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I thought I saw a man brought to life
He was warm, he came around like he was dignified
He showed me what it was to cry
Well you couldnt be that man I adored
You don’t seem to know, don’t seem to care what your heart is for
But I don’t know him anymore
There’s nothing where he used to lie
My conversation has run dry
That’s what’s going on, nothings fine Im torn
Im all out of faith, this is how I feel
Im cold and I am shamed lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed into something real
Im wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn
Youre a little late, Im already torn
So I guess the fortune tellers right
Should have seen just what was there and not some holy light
To crawl beneath my veins and now
I don’t care, I have no luck, I don’t miss it all that much
There’s just so many things that I can’t touch, Im torn
Natalie Imbruglia, Torn
It was the car insurance that really brought it home to me because I have to change the address. My car isn’t kept there any more.
I have to start letting go.
Up until now, I have been holding on to the security blanket of my home.
It’s hard to wrest yourself away from the foundation of a quarter of a century’s familiarity and step out into the future.
But, today, the finality hit home.
Originally, I had intended to use these words and the video to accompany a piece about the loneliness that follows the realisation that the sex just aint up to it any more. Those moments where you lie there unsatisfied, listening to his breathing return to steadiness and understand that the connection has gone. That even comfort sex no longer fulfils its function.
And yet somehow, today, the rights and the wrongs, the journey itself – none of it matters because the loss feels so much more painful.
It doesn’t matter that I have Ruf and the future.
I mourn the past – all the failed hopes and dreams, the youthful enthusiasm of two young people who thought they were in love.
In the present, there is nothing that can compensate for that wreckage.
When Boxer suggested animal characters, there were just so many Disney characters! I could have gone with Shere Khan from the Jungle Book, the elegant and eloquent harbinger of doom voiced in the silkiest of drawls. Or for Donkey from Shrek, who always makes me smile.
But then my mind started to expand and lots of real life animals came crowding in – Champion the Wonder Horse! Flippa the Dolphin and Lassie, who always saved the day when the humans were making a meal of things.
But I have spent my life remembering this scene from Bambi. So, for me it has to be Thumper and his mother.
I remember my oldest schoolfriend and her teenage lover.
They sometimes had huge rows which would end with one of them walking out. But they always had their ‘safe spot’. They had agreed, right at the beginning of their relationship that, if ever it all went wrong and they fell out big time, they would meet on their anniversary under the railway bridge close to the station, the place that they first met.
It was a highly combustible partnership. He was a very good looking guy who got lots of female attention. She was attractive, although not necessarily in the fashionable way of those days. What drew him to her was her vivacious personality and the fact that she didn’t follow him around like a puppy dog waiting for him to screw her. She made him work for it… and it was something that he just wasn’t used to.
They were young and energetic. He had had lots of women but he was her first. He took her virginity and he loved that fact. I can remember her telling me some of the less vanilla (obviously I didn’t know that term then) things that they did together. I was flabbergasted and shocked to hear the tale of the empty wine bottle and had no concept of how inserting such an item into one’s vagina could possibly be anything other than dangerous!
Sadly, as time went on, he wanted sex more and more and she wanted it less and less because, whilst it was adventurous, he just didn’t seem to be able to make her come. She said she got more pleasure out of eating an apple.
Being that type of man and the recipient of so many other offers, he strayed and, of course, she found out.
So, after a particuarly spectacular bust-up, she threw him out and refused to speak to him again.
But neither of them could quite attain the same level of thrill in their subsequent couplings. The flamboyant rows, the physical arguments and the exciting passionate reunions were the lifeblood of their relationship.
And that’s why, six months’ later, they were both under that bridge at 3pm on a cold wintry January afternoon.
It couldn’t last, of course. There was too much against them. She was maturing far faster than he ever could or would. She just outgrew him.
The following January, she stayed resolutely huddled against a radiator, wrapping herself in her duvet as she sobbed for her lost innocence and the boy she had to leave behind.
Ruf and I were talking about this and where we would choose to meet. We think we may have agreed on inside the penis of the fertility giant at Cerne Abbas on the anniversary of the day we first fucked – 21 January at about 3pm.
Thing is that we don’t tend to have major rows and we really do try to communicate with each other if we are upset. So, hopefully, this won’t be necessary.
It’s nice to know that there is a Plan B tho :)
Do you have a ‘somewhere only we know’ fail-safe for if/when it all goes tits up?
She must have seen him some time before she came over to introduce herself and shake his hand because, as she withdrew hers, he was aware of the scrap of lace pressed into his own.
Crumpling the material into his palm and placing it in his pocket, he was aware of the warm dampness against his skin, evoking memories of other moments when he had been in contact with the most intimate of her lingerie. To know that his mere presence could still excite her was quite gratifying.
They had not seen each other for over a year. Circumstances had conspired to end their affair. His work, his home life, her domestic difficulties. And, suddenly, there she was at the same function.
But only for a moment because, by the time he had recovered himself, she had left his group and disappeared into the crowd of people chatting and schmoozing all around him. Normally he hated these military vs civilian ‘pressing-the-flesh’ events but this one had just become much more interesting.
He brushed his hand across his face and was instantly aware of the musky smell of her arousal that had imprinted itself from the fabric onto his fingers.
He had to find her.
Stopping only momentarily to make smalltalk with each familiar group, he made a circuit of the room, with no sign of her. So he went out into the corridor to avail himself of the facilities. She was coming out of the Ladies Room when he finally spotted her. High heels clicking against the marble floor, hips swaying as she meandered nonchalantly away from him, seemingly unaware of his presence.
Checking his surroundings to ensure there was no one else around, he marched purposefully after her. At the sound of his pursuing footsteps, she paused for a moment and looked over her shoulder. Registering his intent, he heard her audibly catch her breath and try to move away but nowhere near quick enough. Grasping her by the wrist, he dragged her through the nearest door.
The disabled toilet. Hardly the most salubrious meeting place but coherent thought was beyond him. It was a room with a door and a lock and he had to have her.
His hand moved up to her throat, forcing her back into the room and locking the door with the other. Pushing her until she jammed against the support frame around the lavatory, he grasped her hands in one of his and held them above her head before his mouth swooped down to possess hers. Dexterously, he managed to remove the damp thong from his pocket and manipulate her hands until he was able to secure them to the frame with a distinctly un-sailor-like knot.
Then he stood back to survey her. She was far too clothed for his liking and he set about unbuttoning the fastenings at the front of her shirt dress. He would have liked to just rip it open but he had a care for her reputation and was careful to allow her to retain her modesty when she came to leave at the end of the encounter.
As the dress fell open, he had no such compunction about destroying her bra. Ripping at the lace until her breasts were exposed, but allowing her to keep the supporting frame underneath. Naked, but for the wires, her black lace stockings and some impossibly high stilettos, she reclined against the bars and waited.
He watched her as he carefully removed his uniform jacket and hung it from the hook on the back of the door. Loosened his tie and hooked it on top of the jacket. Slowly unbuttoned his starched shirt, before adding it to the accumulating pile against the door. He slipped off his footwear, slid down his trousers and boxers and folded them into a neat pile before turning to face her in complete Full Monty mode.
Standing in just his skin, the tattoo on his arm confirming that the Navy was his first and only mistress, topped by his uniform hat, he dropped to his knees and buried his face between her thighs, glorying in the soft sigh of pleasure that instantly emanated from her lips.
Looking down, she lifted her legs and wrapped them around his shoulders leaving only the soft felt of his khaki hat exposed. The strong leg muscles pulling his mouth tighter against her drenched pussy; his tongue penetrating her to its fullest extent as his nose tickled her clit.
Eating her hungrily for he was starved. It had been too long. He couldn’t remember all the sane reasons that had persuaded him to stay away. He no longer cared. There was only the knowledge that he had to know that she had missed him too. There was no time to fuck her properly but he had to hear the word. His manhood demanded it.
So he attended to the job in hand, licking and sucking, tickling and tracing. Lips, tongue and fingers in, out and over until her legs clenched painfully around his head and his face was soaked with her. Her breath in frantic gasping gulps above him as her body tensed and she exhaled ‘Chiieeeefff’ in one low long moan.
He moved away, adjusted his hat and looked at her. Spent and slumped against the frame. The juice of her satisfaction dribbling down her thighs. His hand grasped his erection and began to pull at it. Within seconds, the semen spurted out in shuddering squirts onto her breasts and belly as he trembled uncontrollably with the ferocity of the explosion.
She smiled up at him as he began to rearrange her clothing. Carefully rebuttoning the frock over the sticky mess beneath and then attending to regaining his own uniform.
He kissed her then. Gently and tenderly as he reached up to release her wrists and chafe the blood back into her hands.
Replacing the thong in his pocket, he lifted his cap in salute, turned and left the room, closing the door behind him.
He wondered how he could ever have imagined that this was over.
This was a fascinating and honest insight into a man’s role in the infertility treatment of his wife.
It doesn’t really matter whether the problem lies with the woman or the man, you just truly wonder why any couple would continue with this process after being unsuccessful repeatedly.
It must eat up their lives and their love for each other, that desperation to have a child.
And yet, clearly that desire overrides everything else and, if it can be achieved, it can complete a relationship, whether it is using someone else’s eggs or sperm, by adopting… or even just by fostering.
Having a child in your life can change the way you perceive things so dramatically.
Whilst not being able to have one can breed such terrible feelings of fault and blame that the lack can rip a partnership to shreds.
It was a wet and windy Saturday here and I was waiting for a friend to come over.
I had cleaned the flat and checked my emails so I was at a loose end and switched on the tv. With nothing more productive to do, I found myself flicking through the channels on Freeview.
And that’s how I came upon Spartacus. The uncut and digitally restored version.
It was made by Stanley Kubrik in 1960, the year before I was born and so, along with Ben Hur and Cleopatra became a staple of my childhood blockbuster film watching. My whole vision of the Roman Empire was based squarely upon the faultlessly photogenic snapshots presented by the Hollywood elite in that golden period of film-making over the late 1950s and early 1960s. Brave, handsome men and feisty beautiful women sold into a life of crushing slavery through no fault of their own only to rise, triumphant, to the top of the pile through their courage but this was always reinforced by a love story that left them dependent upont the whims of good and bad men.
I had forgotten just how beautiful Kirk Douglas was, with his burning eyes and that fabulous cleft chin. Jean Simmonds was totally breath-taking as his wife, Varinia, the woman who was also desired by the Roman leader, Crassus, played by another gorgeous man, Laurence Olivier.
This triangle of lust, supported by Charles Laughton and Peter Ustinov, played out over a gladiatorial contest and several amazing battles to the moment that everyone remembers where an entire army claims ‘I am Spartacus‘ in an attempt to save their beloved leader from harm.
It’s hard for them all because they just don’t get it.
That two people can actually have a relatively amicable divorce.
And that it doesn’t require the taking of sides.
When you’ve been part of a family for three decades, you are no longer there purely as an ‘outlaw’. Sometimes your in-laws can actually prefer you to your spouse, their blood relative.
The commonality of children means that you have to try to stay on speaking terms with your other half and their immediate family and often also their friends.
Whatever the causes of the break-up, it is not for friends and family to ‘take sides’ and stand on principles when the injured party who is closest to them has decided not to do so. That just puts a slow poison into what is a relatively pleasant transition.
I am proud of what we have achieved, the ex and I. Our attempts to deal with everything together rather than involving legal representatives and our ability to co-exist at family gatherings as friends rather than having to pussy foot around each other.
Other people don’t understand that the tearing asunder does not have to be acrimonious or unpleasant and their insistence that it should says a lot more about them than it does about us.
I read this article with a growing sense of agreement but also a vague feeling of distaste. As a mother myself, I can understand Janice Turner’s point of view. I am so tired of being made to feel afraid for my children’s safety by the relentless press coverage.
When that terrible man wreaked his havoc with guns blazing in the classroom at Dunblane, my own daughter had just started school. I can remember going into the playground on that awful afternoon. You could have cut the fear in the atmosphere with a knife. We were all terrified by proxy.
Again, when Holly and Jessica went missing in the summer holidays, my daughter was the same age. It was incredibly hard having to explain to her that she couldn’t trust anyone – not even the school caretaker. The hideous blanket press coverage of the disappearance, the search and the discovery and, finally, the trial and conviction, with all its consequent revelations. Followed by all the months and years of arguing over the correct legislation to protect our children from people with similar tendencies.
The case of Sarah Payne, snatched whilst playing with her friends in a field not far from her home highlighted every parent’s worst nightmare. It is so hard to convince a child that they are not invincible and would not be able to fight off a grown man, even if they have done some martial arts training. I even did demonstrations for my own kids and the children I teach showing that a normal sized man could pick me up under his arm and run off with me without any difficulty, no matter how hard I punched and kicked. Once he’d grabbed me, he had the upper hand. We repeatedly demonstrated how to maintain a safe distance from someone who was trying to engage us in conversation and how to ‘leave the scene quickly and safely to go meet a male family member’. But a week later, the kids would still allow themselves to be approached sufficiently close to be snatched and dragged away.
When Madeleine first disappeared, I have to admit that my first thought was ‘But why was she left on her own with two babies? She was only three.’ As parents, my Husband and I went on holiday to be with our children. We specifically targeted hotels that would allow us to eat with our children at a reasonable hour for them. Where this proved impossible and dinner was served just too late for them, we would sit with them whilst they had the kids’ tea and then spend the evening sitting in our adjoining room with the door ajar, watching tv and eating whatever was available from room service. Some hotels were good enough to let us order from the restaurant menu and bring it up to our room. Despite people’s insistence that we should use the hotel babysitting service, we never left them on their own, even when the oldest was three times as old as Madeline. We had seen how the intercom-based hotel babysitter worked and if no-one was sitting at Reception, no-one was listening to what our kids were doing.
However, I can’t help but feel sorry for the McCanns. They will have to live with the consequences of their action and the public’s admonishment for the rest of their lives. As parents, many of us do things that are viewed as ‘taking a chance with their safety’ that in another age would have been seen as the norm when children had to learn to survive and be independent and fend for themselves in far more dangerous circumstances.
Sadly, in the absence of any real evidence or obvious suspect, the finger of suspicion was always eventually going to point in the direction of the parents. It seems strange to me, as a regular viewer of CSI, that it is so far down the line that forensic evidence has been brought into play and we will have to await the results of that line of investigation and the possible refuting evidence before that can be relied upon.
Always at the back of my mind is the face of another little boy who disappeared back in the early 1990s. I remember his story well because it was such an unusual thing to happen and his photographs showed such a cute little boy. Three year old Ben Needham was on holiday with his family in Greece when he vanished. Despite a big campaign, he was never found.
As Janice Turner says in her final paragraph:
Given that Madeleine has almost certainly died one way or another, maybe it is easier to accept a parental accident. Yes, let it be a banal domestic: we can guard against that, or so we think. Anything but the cunning, predatory stranger we watch for constantly but can never see.
‘…I understand that a lot of people find the sight of two grown men kissing in public really creepy…’
Nick Griffin, BNP, on Question Time October 2009
This was the statement that confirmed for me why Nick Griffin has been getting so many votes.
Even though his policies are indefensible to most educated people, he actually voices thoughts that many repress for fear of not being politically correct.
It is the same with his views on immigration. A lot of voters do feel that they are losing their jobs and livelihoods to people who come in from abroad and take work or benefits, exploiting our system far better than the indigenous population.
Until the Government addresses this issue openly and puts in place proper legislation to ensure that they know exactly how many people are entering and leaving our country and taking advantage of our welfare state, parties like the BNP will continue to draw voters who are frustrated at the apparent unfairness of our benefits system when it comes to immigrants and feel that someone is at least looking out for their own interests.
Of course, what they don’t understand is that people like Nick Griffin don’t necessarily actually empathise with them at all. What the BNP is doing is their own form of exploitation. Appearing to stand up for the common man whilst, all the time, merely adopting a stance that will win them enough popularity to start feathering their own nest.
Our only consolation is that watching Mr Griffin weaseling and smiling as he spouted statements and denials that made so many people just stare open-mouthed with disbelief, his transparency became obvious to all.
Sadly, despite the measured and sensible performance of the other panel members, at the back of all our minds was the knowledge of the shenanigans in Parliament over expenses recently. Add to that the knowledge that our elected Westminster MPs, no matter which party they purport to represent, are engaged in enforcing one rule about pay rises for those in the Civil Service involved in nursing, fire fighting and policing, whilst their own remuneration already far exceeds that of those vital public servants and will certainly not be capped in any way.
It would seem that Nick Griffin is little different from any other politician.
Where there is power and money, there will always be self-service and greed.
I am already worthy as a person, I don’t have to prove myself
I deserve the respect of others, I easily accept compliments and praise from others
What I am learning
I am learning to forgive myself and others
I am learning the more I love myself, the more I am able to love others
I am learning that it is not necessary for me to be liked or accepted by every important person in my life, for everything I do.
I AM GOOD ENOUGH
It was very alarming to discover that the only things about myself which I value are those which relate to other people.
The approval of others is pleasant but not essential. In order to live life fully, we need to express ourselves, which means that at times we will do things of which others disapprove. If we are constantly trying to avoid disapproval, we will either become passive individuals or people with a poor sense of self. If, despite our efforts, we are disapproved of, the result can be devastating, because our self-esteem is based on what others think of us.
When my counsellor told me that he thought I was both brave and intelligent for having worked out so much about what is wrong with my life, I was very uncomfortable. I feel neither brave nor intelligent. By trying to please everyone all the time, I have painted myself into a corner as a non-person. Someone whose feelings don’t matter. Who will bend over backwards to avoid hurting another person and yet will allow that same person to inflict grievous wounds upon my own psyche without a challenge.
I have to acknowledge the things that are good about myself… which is hard because I still cannot think of many things that are unique to me, rather than being appealling to others. And I have to learn to accept a compliment with a thank you and embrace it. Not allow it to bounce off the positive jar into the abyss, whilst hoarding any negative critiques and regularly beating myself over the head with them.
A friend told me last week that, not only have I been an inspiration to him personally, but when I walk into a room, people start smiling. He’s been one of them.
I think that’s definitely something to hold on to.
Chris and Jessica, married for 27 years… In a tiny pine bed overloaded with dogs, cats and old resentments, Chris lamented how his wife goes up to the loft every night with a bag of glass beads to make jewellery.
After a logjam of heated accusations, Chris finally asked her why she couldn’t sit next to him and do it ‘on a tray’.
‘I miss you,’ he said, simply.
‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ she asked, looking amazed.
‘I thought you knew.’
‘Oh,’ she said, collapsing onto her pillow as if she’d been falling out of an exploding plane for a long time, and finally landed.
Caitlin Moran on TV, The Times, Saturday 17 October 2009 reviewing ‘Wonderland: The British in Bed‘
I watched this episode of the Wonderland strand on BBC IPlayer after reading this review.
It was quite fascinating. Three or four couples of varying ages and stages in their relationship. Couples who had been together for many years and some who were quite new to the relationship. And there were just so many variants in the ways that it is possible to love a spouse.
But it was Chris and Jessica who stood out. She had put on weight after problems in childbirth. She felt old and fat and needed to have his love physically demonstrated but when he didn’t, she replaced it with external activities. The sudden discovery that he loved her desperately but just didn’t know how or was unable to show/tell her was quite shocking. Not just to her but to this viewer as well.
I can remember that my Husband and I used to watch television together until he discovered the joys of a musical instrument. He went through an extremely irritating phase of strumming a guitar whilst I was trying to concentrate on a programme. Being me, I never expressed that but I guess my face must have shown it because he eventually got the hint and retired to another room to practise.
When I began to feel more and more isolated from him, I focussed more and more on my hobby and then I discovered the internet. It wasn’t long before I had replaced his lack of attention with the conversation of strangers on sites where my hobby was being discussed.
Looking back, I think he was probably a Chris. Unable to share his feelings for me, he wanted to be in the same room but he also wanted to indulge his own hobby at the same time, which meant that it was just impossible for us both to enjoy what we were doing.
Once the crack began to show, his behaviour over the children just drove a wedge between us until the chasm was unbridgeable.
Let’s hope the programme has been a wake-up call for Chris and Jessica and they can move forward together from here.