Friday, September 29, 2006

Weekend Homework

I'm taking Del's advice. Tomorrow morning, early ( any time before noon on a Saturday), I am heading across the Pennines, stopping only to pick up Lorraine, towards Anglesey via Selfridges' Food Hall and a spot of retail rehabilitation in Manchester City Centre.

You might want to use the time whilst I am away to grow your toenails, trim your nasal cavities, change your email/blog address or have a go at a fun, but thought-provoking exercise which I was going to leave but have changed my mind.

The sun is shining so just enjoy!

Did you hear the one about...

...the trainee bereavement counsellor? Thought not. It's hardly an obvious source of humourous anecdotes or witty quips. It's 5 years since I did my training, motivated primarily by the desire to understand my Probate clients and make the horrible process more positive for everybody. The resulting boost to my CV was a pleasant but secondary consideration.

I was only ever on it for the training. I wasn't going to become a 'counsellor'. It would mean having to start wearing diaphonous skirts, smell faintly of cat and talk in a softsensitivewithmylipsnotquiteopeningfullyheadononesidesmilingenigmatically voice, right?

Well, no, actually. I never did master that technique, although I did learn to kerb my natural instinct to want to proffer advice and just to sit back and listen. I couldn't turn my back on it when the training ended and I'm still a Cruse volunteer. It's given me some really rewarding moments and I've met some lovely people who have let me walk part of the way over a difficult path with them. But that's not what I set out to tell you about tonight.

I found my old course notes. They make interesting reading. Take this exercise as an example.

Asked to choose an item from a large selection of assorted toys, trinkets and miscellania, I picked a small tin box for no reason other than it was closest and wasn't in any way, shape cuddly.

I was then asked to jot down 3 things that I liked about it, followed by 3 things that I didn't like so much. I'm quite taurean when I write anything, as often shows in my thoughtless, banal comments and I was no different with this task, rattling off 6 points before most of my fellow delegates were still pondering hard on their chosen item.






Cheaper than it looks

We were then asked to place the words " I am " in front of each adjective. Boy! I definitely got it right with that last one!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mouldy Old Dough

Jack, with typical teenage tastes, refuses to eat anything past its sell-by-date. My Grandad, on the other hand, would greedily grab as much as his 88-year old arms could carry from the mass of out-of-date produce available on the rogue stalls at the local market each week. Most of it would end up in food parcels doled out to me and any other relatives who, in his opinion, needed feeding up and/or helping out ( I suspect it was just me).

I always took them with graciousness, knowing how much it pleased him to be of practical assistance, but secretly ditching most of it the minute I arrived home or at best, a few days later. He could have spent the money more usefully on himself, but in all likelihood, that would only have been down the bookies.

I'd love to go back to those weekends, going round for a lunch that Grandad had cooked, wondering what we'd be served and hoping that our ironstone-bred stomachs would cope with it ( he'd been an army cook and old habits had stayed with him). I never suffered any ill effects, on the contrary, those were some of the loveliest lunches I have ever experienced, although not on a gastronomic level.

I'd also appreciate the goodie bags much more these days, not financially, but out of the sheer pleasure that Grandad had experienced from bagging a bargain and wanting to pass it on to me. There was nothing wrong with the stuff he bought. I'd probably even eat the tinned peaches nowadays.

Jack will come to understand this as he grows older.

This simple truth gives me immense hope.

Sell-by-dates might be a device for the supermarkets to limit their liability and increase their profits, but they are generally ignored by the older, wiser and more discerning clientele once they have the produce in their kitchens. Those same older, wiser and more discerning clients are the only thing that provide any prospect for blown, gone-to-seed, crows-footed, droopy-boobed still-sitting-on-the-shelf women past 30 of ever having sex again.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Rotten Lousy Scoundrels

For a girl who never goes out and has no social life, I did a pretty poor job tonight. I met up with about 200 of my new friends, where they all know me by name and make a point of coming over to speak to me the moment they arrive.

Yep. The new Comedy Club season has started and this time, I'm the woman on the door.

I've been anticipating it all summer and have amassed a rather groovy collection of slogan tee-shirts for the occasion. Tirelessly campaigning to promote the written word, I figure they can only see me from the chest up so looking at my tits should be a positive experience. 'Course, tonight I wore a white tunic, simply because I had one ironed. One wise guy actually asked where the slogan had gone. " This? Oh, it's a blank note pad" was a funnier response at the time somehow.

Rob Rouse, a TV ( that's as in television, not Eddie Izzard) comic was headlining. I was a little excited and had taken my camera in the hope of getting a photo with a famous person. He'd cancelled. At 3pm this afternoon. Jon, the promoter and resident compere had recoved sufficiently to regain the power of speech by the time I arrived at 7 to set up the front desk. He'd got a last minute stand-in ( or should that be stand-up?). I was a little worried that anyone available to come to ScVnthorpe, a town responsible for at least 37 different search engine filters, at 4 hours notice might not be a crowd-puller. Boy! Was I wrong.

Pete Firman, the first slot, also with TV credits to his name ( C5's Monkey Magic - never heard of it) got things warmed up with his comedic magic. Not quite your Tommy Cooper but not bad at all. Next up were 2 newcomers to the circuit, Al, a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall lookalike and, erm, a Geordie with walnut whip hair managed to raise some laughs which is more than can be said for the middle guy a fortnight ago.

I was mobbed during the intervals with people wanting to buy membership cards and book seats in advance for the next show. Word had got about and we'd sold out in advance for both the first two shows (it's repeated in Grimsby and Doncaster on alternate Tuesdays - I thoroughly recommend it to anyone living near either place, and I know some of you do - tell your friends, tell Jon I sent you and tell me what you think afterwards) so I hadn't had the chance to pop into the dressing room and meet the final act ( I also hadn't had the opportunity to get the inside gen on whether he was single, and more importantly, whether he wasn't fussy from Roger in advance - there are some benefits to having a best friend married to a stand-up comedian). I certainly would not have put the large, leather-clad, goatee-wearing, cropped haired leviathan down as Mitch Benn from Radio 4.

He was awesome. He had the place in pieces from start to finish. He came back for 2 encores and still they cheered for more. He was a damn sight funnier and completely more professional than that weedy Rot Louse would have been.

( No, that's not Dawn French at the front but I can understand why you might have thought it was )

Get out there. Bring some comedy into your lives. Support live performances, be it stand-up, theatre, music ( but I'm not sure where I stand on installation art). Your tellies and computers will still be at home waiting for you. Well, unless you're unlucky enough to live in certain areas of Manchester, they will be.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

All a Bit Flat

Why did Andrea have to go and challenge me? Why couldn't I have just smiled and walked away, got in the car, driven up to Northumberland and pretended to be a Catherine Cookson heroine for the afternoon?

11 hours of frenzied, feverish activity, 1 litre of Coca-Cola Zero, a cup of Earl Grey, 2 litres of scented water, 4 movies ( Kingdom of Heaven, Hitch, How to Get Ahead In Advertising and South Pacific) and a short intermission while Mrs Roger came and took some over-enthusiastic forget-me-nots and various other bits of greenery ( she even started to the lift the turf but that's a story for another day) and I'm halfway there.

Go on, click on them, feast your eyes. After all that hard work, I'm expecting a short mention in Hansard, a Woman of Achievement Award and maybe even a slot on Richard & Judy. I'll bet Pope Benedict has already forgotten his recent troubles in his rush to find a way of granting instant beatification on a living being.

I keep running into the (bea)Uti(fu)lity Room and stretching out full length on the worktops, because I can. I no longer need fear being engulfed by toppling tee-shirts, found weeks later, Dead By Laundry.

Now, Scrabble anyone?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Chill! Out

Being woken up by your best friend, the one with the immaculate house and precision appearance, informing you that she's going to be in your village shortly and would it be alright for her son, your godson, to come round for a shower after his football match is enough to get any Saturday Sloth upright and focused in seconds.

Rachel knows that in a housekeeping competition she would always always beat me. ( She also knows that with my competitive nature, I'd challenge her to a Scrabble Marathon - sure she'd get the tiles looking neat and tidy but the Triple Word Scores would be all mine). I'd offered to give them some lunch so the least I could do was remove the bacteria colonies that were attempting to claim asylum on every available surface, including me.

The result was satisfying. It looked as if I hadn't bothered to do anything more than light a scented candle to greet her arrival when, in reality, I had been running around juggling the Dyson and Cif for the best part of 3 hours.

Funny, I've somehow managed to create a similar effect with my fridge, which I shot as part of Belinda's Dare which I heard about from that doyenne of good taste, Andrea.

( click on the picture if you have a fridge voyeurism fetish)

I cheated. I cleaned it first. I was not aware we had such a strong liking for mustard but there are 6 different varieties in there, 2 types of jam, 1 jar of marmalade ( neither Jack nor I eat it, I have no idea where it came from but it looked settled so I left it) 4 types of olive, lime/ chilli pickle and mango chutney, fish sauce, disposable eye masks, lime/lemon juice, 4 bags of mozzarella ( it's the Healthy Eating range - it's allowed) and some lovely locally-produced organic sausages. I was tempted to pull some leaves out of the garden to add some token greenery, but one would not expect my fridge to contain lettuce. I have, of course, eaten it. The tomatoes are still being picked off the vine as required. And the wine is Fairtrade ( well 1 bottle is) so it's good. It is.

If you fancy taking up the Fridge Challenge, follow the link from Belinda's name above and read the rules. I am particularly interested in seeing what the inside of a single man's fridge looks like. I may even be available for a personal inspection if the contents prove worthy.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Perfect start to the Weekend

Watching the clock, willing it to speed forward to 5.30pm, but beginning to suspect that it has stopped. Eventually, grabbing coat and bag, dashing up the street, head back, smiling and waving acknowledgements to younger colleagues dipping into pub doorways and those nearer retirement struggling with bags laden with the evening's supper. No time to stop and chat or lend a hand.

On the road, the radio presenter plays The Cure, as if you'd forget what night it is. Home, doorkeys thrown on the sofa, shoes kicked off at the bottom of the stairs, not even pausing to check the mail, it's straight under the shower, singing loudly.

Half an hour later, pulling on that new skirt, the one with the cheeky hem which flicks out when you twirl. Is it wise to wear black hold-ups? There'll be a lot of dancing, energetic dancing, they are bound to show. What the Heck! wear them anyway and bend down to fasten the ankle straps around the high-heeled shoes, the black patent ones, the ones you couldn't really justify buying but just couldn't resist.

A sassy young woman smiles back in the mirror, slicking on a deep red lipstick, patting the soft curls falling about her shoulders and unconsciously hoisting up her corset for the first time of the night, she'll be doing the same thing many times before the night is over or she's too carried away by the music to care. A quick spritz with the Chanel, behind the ears, on both wrists and once down the cleavage for good luck and she's flying out the door to the waiting taxi. It will be almost daylight before she returns, still spinning on her heels, laughing, maybe even hiccuping, not alone, the night is still young.

Anyway, that's how I'd like to be starting my weekend. Now, excuse me, I really must go feed the cat, try and find a matching pair of woolly socks but I won't get overly-stressed if one's pink and the other orange, I'll probably end up pulling a pair off Jack's rugby pile. I'm already in my pj's, about the only thing I am likely to dash upstairs for the minute I get home, and the only social invitation on the weekend's horizon is to attend a memorial service at the Ukrainian Church on Sunday. Somebody Please Sedate Me.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

(Formal) Dress ( Not) Required

There was a time when lawyers were respected, even revered members of the community. A trip to the solicitor's office was an occasion to be suited and booted, and perhaps a little dreaded.

Those days have gone, along with the quill pens, large telex machines, piles of dusty, mouldering files, lack of customer care and an unspoken agreement to meet in the pub at twelve noon every Friday and call it an end to the working week. It's no loss.

Many clients never even set foot in a solicitor's office, corresponding solely by email, telephone and post and of those that do prefer to deal in person, very few see the need to make a special effort with their appearance any more so than if they were visiting the post office or the dentist ( although I bet they'd be prompter for their appointments at the latter).

I often get people wanting to pop in on their way home from work. I'm still usually there so it's not a problem, although I have taken to asking in a roundabout way where they work - trying to explain the complexities of a flying freehold with a sheep farmer fresh from lambing or a fish filleter not-so-fresh from the cold store does tend to focus your mind on the salient points and quickly manage a talkative client out of the door.

Home visits were much more common when my specialism included Will-drafting. I could judge a Residential Home on a scale of 1-10 within 2 sniffs of the threshold. Many housebound clients relished the opportunity for social interaction with someone other than their Home Help, bath nurse or ( perceived) resentful off-spring and I soon learned to be wary of a proffered biscuit, particularly ones on a pre-prepared tray. It was about the time that I had to arrange the clearance of a property where the frail occupant, recently taken into geriatric psychiatric care, had lived exclusively on tinned salmon and Mars Bars and been doubly-incontinent that I understood why it was often better not to accept refreshments of any description and maybe even to remain standing, with nothing between you and the door.

I didn't think twice about making a house call on my way home the other night. I knew the son ( Moustache Mark may be familiar to some) and it was only 5 minutes from home. I'd never met his parents but had a pretty good idea of the sort of people they'd be - salt of the earth, hard-working, not prone to standing on ceremony, spades-a-shovel types. They were expecting me although I was a bit earlier than I had planned and worried that they might still be having their tea.

I was greeted by a slightly smaller, older sans-Moustache Mark who answered the door, bare-chested, the original MM standing at his shoulder, equally bare-chested. The large expanse of flesh took me by surprise and I was momentarily caught off balance.

I don't usually introduce myself with the words, " Excuse me, I hope I'm not interrupting your wrestling?"

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Good morning C.P.,

While I can appreciate the tremendous honour of being "one of three" to be your 10,000th visitor, my conscience has been pricking me (!) and I feel I should decline the award. This isn't any kind of sleight against you, nor any kind of "too cool for awards" thing like the Beatles and their OBEs merely a matter of honesty.

If your 10,000th came via Bloglines then it's not me because I didn't. I do sometimes but I didn't that time.*heaves sigh*

There I've said it and I'm sure it'll do my Karma good. It'd bloody well better!

With fond regards, I have the pleasure to remain,
your avid reader
Steg xx


I appreciate your honesty and realise it must have taken great strength of character to decline such a coveted prize. To my mind, this makes you more a Winner than ever.

Your flattered Hostess


Plucky Pete- or Ducks on Speed

I make no apologies for my first finalist award going to the the one I know personally. I simply have to give more than 5 minutes thought over a glass of Sauvignon Blanc to the others ( that includes you, Fronty)

Ducky Pete is a jovial fellow,
His temperament kind and mild and mellow.
He thinks about things,
Important and trivial.
His avatar is the Most startling Yellow.

A Southerner, Pete is forgiven for that.
He lives alone, not even a cat
For company, but lonely he's certainly not.
Friends he makes easily
From Bird Forum to Blogspot.

He's tall, dark and handsome, solvent and single,
Happy on mud, sand, glade or shingle.
Give him some bins, a scope and a hide
He'll soon have a list that will swell him with pride.

He lives for his holidays
Always chasing another
But the Best about Pete?
It's his love for his mother.

Sorry it's a bit Pam Ayres, Pete, I know there's much more to you but I couldn't think of anything to try and rhyme sci-fi with other than hi-fi and I would have had to have taken up self-harming.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

And The Winner Is...

Buggered if I know!

It appears that 3 lucky entrants each have reason to believe they were Visitor 10K. A rapid scan of my Sitemeter statistics doesn't help much other than to tell me that according to their records, the 10,000th guest came via Bloglines and was somewhere in the UK but the exact location is a mystery.

I also viewed my page a few minutes after the first claims came in and it told me that I, too, was the 10000th hit. It is tempting to declare myself the champion and continue to talk about me but that would be cheating.

Ziggi points out that my friends over at Clustrmap have logged 11772 viewers since June and they coincidentally sent me an email today confirming this and telling me that they were only going to record it monthly from now on, apparently North America was in danger of toppling into the Pacific under the weight of red dots. There seems to be some creative accounting going on somewhere.

So I officially declare Stegbeetle, Pete and Our Man In Virginia as joint and equal winners. Their prize posts will appear over the next few weeks. Boys, you still have time to email me for details of where to send favourite photographs ( Pete - I already have some), personal information or anecdotes you would like included, large bouquets ( no chrysanthemums or gypsophila, please), expensive chocolates ( Valrhona would be a good choice), perfume ( anything strong, musky and sexy) or plain cash. Bribery pays.

Seany deserves a commendation for his persistence, so near but so far.

Mike is applauded for simply mentioning Douglas Adams.

Joyce - I wish it could have been you. You inspire me so much and I already know that Bette Midler would have been your theme tune.

Mise - you're right about the triple zeros. They earn you a big fat Nothing.

Finally, I have to mention Mark. You're cuddle is waiting collection.

I could launch into a long emotional monologue telling you all what you mean to me. I won't because I'd get tears on my keyboard and my eyes would go even more red and puffy than they are aleady ( thanks, Joyce). Needless to say, I am grateful. I am honoured. I am slightly worried that you haven't got anything better to do with your time. I bloody love blogging and have some very warm ( and sometimes moist, but that probably has something to do with my age) feelings for all of you.

PS. A snog is a passionate kiss between 2 consenting adults. Tongues may be involved but only if garlic isn't.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Ten Thousand Maniacs

Sometime over the next 24 hours I expect to receive my 10,000th hit. Pretty slow going for a blog that has been running for over 2 years but I only thought to start counting in March, and nobody except a few friends knew of its existence until then.

Any way, I want to mark the occasion somehow so can I ask you to check the blog counter on my sidebar and if you are the lucky 10,000th visitor, leave a comment ( that includes those quiet friends, I know who you are and if I discover it was you I will award your prize regardless) and you will win a fabulous prize which will see you immortalised within the pages of this blog forever. The lucky visitor gets an entire post about them. It may be a poem, a review or advice on depilation depending on who it is. There may also be spot prizes for originality, blatant fauning and sheer doggedness.

On your marks...

Get set...


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Who Does She Think She Was? recently sent me a message suggesting that I was about to meet with a blast from my past. I thought this unlikely. I'm still in regular contact with plenty of old flames and I really can't think of any of the others that I would be remotely thrilled at bumping into again. The chances that such a person might have thought to communicate with me via a quacky website designed to part gullible, misguided fools from their money made this even more doubtful.

That didn't stop me opening the message, just in case Gary from Junior School had suddenly woken up and realised that his life in leafy suburbia with 2.4 kids and a daily commute into the city was meaningless and that I was his one true love after all. There's no denying that something special passed between us during Postman's Knock at my 11th birthday party.

In fact, those thoughtful folk wanted to tell me who I had been in a past life. All for a very reasonable 20$. So keen were they to provide me with this information, they offered to give me a sample of their knowledge for free. It would have been churlish of me not to accept such a generous and valuable offer.

I provided them with the critical information that would enable them, over the tinterweb to look back past the moment of my birth. There was no need for hypnotism or regression therapy, just a couple of boxes filled in with date, time and place was sufficient.

This is what they came up with.

Your Sun is in Taurus (Tropical zodiac). Taurus' influence inclines you to be somewhat headstrong, with a very set and determined manner. Since your childhood, being outdoors and living close to nature is probably more significant to you than to most others. This love of nature and the great outdoors is from one or more past lives spent on a farm or in nature settings. For ages countries on the Mediterranean such as ancient Egypt, Greece and virtually all of the ancient Mideast lived in close contact with nature. So did the Native Americans of pre-Columbian America. And surely you were one of them.

What utter twaddle. The answer of who I was is obvious from a brief examination of the facts.

1. Red hair
2. Ankles prone to swelling
3. Loud, bawdy personality, inability to suffer fools gladly
4. Hearty appetite
5. Love of travel and luxurious accommodation
6. Able to play 'Greensleeves' on the recorder by the age of 7
7. Lack of current spousal candidates suggesting used up my fair share in a previous incarnation

I couldn't have been anyone other than Henry VIII.

Who were you?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Larkin Around

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

April 1971 from High Windows

Larkin wrote this on the day I was born, or very near to it at least. I don't think it was meant as a Nostradamuslike prophecy or premonition of things to come. I am not so completely self-centred ( yet) to realise that it had nothing whatsoever to do with me at all but our shared age and the fact that it was one of the first poems I ever read with swear words in it at exactly the time that rows at home were reaching their climax, has granted it a soft spot in my affections.

I won't drone on about Larkin. Anyone interested will already know of him, and anyone not, well isn't. Needless to say, he never had kids. His verse might have been different if he had.

They keep you up, your teenage kids.
They may not mean to but they do.
They fill you with the fears you have
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were kept out in their turn
By Colts in new team ties and coats
Who half the time were taciturn
While pints of lager flowed down their throats.

Son hands on misery to Mum.
It deepens as she sits on the shelf.
Get home as early as you can,
And earn your beer money yourself.

There is a story behind this which isn't that remarkable or interesting but did result in Jack turning up for College on Monday with 5 stitches in his finger and a face that looked like it had been exfoliated with an electric sander ( it hadn't but he had made quite an impression on the concrete as he'd nose-dived over our 6-ft gate, having lost his keys at the end of Pub Golf).

The most worrying part of it all was that he seems to have contracted my eternally-optimistic, cup half-full ( and if it isn't then who's round is it?) attitude to adversity. Returning from college that evening, he remarked upon what a fantastic pulling opportunity this had created for him. All the girls ( even the prettiest ones that he never thought would notice him) wanted to know what had happened and he was a legend with the boys within 3 days of the start of term.

I predict my hairdresser is going to make a fortune out of my roots this year.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Keeling Me Softly

( The editor apologises for the poor quality of the photos in the following post. Please click on them to open them in a larger window to appreciate the true horror of how bad they really are)

I was up early. Prehistorically so, at least to my mind. The sun hadn't had time to burn off the primeval mist that clung like cotton wool to the valley, choking the trees, only the very tallest being able to gasp for the fresh drier air above it.

My date, Comrade had arrived before me and was already making ready for the day ahead. The rising tide had meant an early start to ensure it got out of the lockgates before the water engulfed the mechanisms. It was almost lapping the very top of the inlet. I'd never seen it this full. ( note the concrete mooring platform to the front of the keel)

We clambered, with some difficult and no doubt amusing results - thankfully I had the camera - over the concrete wall of the sluice gate and jumped down to meet David & Carolyn. By the time Dad and the others arrived, I had spotted the kissing gate further along which allowed them all much easier access. The girls were worried we might need to go to the shop to buy more water
( I'd only packed 4 litres) whilst the boys wondered whether we were planning to sail to Holland rather than just up to Immingham and back, given the number and size of the bags we expected them to carry up the ladder, over the ropes, and onto the craft.
The crew hastily mended a rip in the sail sustained at the Sea Shanty Festival the previous weekend and then we were ready to catch the highest tide in 20 years. The area to the right ( starboard) side of the above picture shows the same jetty as the one in the first picture, just 40 minutes later. Needless to say, we'd ditched any ideas of going to fetch more provisions when we had realised we'd have to swim to the boat if we dallied a moment longer. We were treated to a fly-past from a squadron of hundreds of noisy Canada Geese as we set off.

We motored down to the bridge, into the wind and then hoisted the mainsail. Engines cut, peace broken only by the cries of the many birds swooping across the swollen waters and much merry-making from the passengers. Gill and Frances took the helm, relinquishing it to the boys for the return leg of the journey, steady, straight with a strong backwind and full sail.

By this time the estuary had emptied considerably. That's why I wasn't that concerned when I noticed a large sand bar to starboard. The depth gauge was only showing 7ft too, but I assumed that was alright because we sat at 3.5ft in the water. David did seem to be steering towards the large white ferries in the distance when I thought Colin, the skipper had pinpointed the two red cargo ships further east. I certainly wasn't expecting the sudden burst of activity from the crew who made some hard and fast tacks, paying careful attention to Health & Safety with a hastily positioned rope. I think a few hours stuck on a sandbank in the middle of one of Europe's busy shipping channels might have been rather fun. Yet another opportunity to meet a sailor or those lovely boys at Humber Rescue.

Dad indulged in his favourite hobby.
So did Jack.
Some of the Geese had decided to await our return as we saw from the tracks they had left across the exposed bed of the creek. The same creek from which we had departed. The yellow flag in the background is the same one as on the picture above. The picture taken into the late afternoon sun shows the same mooring on the mid-tide. It was a great day.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Ecstatic Equinox

This weekend promises some of the highest tides ever recorded on the Humber. I dropped into the viewing area on my way home from the office this evening. It was spectacular.

The mighty river glowed orange and pink beneath a magnificent sunset, lapping within a few inches of where I stood. It looked so tranquil I could have stepped right in. It was still warm enough to wear nothing more than a suit jacket but the first nips of autumn were definitely in the air. Skeins of geese, wild ducks and roosting gulls flew overhead, silhouetted against the vibrant sky. A few middle-aged couples strolled along the bank, arm in arm, whilst another pair sat in their car eating fish and chips with their fingers. I was tempted to knock on their window and ask for a chip when I recognised the driver as my old Head of Upper School.

I sat for quite a long while, just watching the flow of the tide inching perceptibly higher. I was mesmerised.

As the dying embers of the day sunk beneath the skyline, I drove back up the hill to be met with a huge cream moon rushing upwards over the Wolds. If I'd driven a few miles East, I swear I could have touched it.

Excitement was mounting in me. I had lots of preparations to make.

Tomorrow is my date with my powerful and eternal lover.

Just 9 hours to go.

Tomorrow at dawn I shall be riding high. Tomorrow. Finally. I shall be meeting Comrade

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Morning After

I was really in two minds whether to publish that last post. I'm pleased I did. I'm overwhelmed by your responses and very relieved that no-one has launched a stream of vitriol at me for even so much as having maintained contact with him, let alone considering anything more. I guess there's time yet.

I am a big believer in Fate. Cherry's guardian theory has actually occurred to me before - he was called Charlie when I was growing up but he was my Mum's guardian. There have been quite a few occasions where some seemingly coincidental event has prevented bad things happening.

I'm also surprisingly old-fashioned and have always tried to maintain one moral ( only the one, otherwise I'm fairly unscrupulous) - Don't Go Near If He's Married Or Otherwise Attached. I've pretty much stook by it apart from the odd drunken fumble here or there, and I don't count flirting 'cos I'm hardly ever aware that I'm doing it and anyway, I'm not sure I'm very good at it. I would never dream of breaking up a relationship. After all, if they can do it to their wife, they can do it to me too. And I'm the product of a marriage torn apart by infidelity ( although the awful rows stopped so I don't ever believe in staying together for the sake of the children - people who think that are probably doing far more psychological harm than good). I certainly wouldn't want the baggage.

There is no way I would ever have a serious relationship with this guy but right there on Saturday, if he'd been here, I honestly don't think I could have stopped myself from my basal instincts. It would have been nothing more and nothing less.

Cece's right. It did make me feel sexy and desirable. I'm wearing 3" stilletto heels for the first time in goodnessknowshowlong. I'm walking tall, with a slight wiggle and I feel a dress-size slimmer instantly.

What will I do if the opportunity arises again? I honestly don't know although I'm more inclined to think I would refuse. The realities of such things are always messier than the fantasies, and I'm not just talking bedsheets.

But never one to miss an opportunity, I implore you, Kate, tell me more about this brother-in-law of yours. Age is not an issue. The last man I had dishonourable intentions for was 52 although it was unrequited.

As for the suggestion to check out his mates, don't think I haven't already tried.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The One That Got Away

There's this chap I've known a few years. I originally met him at an online dating site. We chatted a bit, went on webcam a few times and could quite easily have met for a date. He lives in a town not unknown to a few fellow-bloggers.

I really liked this guy. He was funny, handsome, 6'2", played rugby and could dance. Ticks in all the right boxes. That was the problem. The chances of him liking me in return were slim ( unlike me) so I procrastinated. Eventually he was reunited with his long-term girlfriend though we kept up email contact, mainly in the form of Fwd: Funnies.

We met in person for the first time a couple of Christmases ago. Jack was playing at his home ground and he strolled past whilst I was jumping up and down on the touchline. I recognised him and shouted him over, forgetting that I was wearing pixie ear-muffs and wellies at the time. It seemed like we'd known one another for ever and our email contact became more regular, daily infact, and included personal notes on what was happening in our lives, swapped photos, mild flirting etc.

He came over a couple of times after I'd moved last summer. It was all very innocent, just sharing a glass of wine, I may have cooked once, before he headed back. I never asked if his girlfriend, now his wife, knew where he was but it didn't seem to matter because we were nothing more than friends enjoying a pleasant platonic evening.

He texted me at the weekend and for reasons I do not fully understand they started to become increasingly steamy. I had to take a shower, in part to cool down, but also in case he turned up on the doorstep. He didn't and the weekend passed quietly.

Yesterday morning, my phone bleeped. I'd got a text. It was from him. He was 10 minutes away and had an hour available. There was no doubt about what he had in mind. It seems my karmic-fairy-SMS-of-a-godmother had taken it upon herself to withhold the message for 36 hours by which time the moment had passed, my virtue had been retained and his marriage vows unbroken.

Frustrated? I am now! Although, of course I pretend not to be.

How sexually frustrated are you? ***version 2.0***

You're in sexual frustration level 3. DENIAL. Yes, i'm talking to you. Because you've been sexually frustrated so long you've pretended that you pulled yourself out of the funk. LIAR. Filling your life with heavy work loads isn't going to help you get laid. TRUST ME thats what you need. (just when you do, don't be too violent) You've grown hostile and slightly evil... This needs to stop- You need to get out there and... not kill people - consider starting a porn star career or attending large orgies just to get the ball rolling -
Take this quiz!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Futility Room

There are normally 12 of us at work, each with our own little autonomous departments. For the past couple of weeks, because of various holidays and sickness, there have been 2 of us, and I was the only qualified one. There hasn't been much time to sit up and smell the coffee. In fact, there's been barely enough time to even make a coffee.

But I'd rather do that every day of the week, every week of the year, than have to face the ironing.