In which Mr Teach forgets a little something




The narcissistic mirror girl reappeared at about 9pm last night, looking a mite more dishevelled than last week. She looked as hot as she ever does and her hair was a damn sight messier  – quite reasonably as she had been ravished twice already that evening and cooked dinner in between (pasta with a sauce I made yesterday – clearly I wasn’t going for anything complicated or time-consuming…).

I looked at myself, Miss Very-Well-Fucked, and thought of the immortal line from Bridget Jones. “Hello? Cots – wanton sex goddess…”

Knowing me, it would be my mum I said that to, too… I laughed and dried my hands and went downstairs to re-join a mostly naked Mr Teach who was snuggled up on the sofa watching the Stand Up To Cancer evening.

I was glad of the rest. There had been a lot of very vigorous sex and I ached pretty much all over. Collapsing on the sofa was just fine by me.

I’d been as good as my word and opened the door to him in a short skirt, a tight shirt (which I’d ironed an hour before) with an extra button undone, stockings (which I’d turned my bedroom half upside down looking for), a push-up bra, my contacts in, and my Louboutins on my feet (a special treat).

He was extremely appreciative. My boobs are his new favourite thing, ever. I made his eyes roll back in his head several times, and he was just as hot this week as he was last week. He knew exactly what he wanted and he wasn’t shy about taking it, which pleased me enormously.

Relaxing on the sofa we were pressed up against each other companionably. The SUTC programme was funny and at times heartbreakingly sad and I duly found myself in silent tears which I couldn’t really laugh off. I recovered, and Mr Teach curled up after a kind comment and nodded off next to me.

Three quarters of an hour later he woke up again and I suggested we give in and actually go to bed. He’d had a really busy week, I’d had a horrible cold – no shame in going to sleep. So up we went, me putting my stuff in the spare room again – I really really needed a good night’s sleep – and a pre-sleep cuddle with him in my bed.

Which inevitably turned into more hot sex. Heheh. He rolled over happily and said “well, I did say I wanted you three times…” and I laughed and departed for the spare bed.

This morning I snuck in at 6.30, conscious that he was working today and needed to leave at 7. I spooned up backwards to him, and immediately felt a warm hand running over my thigh and bum.  Time number four…

So he departed just after 7am, very happy, tell-tale marks on his dark trousers where I’d sat on him shortly after he arrived the night before (and I hoped he was going to change before work…), proclaiming that his penis wouldn’t work again for a week. He also proudly announced, as he got dressed, that four times was a new world record for him. I smiled indulgently, said “oh really?” in a way that can be interpreted however one likes, and thought “awww, bless you sweetie” whilst thinking of my own PB which is precisely double that.

I kissed him briefly goodbye, retired back to my own bed, and reflected that while it had been great fun, he’d had four orgasms in twelve hours, and I’d had…. none.

The sex was and is incredibly hot. There is no question that I’m not turned on. But it’s been six times and no fireworks for me.

I know I’m difficult – I’m not quibbling that. But guys usually ask, usually notice. Maybe the noises I was making confused him, happy and excited as they were.

Maybe they sounded like I had. Alas not. The clue is in the “ohhh I’m coming…” which I didn’t say.

Sometimes I get fed up with this state of affairs and whip out my little toy, demanding that my partner get acquainted with it. The dynamic wasn’t like that with Mr Teach, so I didn’t.

Sure, maybe I need to communicate my requirements better. And undoubtedly I love it without the happy ending – the breathless hot sweaty sex where you forget everything else. But I kind of think he should notice or care.

Part of me think it’s because he’s five years younger than me. He has another bad habit of checking his phone every time it gets a notification too – which makes me roll my eyes. I massively object when my friends are glued to their phones – for a date to do the same I consider seriously bloody rude. Even when he shows me the messages and laughs and says “oh, bants” (which is a word I happen to hate).

It brings out my inner desire to say – “You know, Becky might be a work colleague who is pretending to bug you amusingly about work and it’s annoying you a bit, but just to give you a heads-up, she obviously fancies you. Perhaps you might like to casually mention you fucked me over the back of the sofa a moment ago?”. But I don’t care quite that much. It’s just a bit annoying.

So the dreaded “bants”, the zero-for-six orgasms… my heart is quite safe.

Next time he tells me we’ll be debauching the bath and the shower though.

Which I can completely get on board with…

A Guide to Getting Divorced (or, what I wish I knew)


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I read an interesting article on the BBC website the other day written by a woman who, after having had a baby, suddenly realised all the stuff that women don’t tell each other openly about having a baby.

Typically, being a slight muppet, I can’t actually find the damn article to link to. But it certainly got me thinking about things I wished I’d known (not babies – never going down that road) – but about the other huge thing I did, namely getting divorced.

I suspect that most of the ideas society has about women vs divorce centres on the image of a slightly embittered middle-aged woman shredding her ex’s boxers on the drive and that sort of thing.

I’m not sure what society thinks of women who get divorced in their very early thirties; even less so when she is the one who chooses to leave. I’ve written about the circumstances, the whys and the hows – but I thought it would be interesting to compare what I assumed or expected at the time versus what actually happened.

I guess the biggest assumption that I had – being in my very early thirties when my decree absolute landed on the doormat – was that I’d find a long-term partner again pretty quickly, or certainly as soon as I fancied being coupled up again.

Six years (and a lot of blog posts [errrrm, 715]) later, I’m precisely as single now as I was then.

However, I’ve stopped being quite so permanently baffled by this state of business. Sure, I wonder occasionally what makes me so undateable, but other than that I rest comfortably in the knowledge that one of the reasons is because I ain’t ever going to settle for second-best. Been married, got the t-shirt, got the divorce – not going to date twats just for the sake of having a boyfriend.

It’s good-looking, fun, caring, dynamite in bed and slightly daft or it’s nothing at all, thanks…

There have been people who I could have dated. Sometimes they were drippy, sometimes they were droopy, sometimes I liked them more than they liked me, sometimes I thought they were boring, sometimes I just didn’t really like them very much,

After years of being half of a couple, and indeed getting married very young, it took me years to realise that actually falling in love and not getting your own way is just a big fat part of life. That sometimes you’ll date someone for a little while and you’ll know it’s not quite a fit but you’ll carry on for a bit anyway because it’s nice to have some company, until the day when something crops up that reminds you that you’re not actually that compatible and one or the other of you calls it off. Like Dr Fathead – the last person I can honestly say I dated in the real sense of the word – and that was 5 years ago.

So yes. The next man isn’t necessarily right around the corner as you gleefully sign those divorce papers, but that doesn’t mean I will stop looking. Besides, I had an awful lot of adventurous sex in the time where I definitely didn’t want to be dating…

Because divorce is a licence to do all the things you secretly wanted to but couldn’t. Two people at the same time? Tick! String of men on the go? Tick! Driving around the countryside with no knickers on, off to meet your latest date? Tick! Within the parameters of safety and healthfulness, the sky’s the limit, and there is something out there for everyone. It was (and still is) – without ego – a source of great wonder just how many men do find me attractive and want to get horizontal (or vertical) with me. It means I’m not dried up and shrivelled just yet. Make hay while the sun shines…

I suppose the bits that were a shock to me were how expensive it is to live on your own. For years I paid half the mortgage, half the bills. Suddenly it’s all on you, plus a hefty deposit to rent.

And then there’s the actual business of the divorce. I couldn’t afford a solicitor, so I did it myself (with some excellent and free advice from a friend who specialised in family law – it wasn’t the time to be polite and say “oh no, I couldn’t possibly trouble you…” – I seized her offer with both hands). But doing it yourself is brutal – there is no filter between you and your ex’s solicitor.

I used to only read those emails in the office when I was at least surrounded by familiar faces. I couldn’t face reading them at home on my own. I didn’t want that intrusion into my Cotswolds fortress where I was holed up trying to ride out the storm. So my colleagues periodically had to deal with my shrieking at my computer in rage, or perhaps fleeing to the toilets in tears, or sitting steely-eyed at my desk looking daggers at my screen – and bless them for the lunches and the drinks and the tissues.

I didn’t expect, either, not to get any return on a house I paid half of for seven years. I didn’t expect my brilliant mathematician husband to be so woefully inept at putting together financial details, and I genuinely thought he had made a mistake when he sent me his numbers, honestly thought that he’d added an extra nought by mistake. This, then, was the outcome of his refusal to discuss his finances for years, and my complicity in not forcing him to. Stunning, breathtaking debt.

In short, I wanted the divorce to be done as quickly as possible, and said he could have the house in return for him not pursuing me for any of the debt. Or we could go to court, which I was more than prepared to do, but he wasn’t. He only just dodged the court bullet by the skin of his teeth – he’ll never know how close it came. I walked away with nothing, which is always better than minus nothing – and started the hell again.

So that was that expectation shattered. You don’t always get back what you put in. It’s the only thing I hold any level of bitterness about, but now I’ve bought my own house I’m able to finally let it go.

The big lesson for me was that you can only ever truly rely on yourself. I will never let my financial assets be threatened by anyone ever again. If I need to, I will specify splits and payments legally, should I ever live with anyone seriously again. This house is my security and I have worked hard for it. I will not let anyone touch it.

The little daily things I didn’t appreciate either. It sounds ridiculous to say suddenly you have to put out the bins yourself every week. But if you haven’t lived on your own, ever, you’ve always shared all the chores. There were days when I was newly living on my own that I couldn’t face the bins and the washing and the cooking and the cleaning – it felt relentless, this looking after myself. The level of organisation required to pay bills on time and feed myself and keep things neat and tidy as I like was just mind-boggling.

But I managed it. Everyone manages it. It isn’t anything special, it just takes time to adjust. And there are benefits – sprawling out in bed, hogging the whole duvet, doing what the fuck you like with the toothpaste cap and the loo seat, everything being where you left it, no arguments about what to watch on telly, never a queue for the bathroom, no snores, no accomodating meal tastes. No in laws.

There are things I love about being in a couple. The hugs and the cuddles, the passing kisses, the familiar sex on tap, someone to chat to, someone who is always interested, someone on your side, the two of you against the world – but life is good and rich and full without someone living with you providing those things.

Friends step up or duck out. It’s just a fact that you will “get” some friends and he’ll “get” others – but if you’re lucky like me, you’ll get the brilliant ones and he’ll get the irritating self-righteous twats who tell him what he wants to hear and haven’t the faintest idea of the truth.

If you’re truly lucky, you’ll get the friends who don’t mind you turning up on a weeknight when you’re newly seperated and sleeping on a lilo on their lounge floor because you just really needed to see some familiar faces who would give you wine and unconditional love. The ones who love you even though your ex was their friend too, the ones who know everything and still cherish you.

The ones who duck out or decide they don’t want to help you are the ones you don’t need anyway. Divorce changes how friends interact with you now you’re suddenly single. It alters the dynamic. You are now a third instead of an equal in another couple. Friends of friends will treat you warily if you speak to their husbands; even more so if there are children at a party and all the women are talking potty training – if you go and chat to the men instead then prepare to feel many pairs of eyes burning into your back. Divorced and childless – tsssssssskkk…. it’s a badge I was never ashamed to wear and I’m still not. Besides, I have more taste than to pinch someone’s husband, not that they know it.

All these things I didn’t know. None of these would have stopped me leaving.

Some of them would have made me do things differently while I was married – and I will never ever have a partner who won’t discuss money openly with me (I won’t have a bipolar partner, either, but that’s a slight aside…).

Divorce has made me see that I am capable and resiliant, that I am independent and can be proud of it. I can manage my own life, I can overcome really difficult things like M.E. without someone dispensing the cuddles and the comfort at home (parents aside!). I can buy my own house with my own money. I can look myself in the eye and be confident in my integrity. I can have sex as much or as little as I like, and I don’t have to settle by dating someone who isn’t worth it.

Yes, my TV is currently propped up on books while I organise my lounge. Yes, the painting is going to take forever because it’s just me and the odd friend doing it as and when. No – there’s no Sunday morning in bed reading the papers or a magazine after lazy morning sex and breakfast in bed, but then again it means I can shave my legs whenever I like and not whenever I have to!

Maybe it has made me selfish, maybe I’m stuck in my ways now. Maybe my inability to share my bed with anyone isn’t awfully healthy. Maybe my standards are what other people would call too high.

But in the end, it doesn’t matter what anyone else really thinks, because I have the freedom to do as I please. The things that matter to me are my friends and family, and those are the only opinions that I care to hold in any regard.

I don’t have to compromise to accomodate a difficult partner. There are no eggshells to walk on.

And that – if I could go back and tell the me sitting at my desk boiling over with rage at an email from my ex’s solicitor – I would tell her that it is worth it, the difficulty and the upset and the pain is worth it to have your freedom.

Don’t look back, be proud that you had the guts to leave when it was the right thing to do, be happy that you didn’t settle for an easy life – because you’ll emerge at the end as someone you like so much more, someone really great.

The Fallout


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I’ve caught a stinky cold from Mr Teach. More fool me for conveniently forgetting that he’d told me he’d had a virus before we met up and kissing him anyway.
Then again I was hardly not going to… you takes your kisses you catches the colds. The price of a decently debauched Friday night. Fallout fair and square.

All being well, Date Number Two will be happening this Friday evening. To say he is keen is putting it mildly. He seems to think I’m the sexiest thing on the planet, and who am I to disagree with a smart hot man who has outlined what he plans to do with me within the first two minutes of stepping through my front door? It is a wonderful thing.

Here’s very much hoping the cold is gone by then and I actually have some enthusiasm for sex, as opposed to this horrid bunged up listless viral state where the very thought of sex is mildly exhausting. I’m sure I’ll perk up soon.

Having been back at work following my week off after I moved, house stuff has ground to a halt somewhat. The evil cold has removed any last possibility of me doing any decorating this week. I’ve been working and that’s mostly it in the week – work then slump in a heap on the sofa.

The weekend was packed – date on Friday night, nephew birthday Saturday, quiz Saturday night, then a visit to Piano Learner and Mrs Piano Learner on Sunday for lunch and a lovely stroll (which he has written about here, kindly not mentioning that in fact I totally annihilated Africa when I sat down to play it – good grief, a piano that’s in tune? What is this novelty?). 

I overdid it a bit, fun as it was. As the stupid M.E. gets more and more under control and less of an everyday issue, I start to think again that I can do absolutely everything. Alas I can’t. My silly brain conveniently forgets.

But it could be worse. I’m not completely broken. The cold is what’s wearing me down at the moment, on top of a massively busy time at work. I’ll bounce back. It only takes time and patience.

I am missing having a cooker, though. Just heating the oven up and flinging something easy in is so helpful. I’m not a huge fan of microwaved meals and I’ve had two this week. The last resort of the cold-riddled girl.

Cooking on a camping stove is mildly challenging as it’s not awfully subtle and it’s prone to running out of gas at inconvenient moments. It’ll be another two or three weeks before the kitchen work is done, and I’m currently trying to order the right cabinets to go with what’s already there – which is hurting my brain. I’m trying to see ahead to when I have a beautiful cooker and a dishwasher – to when I have kitchen normality back. Tricky.

Things with this one aren’t really what I’d call back to normal, either. 

“We Have to Talk”-gate ended with a handshake that we would be best friends as usual, that only the American was off-topic (and yes, I agree that this makes me a bad and selfish friend) but that we wanted things to stay as they were.

They’re not. 

He doesn’t tell me about his dates any more (and I don’t read about them any more), I don’t bug him with every silly thought that crosses my mind because I feel a bit stupid now, he doesn’t send me pictures of his lunch any more. I miss all of those daily daft things and I feel quite ridiculous for acknowledging that it is so.

There is an occasional degree of normality, but I’m not the everyday one any more.

Possibly only a fool would actually expect things to be vaguely the same, and – truthfully – I didn’t. I don’t have the mental energy to endlessly dissect why that might be. My need to understand everything has to stop somewhere.

I’ll chalk it up to being just another thing on my long list of “you do x and y happens”. Much like kissing a guy and catching a cold. A dose of fallout.

In which Mr Teach is seriously gorgeous




I stood in the bathroom late last night, looking at myself in the mirror, trying to assess dispassionately what I saw in my reflection.

There was a woman there, a woman with lovely glossy hair which was ever so slightly dishevelled. She was wearing a short almost-kimono with her best bra underneath, so her waist was nipped in and the robe clung to her in a very appealling manner.

Her face was the best bit. It was a calm, serene face with smiling eyes framed by just a trace of smudged mascara – and looking carefully at it, I finally saw what other people have tried to tell me but that I have struggled to believe – that it can very much be a beautiful face, that it is a pretty face.

I smiled happily at myself, and took my sexy arse back to the bedroom.

Is there anything hotter the morning after to come downstairs to find clothes sprinkled all over the living room? From pub – where I met Mr Teach and he was even more gorgeous than his photos – to dinner at the pub with interesting conversation and some light flirtation – to my house drinking G&Ts and trying to be modest about the compliments about my house – to kissing on the sofa – to upstairs with fewer clothes on – to the hot physical nakedness – I felt attractive and desirable and just had a great time.

He was intelligent, looked ridiculously hot in his suit, smelled incredible, and thought I was completely gorgeous. He loved my voice, he was pleasantly surprised how smart and witty I was in person (why, thanks!) and didn’t think I looked my age. I was secretly extremely pleased I’d binned my hang-ups about my legs and worn a short skirt and tall boots – and (analytically speaking only) there were several other guys in the pub who might have agreed…

We chatted over G&T and champagne back at my house. I knew he wanted to kiss me but I wasn’t inclined to make it easy for him so I batted my eyelashes and waited for him to do something about it.

His kissing was almost great. I still don’t think I’ve actually kissed anyone who kisses exactly the way I love since Dr Fathead, which puzzles me as I don’t think the way I like is anything unusual. But it felt good anyway and it lead upstairs, so I can’t exactly grumble.

His body was just delicious. Smooth, toned, beginnings of a six-pack, tasted as nice as it smelled. He had very hot hints of being in charge – grabbing my wrists and pinning me without any wriggle room. Very hot.

And then the best thing, as we stood making out in my bedroom – he lifted me up, half clothed. Actually lifted me up and kissed me as I wrapped my legs around his waist. I am not a stick-like waif and nobody ever in the history of my sexual adventures has EVER done that. I fucking loved it. It made me feel very feminine, and also made me grateful that he practises a martial art which has CLEARLY made him strong!

He was good in bed, had plenty where it mattered, was as generous with his mouth as I was with mine (oh how he loved that), and had fabulous stamina. It was after an hour of intense, hot, sweaty, sexy bonkery that I found myself in the bathroom assessing myself and seeing myself in a good light.

Then there was some more. Then I wondered (yet again) why I am so spectacularly unable to fall asleep after sex, all wrapped up and around an attractive man who wants to cuddle me afterwards. I did my polite-retreat-to-the-spare-room routine, most apologetically, explaining that sleep is too important for me to risk not sleeping. I assured him that if he had anything to share he knew where I was…

An hour later he did in fact have something to share, so ensued another half hour of hot physical sex, and then he politely returned to my bed and we went to sleep.

Sadly he had to leave early this morning as he works on a Saturday, so there was no sleepy morning sex.

But he liked me, was impressed with me, thought last night was ridiculously hot, and would very much like to see me again.

Which is perfectly fine by me!

Date pending, or a sniff of cold feet



I have a date scheduled tomorrow evening with a chap I shall call Mr Teach, because he’s training to be a teacher (good to see my originality is entirely undiminished this week).

He’s a dodgy website special. Sent me an articulate amusing message last week, decent pictures, early thirties, good spelling, keen as English mustard (or mixed-heritage Asian mustard, if such a thing existed). We quickly progressed to WhatsApp and enjoyed what I can only call a hour or two of thinly-veiled smut. Happy endings all round, in the best possible taste.

We agreed that we’d like to meet, and the soonest it could happen was tomorrow. I was happy to catch the train to where he is training, but he latterly said he was happy to meet nearer my town (clearly to make the logistics of going back to mine and frolick like rabbits more easy, I expect know).

The WhatsApps got quite regular and whilst always respectful were starting to verge on pretty much assuming that something was going to definitely happen. I had to nicely put the brakes on a little and remind him that there were no assumptions, just hopes based on an online spark. One smutty chat does not a guaranteed thing make.

On he continued with the flirtatious chat – lots and lots of it – and I was starting to get a tiny bit bored with it. So after the twelfth on a theme I just went to bed. Maybe I should have said goodnight.

The next day I was busy with work. Today I have been busy with work. I dropped him a message saying very cheerfully “another day done and date night tomorrow, looking forwards to it” which is still true.

No reply…

Half an hour with no reply.

I am immediately suspicious that he has changed his mind. Cold feet; annoyed I stopped replying to the deluge of messages on Tuesday night; changed his mind – whatever. I’m not saying I have an 100% track record in sniffing out men who are going to bail out the day before a date, but my alarm bells are definitely ringing. I can smell aroma du cold feet on the breeze.

Seriously. How hard is it to get a reliable date? I’m bloody swamped with messages on the dodgy website and only three interest me, and of those two haven’t progressed to chatting about actually meeting. My pictures are good – sexy with some mystery but not pretending to be anything I’m not (and apparently that is “fucking hot” – why thanks Internet… ha!). I am getting guys who are surprised when they find out I have a good job and all that shit sorted. Intimidating somehow even to guys solely thinking with their dick? Surely not.

So I confidently expect to be watching Gogglebox in my pyjamas tomorrow night instead of being kissed extremely well and then fucked up against my lounge wall (and if I’m wrong then I will jump on a rogue kitchen slug in my bare feet in place of eating any headwear). 

My superb luck with men continues. I’m starting to think I’m actually cursed – I also totally failed (YET AGAIN) to find out whether or not Office Fox is single or not, after subtly gazing at him in our team meeting this morning. I admitted defeat and enlisted the help of the other girl in the office to shamelessly try and find out for me.

Luckily I love Gogglebox and my pyjamas… and I have my new armchair to curl up in. So, whatever, Mr Teach, whatever…


Later that evening…

It’s all still on. No sulking. My cold-feet radar is obviously a trifle rusty…

Now where are those damn slugs? <shudder>

Words are not just words


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Donald Trump (or the next Destroyer of Worlds, as he may yet turn out to be) says that words are “just words”.

He couldn’t be more wrong. He is wrong about pretty much everything, in my view, but this is the biggest contradiction of the obvious that I have ever heard.

Words are never just words. What is written is permanent and cannot be unwritten. What is said cannot be unsaid. Words document the things that are done that cannot be undone.

Words can hurt and they can shatter. They can change things in a heartbeat. They can comfort, they can bring happiness, elation, joy, delight, laughter, incredulity, warmth, love, astonishment, understanding and confusion. They are the bedrock of what we do, every day – the whole gamut. Every emotion – driven by words.

The words we say dictate our lives. The everyday logistics. The work that we do. Conveying the mood that we are in – whatever we write or say has a knock-on effect, the choice of words directs what happens next. Do we swallow them or do we let them out? To hurt with honesty or soften with kinder half-truths? The big things, the huge things, the tiny things. Pick them wisely.

What words do you choose to tell your best everyday friend that you like him in a way he very much wished you didn’t?

Which words do you pick to tell someone you love very much that you just don’t fancy them, you just don’t know why but you never will, and you do like someone else like that?

What are the right words to explain how your heart feels but what your head knows, to explain your bemused confusion and your anger with yourself? Which are the ones you use to finally be honest whilst walking the thinnest line of destroying everything you have both built up with only the flimsiest belief that you will come out at the other end – the words that need to come out even though you are terrified?

If Donald is right then it doesn’t matter because words aren’t important. But he isn’t, because they are all we have to do those things.

The words are the ones that say I love you regardless even though I don’t understand. They say that I wish more than anything that I didn’t have to complicate things, that I feel I let you down by falling for you when I didn’t mean to, and that I couldn’t help it even though I tried. That this hurt me and this is why. The right ones are the ones that say you matter to me and you have not and will never be replaced, that you are my best everyday friend, and here is a hug. Words say never don’t be yourself with me, be who you are because that person is brilliant, that you are not the awful things you think about yourself.

Words can make the worst thing you have had to do into something that can be okay. Words can reason with your intractable pride. Words will take shape from your head, saying I knew it would be someone, I wish it was anyone but her, but it was always going to happen with someone eventually and it is not about apologising.

These are words that will never go away. By writing them down they will exist for as long as my blog does, or for as long as they are bytes on a server somewhere. I can’t untype them, I can’t retract them, which is why it matters what I say. It is sickeningly awful to write these words about someone who I met because of this very entity, but no more sickeningly awful than sitting in a field picking at straw stalks looking anywhere but at my utterly beloved friend as the words come out of my mouth and explain how I was blown apart.

You are not my audience; you are my friend – and I’m sorry that I have to write this down, this awful private thing. You are not obliged to read it, as I don’t read the things that you write that I know will hurt. It is the way I deal with things, and everything I do in my life I do with the considered understanding of the possible consequences. I have never had a post I have been so unsure of publishing before – ever – but all the words have already been said, this one is my choice as your choices are yours.

Donald will never understand that words are also a catharsis, a release, a way of getting things out of your head that are better off not lingering in there. Words are freedom as well as spikes, art as well as science, emotion as well as logic. They are anything we want them to be: without them we are hollow, and they are the only thing I have at my disposal to get anywhere near the truth, which is, in the end, to me at least, always more palatable than an untruth – however clumsy I am.

Alice down the rabbit hole


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Inevitable, perhaps, that now I have my domestic freedom back I gravitate, for the nth time, to the dodgy website. Adventures down the rabbit hole once more.

It’s been a year or so since I last played. The time of the mad Youngster, Mr Welsh, Dr Irish, etc. I was actually pretty ill but in denial; this time, much less ill, no denial, a home of my own; a desire to have sex, to be wanted, to be slammed up against the wall and had without ceremony, to be kissed properly, to feel that abandon that only great sex can bring.

All these hopes I have each time I dabble, before I get disillusioned and annoyed for the nth+1 time.

Sometimes, every now and then, I get lucky. Other times I get mediocre. Other times I get guys who go clingy and weird.

I’ve been on the site less than a day and lo, one such treasure resurfaced! One day! Moral of the story is, don’t use photos you’ve used before… dammit.

Yes. The Rugby Player messaged me. “Is this the same J– who lived in M–? I’d love to meet”. This is the guy who I tried to let down gently after we’d met last year, the one who wasn’t much more than mediocre and got quite clingy afterwards. I wasn’t interested in stringing him along, so I put him off.

Not well enough, it turned out, because he found me on Facebook, which totally freaked me out. I declined his friend request, which came with a message that if I didn’t want to stay in touch it was fine for me not to reply. I didn’t. I blocked him instead.

And so today enough was enough was enough, and I replied to his dodgy website message.

“Hi I–. Yes it’s the same person. I tried to let you down nicely after we met, because frankly it went a bit weird. I was very uncomfortable when you contacted me on Facebook because I didn’t think it was appropriate. Perhaps I was too vague because I was trying to be kind – but I would appreciate it if we could leave things here”

Then I blocked him.

Seriously. I ignored many of his texts over the year (and I wasn’t proud), and thought I’d been clear when it got too much. Obviously not. Why do I attract these men who think I’m nice and kind and then want to emotionally lean on me? The sex wasn’t even that brilliant and he had a stubbly back!! I am not going to be bloody well stalked by someone I thought I’d made clear I didn’t want to see again.

Happily there are a number of other interesting gents chatting to me. I already have a date for next week, and a possible walk date with someone else. I have more people messaging me than I can quite keep up with, but this is why I go back to the site – I get to be the rare thing, the unicorn.

Also I get showered with compliments by sexy articulate men. Terribly good balm for the heart when it’s feeling a bit bruised. Such a shallow panacea, but entirely seductive – and why not?

Each time I hope for another Dr Fathead. I have in my mind the incredible sex we had so much of, the smart conversation, the daft things like cooking together.

I cross my fingers and hope against hope for someone else who the second we get home will close the door, push me up against the wall and start kissing me like he cannot get enough of me.

I can remember the sensation like it was yesterday – snogging like teenagers, hands burrowing frantically under clothes, the feel of his instant hard-on grinding into my jeans as he pushed me against the wall, his breath of impatience, breaking the kiss, pulling me upstairs, smacking my bum as I ran breathlessly up the stairs, him pulling me to him standing up in his bedroom, practically ripping my clothes off, fingers inside me, the other hand undoing his jeans.

Him trying to fuck me there and then, just desperate to get inside me immediately, standing in the middle of the room with my leg wrapped around his waist – wobbling about and collapsing onto the nearby bed and screwing each other’s brains out without a care in the world. The lust, the sweat, the desire, the rolling over and over, the pinning of arms, the intense kissing, the frantic joining, the deep and delicious orgasms. The lying spent under the fluffy duvet, the lazy shower à deux afterwards, more touching, more kissing, more wet fucking.

This – I close my eyes and I’m there again. This is the pinnacle which I hold all my dates up against: can they match this? Can they even get close?

For the 99% of them the answer is no, and I know without even kissing them. The other 1% – he’s the golden ticket… he’s what I hope for each time I unwrap a new man to play with.

Right now, the most promising by far of the early contenders has just told me he wants to pick me up and carry me off to the bedroom because there is “just something about picking a woman up and taking her” – and I wonder, I just wonder whether he’ll turn out to be that 1%…

And that’s why I do it. The fall down the hedonistic rabbit hole continues.

In which Mr CFS does not get the hint and I have to spell it out


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It’s been a few days of unpacking and organising and periodically thinking “OH GOD WHERE AM I GOING TO PUT ALL MY DAMN STUFF?!”

I will admit there have been times when I’ve looked at the stacks of boxes and had to go away and have a little sit-down and an illicit biscuit instead. However, my sense of order eventually resurfaces and I go and tackle the mountain.

So the horror is much mitigated now, I’ve made great progress. The living room is fine (not much storage so no stuff lurking waiting for a home). My bedroom is much better (because the mess was winding me up). The spare bed has been unearthed and I can now move around the spare room with some ease. The back room is still what we’ll call chaotic, but is useable and vill be brought under ze control.  I still love the house, I still feel quietly elated, I’m still full of wonder that it is mine – I just wonder how I’ve got so much stuff

I also acknowledge that levels of mess are subjective, and that compared with many people I have a rather low tolerance of lots of mess!

Something else I ran out of tolerance with was Mr CFS.

His messages had been getting longer and wafflier and more and more dull, and with exact correlation, my replies had been getting shorter and shorter. The final straw came when he advised me (without a hint of irony) to “let the excitement of the house sustain you J—. God bless”. Urgh. Vomit.

Just – WHAT?

Cease at once with your psuedo-psycho babble, you tedious wally. And saying “God bless” in my direction with any level of seriousness if you’re not a sweet old lady just brings me out in hives – it’s just guaranteed to irritate me. I would go so far as to say I find it rather offensive, not actually believing in God (NB: “oh God” is merely an expression of frustration in my parlance, and not a sign of devoutness, mais non).

So I cut Miss Nice-Cots, and replied, as politely and kindly as possible, saying had he considered having some private counselling? It seemed that things were pretty tricky for him, and clearly I was no substitute for his wife or for a professional counsellor. Something for him to think about.

That was it. No other chit-chat. I hoped it was blunt enough. Common consensus was that sadly it wouldn’t do the trick.

Any other muppet would read between the lines, where it clearly said “I am not a stand-in for your wife, I am not someone who welcomes your verbal vomiting, and I’m not your fucking social worker. Now GET A FUCKING GRIP and stop bothering me”

I didn’t get a reply for a couple of days, which gave me some hope that possibly he’d read it, was digesting it, and maybe coming to the realisation that he’d over-burdened me and I wasn’t cool with it.

Nope. Nope!

A cheery reply. Yes I’ve thought about counselling, blah blah blah blah-di-bloody-blah. I can’t even remember what the rest of it was about because it was so flaming asinine.

My patience snapped. I was in the middle of unpacking boxes and sorting out utitilies and working out the heating and wondering what armchair to buy and booking a chimney sweep. He could… well… he could just fuck off.

I shoved some boxes up on the sofa, sat down with my iPad and got typing.

I explained that I’d be happy to have the occasional coffee to catch up and swap troubles in person, but that I was not huge on endless lengthy messaging (Fine. A lie. But only with people I find very interesting and who have something worthwhile and properly spelled to say). I explained that I had a lot of my own stuff going on at the moment, and couldn’t offer as much support as he seemed to need. I said that we had rather different approaches to handling things (don’t tell me to “be strong”, you twit, when you have simply no idea how strong I actually am [Hint: stronger than you]) and that I was concerned that he was projecting on to me the things he would like to say to himself.

He replied within the hour, saying that it was fine, but that he thought I had misunderstood and that he was just very very chatty.

I thought – I think you don’t understand yourself very well, actually.

I wished him the standard contextual “take care” – which as we know from dating and other adventures means “I never want to hear from you again”, and got back to the unpacking with a sigh of relief.

A home of my very own


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I have this extraordinary and unexpected feeling of calm.

The spare room is full of boxes, I haven’t unpacked all of my clothes (or indeed, shockingly, my shoes) and the kitchen is not what I’d call organised, but the warming sensation of this house belonging to me is nonetheless percolating gently through me.

It is the idiotic things that I secretly love the most: the original little Victorian window in the cupboard under the stairs, going to the loo and leaving the door open, quietly planning where everything will go – and this time, for the first time in over six years, they are permanent places. 

Not “they’ll do there” places. Not “consider my housemate” places. Exactly where I want them places.

I love the house. Simply love it.

I loved it when I first saw it, when I second saw it, and now it’s full of my lovely things I love it even more.

Every single person who has come to help or who has called in loves it. My friends think I’ve picked the perfect house, one that fits me like a glove. It has character, it has quirks, it has touches of lovely luxury, it has spacious rooms, it has the best bathroom you’ll ever see, and I own (I need to repeat that – I own) a glorious roll-top bath. I have an open fire which only needs sweeping before I use it. I have an immaculate garden, and the neatest loveliest little front garden. It is gorgeous and I’m so pleased it’s mine.

I have a piano now, delivered the morning after I moved in. It needs tuning but I don’t care. Einuadi, Beethoven, Toto – I’ve not played for nearly two years but a couple of goes and it comes right back. My fingers ache from stretching, and just occasionally I marvel at the sounds that I can make.

Neighbours have called in to say hello or stopped on the street to say hi, and all have been wonderfully welcoming. The neighbours over the road offered to lend a hand if I had any lifting doing.

I have peace, I have solitude, I have family calling in when I want, I have lots of people helping me, including the ever-wonderful FF and the fabulous HBF who just said last week “I’ll come up on Sunday”, and she did. My family came for fish and chips the night I moved in. My mum had helped me all afternoon, the nephews were tired but excitable, and it made my heart happy to share my special day with the people that love me the most, the people that know best of all the challenges I’ve overcome to get here.

Because buying a house on your own is a big deal. They are ridiculously expensive. Renting makes it near impossible to save a deposit. Fighting to save that deposit means sacrifices, both by me and by my parents who were kind enough to let me live with them. I am fortunate to have a good job which not only makes me a good lending prospect but means I can comfortably pay my mortgage, which, incidentally, is £20 a month less that the rent I paid for my last place – and have some left over. I haven’t done this sharing the costs or splitting the deposit in two with a partner. I won’t be paying half a mortgage. Nope. All me. 

I feel, justifiably, I believe, enormously proud of myself.

I keep catching myself thinking that I’m lucky to have this place. It’s partly true – perhaps it is more accurate to say that I was lucky to find this particular house, but the rest of it I made happen. It wasn’t luck. It was effort and planning and a little bit of savings from Granny (but by no means anywhere near all of my deposit, lest you think it fell into my lap), and overcoming the brain freeze of M.E. to make everything happen.

And as my reward, I have a cosy smart front room, a spacious back room functioning as a dining room, a study and a piano room, a kitchen which only needs a cooker and a dishwasher but which is beautiful, I have a landing (a proper long landing!), a stunning bathroom, a lovely big spare room, and a smart spacious main bedroom with a chandelier and a luxurious thick carpet.

The joy of being able to do whatever I want to it. I don’t have to ask if I want to put a shelf up. Nobody will grimace if I put picture hooks up. I can paint the walls whatever colour I bloody like, and I don’t need to consult anyone else. Nobody apart from the bank can take this house away from me, and I think that contributes a huge part to my sense of contentment.

I have slept wonderfully, back in my own bed.  I’ll get an aerial wired into the front room (bafflingly lacking), and then my den will be complete. A crackling fire, some shit TV – bliss.

I knew that it was going to be rewarding, getting my very own place. I knew it would be a small triumph on the scale of world issues, but a huge huge achievement on the Cots scale of life stuff. 

I’ve done it. And I have friends who help me unpack, come shopping with me, post photos of me in the door of my new house clutching a bottle of Veuve Cliquot specifically so that my best friend can ensure that my ex-husband knows that I’ve bought a beautiful house when he still rents (entirely her idea! I don’t give a fart whether he knows or not, but she felt most strongly that he ought to be aware of my achievement, achieved despite him) – and yes, I might not be married, I might be single, but this, oh this is better than any boyfriend, it’s better than any ridiculous nonsense that life dishes out to me on the man front – it’s all mine and I did it.

I love it. This house and I are going to be very good for each other…

Measuring up


I’ve just been to measure up the new house for a cooker.

Well, that was the plan. Except I stayed an hour and a half and my sister joined in too, because the lady I’m buying from is the nicest most helpful person on the planet who is leaving the house spick and span and the garden all neat and tidy too, as well as four pages of notes on how everything works.

But the best bit of all is that tonight I discovered that the fireplace in the living room is real. 

It’s not a gas fire with mock logs as I thought and the agent told me; it’s just an old-school grate and she often has fires in there.

I am thrilled. Thrilled. I was going to save up and put a log burner in. Now I don’t need to! Now I will be contributing to global warming in my own small but meaningful way whilst reclining on the rug with a glass of pink gin, in a state of utter bliss.

And it’s all real. Her stuff is in boxes. The house is really really going to be mine on Friday.

Two and bit days to go. Suddenly it’s all truly happening and not just conceptual. I did measure for the cooker, too…

I’m so excited. It’s – oh! – I’m going to have a house!!