutteral warning growl – until, one day, weakened and skeletal, they were ripped viciously from the den and torn apart.

Except for one: a tiny and pathetic morsel of flesh wedged in the boot of the den, unreachable by predating claws.

Gravely injured though she was, Liena heard the rustling and rasping and wrenching and slurping of the invaders. She could sense that her babies were in mortal danger.

Smudging the lyrical lines of her life fluid’s lament, she crawled through deep drifts, stopping often for she was weak from blood-loss and weeks without food.

The killers of her babes heard her slushing , gasping travail – and pricked up their battered ears.

Circling the white plain, fangs still dripping from the cubs’ last moments, they stalked and waited and whine-growled amongst themselves.

Hours passed as the trembling lioness travelled on. The pale Winter sun gave way to a vast red-gold sunset, and then the port cullis of darkness descended, slamming its rusty spikes down, shutting out the light.

Scattered fragments of muscle and shards of bone, cast in a wide runic statement of tragic loss, were all that remained of Liena’s family. She sniffed and cried out, her mighty roar strong despite her frail body.

The minutest squeak answered her.

Raising her scarred head, she called again – and the proximity of her child caused her milk to flow, drops falling upon the dead children.

Stretching a gentle paw into the den, she hooked the sightless and dying creature and pulled it out. Tenderly, she pushed it towards one of her engorged nipples and licked it until it drank in greedy gulps.

But the spoor of the killers was only too clear in night’s thin air – and, knowing that dog-things could not climb, she picked her baby up and, heading for the nearest tree, began the agonising ascent into safety.

Did she perish during that climb? Was it her brave corpse which was so immortalised in a far-distant time?

Children, I should love to imagine that she survived.

Wouldn’t you?

Walk the Line: Daily Prompt – Sexual Content.

Greek Sexy Sunday #13

With thanks, once again, to my Grecian muse, Cardinal Guzman, for yet another superb example of the playing card with an erotic edge! This time, the card is the Four of Diamonds – and shows a man ‘carrying’ a woman. ‘What? No bloke-on-bloke action?’  I hear you cry. Indeed not!

Picture the scene – or, better still, click on to the link above. All you really need to know is this: it is the type of carrying which involves her legs round his neck and the fitting of Flange A into Socket B.

Aristo and Calliope are ‘posing’ whilst Yiogios, The Colour-blind Painter, sets up his easel, grabs his palette and mixes together his usual carefully concocted blend – all of which turn out looking like either meconium or the precise shade of a prosthetic limb.

The sun beats down relentlessly – and Heralces, the Eunuch (whose parents were upwardly mobile, but dyslexic ) is alternatively fanning the couple with an old toga, feeding them ripe figs (which could well backfire at a later date) and pouring draughts of the rough vinous mixture (now called Raki and lethal!) down their parched throats.

All is not well between the coupled – er – couple! And here we take a ride in Aristo’s mind – Gods help us!


Four of Diamonds? Four of Diamonds, my foot! More like four compressed vertebrae in the making if you ask me – and a double hernia, I have no doubt. I can feel curvature of the spine coming on as we speak! I shall be like an upright tortoise for the rest of my life.

When I agreed to this gig, I was, it has to be said, somewhat the worse for wear after several jugs of a most toothsome little red number – and the wine wasn’t bad either.

I don’t normally do the fairer sex, you understand, but dancing boys take it out of the wallet something chronic – what with wear and tear on the intimate crevices, new garments and spears at dawn with jealous lovers  - and I was somewhat desperate.

I distinctly remember, however, stipulating firmly, if perhaps not coherently, that I wanted a slip of a thing. Well, look at me! Atlas, I am not. Why, I bend in a strong breeze – and no that is not a filthy euphemism for my proclivities!

I can only assume that the worthies who approached me (they claim there were only two of them, but I saw at least four of the blighters!), who were all clearly well-gone in years and collectively as deaf as a whole pit full of adders, thought I had said ‘ship’ not ‘slip’ – and thus provided me with the tiresome fleet of sea-going vessels I am currently balancing upon my membrum virile.

They also claimed that she was trained in the ancient and mystic arts of the boudoir – and was so erotic that she would turn the most committed adherent of the Greek form of love. To what? Traction for a year? Spinal surgery?

When she waddled towards me, draped in enough material to cover most of the inhabitants of Athens, I assumed – naturally enough – that she was a maid-servant of some kind, and that the vision of pulchritude would, as it were, be waiting decorously in the wings.

WRONG! Just my accursed luck!

I think she must have imagined that the gurn upon her singularly unlovely features was come-hitherish. She was deluding herself. It was more reminiscent of the sinister smirk sported by most predators when about to tuck into their now-defunct prey – and it reassured me not a jot.

Was she, I asked myself, about to mate with me or eat me?

Now, call me old-fashioned, or even a tad chauvenistic, but I like a little subtlety, a touch of finesse, from the ladies. You know? The demure glance from lowered head? The bashful smile? The apparent reluctance to accept my mighty war baton?

This one, having pawed the ground in a most alarming manner for a few seconds, charged at me like a Rogue Elephant…

She missed the first time – and, knocking me flat in the slipstream, fell into the easel.

Her second go was even worse. This time, snorting like a boar on heat, she flung herself at, and upon, me with such force that the shock caused my sturdy olive tree to go into protective spasm within her unwanted birth canal…

And, three hours on, we are, to my acute embarrassment, locked together like a brace of fornicating dogs!

Huffing with faux passion (because I distinctly heard her muttering something about buggers as she leapt on), she thrust her legs in an upwardly scissoring move which came within an inch of decapitating me  - and said, in what I imagine she thought were dulcet tones, ‘Take me, Stud!’

Take her? TAKE HER?!

It is now the time when all sensible people are having an afternoon siesta – and here I am, in the boiling heat, locked in carnal misery with an aggressive dreadnought.

Heralces, the insensitive swine, laughed so much that he wet himself. How uncouth.

The crowd, which has grown far larger, and more prurient, than is strictly necessary, is now muttering about buckets of cold water, metallic deliveries in cases of difficult childbirth and shoving ginger up my fundament.

Any ardour I might have once entertained for this ghastly female has long since evaporated, along with my erection (if you wish to know) – but, unfortunately, her muscles have now set tight and I am losing all feeling from the waist down.

At this rate, I shall need to be surgically removed.

I shall be the laughing-stock of all of Athens.


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