Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Number 39 - "You Did WHAT?"

Because sticking one of these in your mouth is so cool.
If there is one thing guaranteed to get my blood boiling and cause the Red Mist to descend, it's smoking. I'm quite evangelical about it and I'm not ashamed to say so. I HATE smoking. I hate everything about it, from the smell to how people look whilst doing it. (Clue: you look absolutely ridiculous.)

I have NEVER smoked, not even a sneaky couple of puffs on a Silk Cut as a curious teenager.

Mother is a smoker. (Quit at Christmas. Started with an eCig. Quit the eCig. Started smoking again 2 months ago.)
Sister is a smoker. (Quit a year ago. On an eCig.)
Husband is a smoker. (Quit 3 months ago. On an eCig.)
Father was a smoker. Has been smoke-free for 7 years.

As you can see, I'm from a smoking family. For years and years my parents would happily chain-smoke John Player Specials in our living room, a room which needed to be decorated every year to get rid of the yellow nicotine-stained white paint. I am surprised my lungs were not shot to hell as a child.

When I met Husband, he was smoking roll-ups but was in the process of "stopping". Which he didn't, until very recently, but I was willing to accept it as I understand that smoking is an addiction and cannot just be "stopped" unless you really, REALLY want to.

And I do not see a distinction between real cigarettes and these ridiculous eCigs. You look just as stupid puffing on something that looks like a biro, and whilst the damage to passive smokers might be drastically less, I still can't see how these things are that much safer. And surely you are just replacing one addiction for another? If you actually WANTED to STOP completely? Well, you just would, wouldn't you?

But I always warned that if I ever found out that Daughter had even LOOKED closely at a cigarette I would kill her. (Not literally, but death by Social Media Withdrawal and Indefinite House Arrest may be a real thing in the eyes of a teenager.) And she always swore she wouldn't because she agreed it was vile and stupid. So, she did the next best thing. She stole my mother's eCig that Mum had left behind when she stayed here and puffed away at that until the battery went flat.


It is like having everything you've ever believed in whipped out from under you. My daughter, once this sweet, innocent little girl, had done something so reprehensible to me, so vile and stupid, I couldn't even look at her! I remember shaking with rage as she told me what she'd done and telling her quite coldly and calmly to get out of my sight. I couldn't speak to her for about 12 hours. She went to bed, got up for school the next morning without a word and by the time she got home, I'd had chance to process what she'd done. I'd researched the potential dangers of nicotine poisoning, possible addiction and everything else to do with these vile fake cigarettes and then I laid into her.

There was yelling.

She swears that she only had a few puffs as it was almost empty of the liquid that goes in the vial, and the battery was almost flat. There is no way to charge it here as it is not the same as Husband's and his is never out of his hand. (It's grasped permanently, like some sort of childhood comforter, and at night he lays it carefully on his bedside table.) And after a furious phone call to my Mother she is also adamant that it was almost completely flat and empty.

Daughter has shown no sign of poisoning and as yet, is not sweating, cold turkey, jonesing for another hit so there has been a slight bullet dodged there. She says she was just curious about it and what it tasted like and grudgingly I'll admit that it's marginally more preferable to try an eCig than the real thing. But this raises an issue of how these eCigs are seen by kids, and how they are marketed. For a while, there was an effective stigma against smokers. It was dangerous and smelly and disgusting. But these new things, with their slick, sexy ad campaigns are undoing all the work the anti-smoking campaigns did. Daughter was never curious about cigarettes. But with all the furore about how fantastic these fake ones are, well, she did the impossibly stupid and had a try. And I'm told that kids are buying them and starting up eSmoking; forgoing the Benson and Hedges and going straight to the technology.

And this disgusts me.

For the record, Daughter's privileges have all been stripped. She is on full House Arrest. Home > School > Home. That is all. Her Facebook has been deactivated, she is locked out of the internet for anything other than homework and that is supervised by me. She goes nowhere without an adult (usually me) present and she spends her evenings in the dining room studying or in the living room with me or Husband. The only time she is allowed in her bedroom is to get dressed/undressed and to sleep. Basically, she is being treated as a toddler who cannot be left alone until I feel she has learned a lesson.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Number 37 - In Which I'm Fed Up of "In Which"

Not sorry.
One of the perks of having my own business is that I don't have to be "in" the office for 9am. I don't need to wear a smart suit or have clean hair or even get dressed at all. I can work from my home office in a dreadful fleece hooded poncho with a snazzy South American print on it, that I bought from Asda before Christmas. It makes me look like a mad fat Mexican lady, but it is warm and this house is cold.

So, I'm at my desk typing up an invoice and doing worky things whilst listening to Whitesnake. I make no apologies for my choice in music; I've loved Whitesnake since I was 13. And "The Still of the Night" gets me all fired up. 

It did today too.

The opening chords do something to my blood and my special girly bits. I get tingly and just a little bit horny. 

I decided to hop in the bath; ostensibly to wash my hair and have a long soak, but really it was because it's the only room with a lock on the door and I fancied a bit of a fumble with my fanny.

So I'm there in a hot bath, reading erotica on my phone and my hand slowly worked its way down my body to my clit. And stayed there for HALF AN HOUR. With no success.


It never takes me half an hour. Ever. Am I broken? 

I got out of the bath and headed into the bedroom and got out my very quiet, very effective vibrator. Wrapped in nothing but a towel, I assumed the position and turned on my magic wand. Normally I just use the lowest setting as it's quite enough to get me gasping and breathless with blissful release.

Not today.

So I cranked it up to medium. 

I let my mind wander to those dark places that illicit the most heavenly of tingles.

Have you ever been almost there, almost there, oh God I'm almost there? The anticipation builds, all your nerves are at DEFCON 1 and you're ready for the bomb to go off. It's delicious.

Except I was at DEFCON 1 for another half hour. That's ONE HOUR at almost there, almost there, dear God I'm so CLOSE. 


I cranked it up to full speed. 

After another 10 minutes of writhing, panting and grimacing, sweat pouring off my brow, my entire body shaking, worried that I was going to vibrate the skin right off my super-sensitive clit and leave it red raw, I felt it coming.

I came with the loudest "rrrarrgh" ever and couldn't move for about five minutes afterwards. Eternally glad that there was nobody in the house, I rolled over and tried to stand up.

Wobbly legs.
                              Wobbly arms.

I got dressed (fell over a couple of times) and went downstairs. I put the kettle on with shaky hands and wondered what the hell was wrong with my body that would deny me from getting off.

I am still wondering 10 hours later. I'm going to try again tonight, if my clit can stand to be touched. It's not so happy about the jeans I am wearing so a vibrating wand might be too much.

EDIT: I tried again at bedtime. Nothing was happening. Fell asleep, mid-fumble. <sigh>

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Number 36 - In Which Nanna Reads Soft Porn

That's a nice tie.
My last living Nanna is a trouper. She is 82, has terminal cancer and has decided that these last few months are going to be lived her way and the rest of us can "fuck off." Her words. She has discovered several new words lately. Fuck is her favourite.

She found the Fifty Shades trilogy in her local Oxfam for £1. Yep, a single, solitary pound for all three. Having heard about the books, or rather the furore surrounding them, she thought the covers looked interesting, thought it was a set of books about a fashion designer, and promptly bought them.

She rang me today, which is always funny because she has become so irreverent lately, she tells it exactly how it is. 

"These books, these about the grey outfits and whatnot."

"Erm, yes?" (About the WHAT?!!)

"Well, I'm not sure if you have read them but I don't think they are about a fashion designer. "

"Oh, right?" (I'm trying not to laugh at this point.)

"Aye, they're about this two-bit silly bint and her chap. She needs a damn good slap, all that carrying on. There's a lot of what I think is sex in them, but it's nowt like how me and your Grandad used to carry on. Is this what you youths are doing these days? No wonder you have a bad back, with all this monkey business. I'm surprised you can walk!"

I had no words. Not even Fuck seemed appropriate.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Number 35 - In Which History Is Stoned.

Such a pretty leaf...
When I was 17, I fell in love properly for the first time. He was the older brother of one of my friends and I can still remember the full-on chest palpitations and butterflies kicking the crap out of my tummy.

He was 4 years older than me: broody, intelligent and utterly fucked up. Of course I was going to fall for him.

In the summer before I turned 17, we had a water fight - me, my friend Emma, her brother Nick and a few other girls. It was hot, we were bored and it seemed like fun. 

Nick and I ended up in the bathroom: inside the bath, fully clothed, me in his lap, kissing, under a hot shower. Oh my. 

Emma blew a gasket and refused to speak to us for the rest of the evening. The morning after was awkward. By the time the summer ended and my birthday arrived in October, we were dating, or "going out" with each other. The first time we had sex was in front of the telly, with the gas fire on, in his front room, just after the first ever National Lottery had been drawn (we didn't win.) I remember the sex being fairly good. Later, it got great - he was the first boy to go down on me and the first to give me an orgasm. Which was nice. 

I fell into an all-consuming, couldn't-breathe-without-him kind of love. I worshipped the ground he walked on, watched the post for his letters (he was in his last year of Uni in Wales) and would cry if there wasn't a letter, and be hysterically happy if there was. 

He was also the first boy to shag around behind my back (whilst he was in his final year at Uni), give me a raging STD (can't remember which but it itched and burned) and break my heart. 

Do you remember your first "real" love? I can think about him now and still get a funny feeling in my tummy. Some of it is a teeny-tiny bit of "how dare you cheat on me and give me a disease!' rage, but most of it is remembering how wonderful first love felt. 

I remember driving from Bangor Uni to his family's home in the Dales in his beat-up car after he graduated. We sang songs from cassettes all the way over, and stopped near a waterfall to have outdoor sex. 
We held hands as we walked down to the river, dodging puddles and talking nonsense. 
We shared a single bed in his tiny room, in his parents' little stone retirement cottage in a tiny picturesque village in Wensleydale. 
We curled up by the open fire in the snug, and he introduced me to whisky and ginger.

What wasn't so good, but what I readily accepted at the time, was how large and expensive his cannabis habit was. Looking back, I can see it was a major issue. If I hadn't found out about the cheating, the reckless frittering of money on weed would've been a red flag. I tried it a couple of times and it was okay, but honestly nothing to write home about. (Which I didn't incidentally, when I caught the train to Wales to stay with him in his last week at Uni.)

But, when he forgot my 18th birthday and hurriedly bought me a crappy stuffed teddy and a jar of humbugs from the local shop in the village where he lived with his parents, that kind of gave me a hint as to where his money was going. And it wasn't on me.

I was quite jaded for a while after we split up. I was not in a good place for a while afterwards and went on a bit of a one-night-stand shagfest, declaring that I wasn't going to allow myself to get close to anyone ever again. My first year in University was a lesson in how to get branded a massive slag.  My Dad had cheated, my first real boyfriend had cheated. Was this how life was? Did all men cheat? 

No, as it turned out. Not all of them. But I had a long way to go before I could recognise true love from childish infatuation. I'm still not entirely sure I'm quite there yet.

Interestingly, my sister came across Nick on Facebook a while ago and mentioned him. I did a little Facebook stalking, as you do. I was sad to see that he is still single. I'd hoped that he would be happy and settled, maybe with a family, but he isn't. He's single, unemployed, and also suffering from a deep and chronic depression. He always laughed in the face of cannabis addiction and its dangers. 

It was harmless, he said. 
He could quit at any time, he said. 
It had no long term problems, he said. 

But, based on my quick perusal of his page, I'd say that it hasn't done him any favours either. 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Number 34 - In Which I Blatantly Ignore My Resolutions.

Happy... blah blah blah.
I'm late with this post. I have spent the last month eating chocolate, drinking Prosecco and reading trashy novels. Oh, I've done the work thing too, often while doing the eating of chocolate, drinking of Prosecco and reading trashy novels. I've always been brilliant at multi-tasking and as I am my own boss, I can't get fired. I don't think.

How was your Christmas and New Year? Any hangovers? Any ill-advised mistletoe or 2014 countdown snogging? Any resolutions? 

Husband had the face on on New Year's Eve and refused to go to any of the parties we were invited to, so Daughter and I decided to sod the miserable git, got dolled up and went to a friend's for civilised drinks and dinner. It wasn't the lively knees-up I had hoped for, as when we got there, we were the only ones invited for dinner and only two other couples turned up later, one of whom were tee-total vegans who were not happy about the table full of cheese, meat and alcohol. But, despite considerable hurdles, we had a fairly good New Year's Eve. I had several Kir Royales, Daughter had some low-alcohol perry and we twirled home. Husband went to bed at 12:30am in a sulk.

I was going to make a resolutions list but to be honest, it's the same every year. 

Stop eating chocolate. 
Go to the Gym.
Meet George Clooney.

It gets a bit repetitive and I'm setting myself up for a fail right there. I mean come on... stop eating chocolate? Never gonna happen...

I did decide on one thing on New Year's Day as Husband banged around the house like a bear with a literal sore head (I found an empty bottle of whisky in the bin and he smelled like the inside of a whisky barrel). 

I'm not going to put up with his shit this year. 

It's now three weeks later and I am still putting up with his considerable shit. He quit smoking today as well, and bought one of those eCig things. Already today he's made me and Daughter cry, and the dog is hiding in his bed with his tail firmly between his legs.

But this year I have work to focus on, a book to maybe finish, a dog to walk more and a daughter to help through GCSEs. I am still working out what to do with my marriage, but in the mean time I'm going to be busy.