Tuesday, 31 March 2009

History Repeating

It was difficult to bring the subject up.

I'd been thinking about it for weeks. I had considered the small step of starting to sleep in a different room but it just seemed like a way of alerting everyone to the fact that something was seriously wrong but without actually addressing the issues.

I had already tried the threat that I would leave if people's attitudes towards me did not change but that just seemed to unleash anger and attempts to explain that their behaviour was acceptable using arguments that befitted their age. Sadly, within earshot of their father who made no attempt to try to curtail their disrespect which just reinforces their belief that he tacitly agrees that it is alright to respond in such a way.

Despite my best efforts, I have become my mother. I hear her shouting. I hear her despair. I know I tried to help but I was still just a young girl. It's only now that I see history repeating and I can suddenly empathise with her decision.

We were eating dinner when I started talking. One child had taken the plate on a tray to watch television in the front room, another upstairs for the same purpose with no word of admonishment. Our family is fractured, our children almost feral in that they do what they want whether I raise a complaint or not. Everyone is happy so long as they can indulge their own desires, but cross them and they will shout in the most offensive way.

When I finally opened my mouth and started to speak, I stayed amazingly calm with just a few moments where I spoke through tears. He listened calmly and continued to eat as I tried to explain the situation.

That a point had been reached where there was no point in staying. Where my ability to be a parent, a mother is impossible. My position in the household has become untenable. Where my children refuse to accept that I have any rights or that there is any reason to respect my words or my instructions and I feel totally alone in my own home.

His response was that he understood but that he could not afford to buy me out and I explained that this was not my aim. I don't hate him. I still care for him and know that he has and is working extremely hard to try to maintain our lifestyle. I don't want to put any more on him but that I cannot go on as we are.

It has been agreed that we will look into buying me a flat somewhere very close where I can still see my children easily and be involved with their upbringing but not have to nag them about cleaning up after themselves which seems to be the biggest bone of contention.

As I did three decades ago, they too will remain in the security of their home, with their father presumably maintaining the same conditions as before but having to deal with the consequences of his own inactions, rather than complaining to me.

I, of course, will have to get a better job to help to finance my new independence and we will tell the children what is happening when this has been achieved.

When I then mentioned the D word, he seemed surprised. I was caught off-guard. I couldn't work out why he would feel that we could continue without one. I tried to explain that I wanted to be able to find love... to 'date'. I hated the word as soon as it came out of my mouth, but it was done.


So life reverted to its normal pattern for the rest of the evening.

When you write it down it seems so clean and easy and, indeed, at the time of the 20 minute discussion, it seemed so easily achievable.

So why, the following morning, did I find myself sobbing and howling like a wounded animal in the silent security of the place that has been my home for a quarter of a century, crying for the loss of everything that is most dear to me and the fear that desertion might cause the rift with my children to become permanent.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Left Outside Alone - A Marriage in Crisis

Nearly thirty years ago, I met the man I thought was my saviour. The calm eye in the centre of a storm that surrounded me. I was trying to run a home and deal with my father's despair at the departure of my mother. I was 18 years old and desperately unhappy.

Suddenly, he came into my life and just took over. I had someone for whom I didn't have to cook or clean. An older man who could see that I might have something to offer and wanted to be with me. So gentle and relaxing to be around.

Initially, he was very unsure as to whether we had a future because I was nearly a decade younger than him and he felt the difference in maturity levels was quite marked at that stage. However, after three years of courting, he suggested that we buy a place together and I thought we would spend the rest of our lives living happily ever after.

A quarter of a century later, in 2004/2005, I can remember crying rivers of tears over this song. I don't know quite what happened. When the selfish implacability of his nature came to the fore and I became like a pebble flinging itself against the shore to try to make him notice me. And the unstoppable tide of nothingness dragging me back into the waves.

I had no way of knowing just how much worse things could possibly become. How isolated I could be made to feel. How I could watch another person's inexplicable actions threaten to irretrievably destroy my relationship with my children. How I would have to compromise my own principles in order to at least stay in the game for their affections.

It's no good people saying that my kids will see it all for what it is in the end... when they are older. Why should I lose the quality time with them now because of their father's inability to parent in a way that fits in with normally accepted standards? Perhaps, at the end of the day, it is me who is wrong? By wanting to be treated with respect in my own home, by expecting to be able to do the things that I want to do without always satisfying my children's demands first, maybe I am harking back to a generation of parenting that has moved on.

Part of me wanted so much for Ruf to insist, 'Enough of this crap. You deserve better. I want you to be happy so come and live with me.' He made the offer once as he listened patiently to my ever increasingly despairing whinging with a sort of gobsmacked disbelief. Hearing the words, with their possibility of salvation, I knew that I couldn't do what achieving that release would entail. I am eternally grateful that he did not forcibly try to make me act because then I would have to choose between him and my children. Of course, he knows that, which is why he did not push the issue.

I guess at the end of the day I have to accept that the knight in shining armour just isn't coming. He can't rescue me from all the 'if's and 'buts' and let me emerge squeaky clean without hurting anyone. With no collateral damage.

The only person who can save me is me.

I have asked for a divorce.

All my life I've been waiting
For you to bring a fairytale my way
Been living in a fantasy without meaning
It's not okay, I don't feel safe
I don't feel safe...

Left broken empty in despair
Want to breathe, can't find air
Thought you were sent from up above
But you and me never had love
So much more I have to say
Help me find a way

And I wonder if you know
How it really feels
To be left outside alone
When it's cold out here
Well maybe you should know
Just how it feels
To be left outside alone
To be left outside alone...

Thursday, 26 March 2009

HNT: Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage

Watching the rugby and hearing the Referee instruct the front row of the scrum to "Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage", it made me think of the way Ruf sometimes opens our encounters.

I've mentioned my blotchy cheeks before in The Come Shot. But this rash can extend over my chest as well... as you can see. Partly it's due to Ruf's stubble but sometimes, as in this case, he hasn't even touched me with his face and this starts to happen.

Bending slightly to kiss me, his fingers trace lines and pull at restricting lace to reveal goosepimpled flesh. Before he moves away to admire the effects of his work.

He loves to do that. Light the blue touchpaper... and then retire for a moment. Get my motor running, before withdrawing. Waiting to see the extent of my arousal. Watch me quiver with repressed excitement. My skin visibly changing colour before his eyes, yearning for him to come back and complete the job.

Crouch, Touch, Pause... and Engage.


Tuesday, 24 March 2009


"If a relationship cannot move forward... it withers."

Sara Sidle, CSI

This episode of CSI made me cry. It resonated...

William Petersen has said that what Grissom loves about Sidle is her tenacity. "She's a bulldog. And he always saw that in her. And he always knew that subconsciously the only person who'd be able to give him a second look is someone who's not willing to take the first look for granted." On her side, Jorja Fox has said that "The story of Sara and Grissom is a little like a fable. And most great fables don't really have 100 percent resolution."

Their relationship is not an obvious one from the outside. How would two such very different people be attracted to each other? And yet they are. Sometimes it's opposites that attract, in some cases, it's just that the two halves complement each other, despite what other people might believe.

As well as the fact that they work together and there could be problems if their involvement became common knowledge, there seem to be commitment problems from one or both sides in the Grissom/Sara tangle. This means that their relationship remains a secret, even from their closest friends and Sara finally reaches the point where a decision has to be made because the intensity of her professional life means that she needs more from her emotional engagement. So, a few episodes after this statement, she leaves Las Vegas... and Grissom.

It is her departure that provides Grissom with the catalyst to make him emerge from his comfort zone and do something about it. He misses Sara. She brought something special to his life without him even realising. So he leaves the ordered, predictable safety of his bugs, steps out of the security of so many sterile decades and moves into the possible chaos that might be the future just to be with her.

To take a chance and see if what they have can bloom in less constrained circumstances.

Ruf and I have a lot in common with Grissom and Sara, although you could never say that either of us was personally one or the other, even if you swapped the genders. But their personalities, situation and involvement do share a lot of commonalities with our own. Apart from the fact that we are probably not a pairing that most people would naturally put together romantically, Ruf also wants us to be able to move forward as a couple. He is tired of defending his decision to wait for me to those friends who just don't approve. Fed up with feeling like the male equivalent of a concubine or a mistress. He doesn't want to be stuck in limbo hanging around for a woman who may or may not eventually become his full-time partner... or possibly his wife.

And, whilst I have always empathised with his viewpoint, now it is more than that. I want to move on too. I would love to be in a position to introduce him to my friends and family. The idea of waking up with him every morning in that warm snuggly bed... I find myself daydreaming of a wedding day and a future together.

But I cannot shake from my mind the picture of my children. Teenagers, yes, but still not mature enough to reason properly about such a matter. Kids, who really do need the reassuring presence of their mother about the house even if they never actually acknowledge it when she is.
I am in a quandary.

I don't want to have to make a choice... but, by maintaining the status quo, I run the risk of losing them all.

Everyone needs to be able to move forward.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Mute Monday: Space

And, after Star Trek, my favourite Space series of all time - and certainly the one with the best music:


Sunday, 22 March 2009

Half-Nekkid Sunday for Mother's Day in the UK

Continuing with the rugby theme: Shane Williams, Steve Borthwick and Paul Sackey.

Sugasm #161

The best of this week’s blogs by the bloggers who blog them. Highlighting the top 3 posts as chosen by Sugasm participants. Want in Sugasm #162? Submit a link to your best post of the week by emailing me directly at radicalvixenatgmaildotcom Participants, repost the link list within a week and you’re all set.

This Week’s Picks

The Balance of Power “A wave of lust coursed through her body at his words”

Betrayal “What’s this? Evidence of pleasure?”

Secret signals “I will adore him for it”

Sugasm Editor Not An Overnight

Editor’s Choice The Ghost of Abuse

More Sugasm
Join the Sugasm

See also: Fleshbot’s Sex Blog Roundup each Tuesday and Friday.

Friday, 20 March 2009

UnderRated: Harnessing the Passion

Anyone who has ever sat in the stands at an international sporting occasion cannot fail to be moved by the rendition of the National Anthem and admire the fervour of the teams stretched out below them.

For all that ours is a royalist dirge, the crowd still seem to be able to inject huge amounts of patriotism into it. When you see the medal ceremonies at the Olympics and watch sportsmen tearfully celebrate the hoisting of their country's flag to the accompaniment of their anthem, it is impossible not to share their emotion.

Of course, part of me has the joy of being Welsh. No, I don't know the words but the passionate nationalism of the crowd in its execution sweeps you up and along with them. Whatever your sporting allegiance, I defy you to watch the singing prior to the match against Ireland tomorrow, the last match of the Championship, without feeling the enormity of the flag-waving ardor... especially as this is such a crunch match, with either victorious team coming away with the Triple Crown for having beaten the other home nations and, for Ireland, the possibility of the Grand Slam.

Then there's Le Marseillaise, a feisty left-over from the Revolution, sung with such gusto by our Gallic cousins.

And the Italian song, enthusiastic, spritely and uplifting.

The Flower of Scotland - who chose that instead of Scotland the Brave - but the crowds do seem to love it... and they know all the words so can be trusted to sing the second verse a capelo.

But the King of the anthems has to be the New Zealand Haka, guaranteed to instill fear into the hearts of the opposition - except when they played the French and Sebastien Chabal wasn't having a bean of it. Instead of remaining a respectful distance away from the performance, he and his team took up a position that moved ever closer to the challenging Kiwis. Their body language showing the contempt with which they viewed this peacock behaviour.



Thursday, 19 March 2009

HNT: Hidden Dips


Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Islands Flashdancing in the Stream

As a fan of Gavin & Stacey, naturally I had to post this...

And this:

Robert Webb does Flashdance:

There is something very surreal about watching the rather laconic gurner of Peep Show doing an extremely good impersonation of a dancing Jennifer Beals.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009


Did he do it just to spite his wife?

Or to bolster his own self-esteem in the face of her apparent disinterest.

He had stood there all night, beer in hand, watching her cavort. Simulating sex as she danced with a toyboy and his girlfriend, her hand reaching for the young man's groin as his partner draped herself suggestively around his wife's breasts.

He could feel the anger and the arousal. He wanted to hit something or fuck someone. He wanted retaliation or redemption. He needed to feel good about himself again. To take away the crushing drudgery of the years of fighting to keep his job and make the mortgage payments, whilst simultaneously working to keep his marriage intact.

What had happened to the woman with whom he had enjoyed such sexual adventures. She was still gorgeous and clearly attracted to other men. She had not lost her libido with others but she needed these parties, these distractions, these foibles with other males to remind herself. And then, of course, he got the benefit. But he had to go through this first. His self-esteem dying inside him as others watched and wondered at his inactivity.

But what was the point of making a fuss. He'd done that before and spoilt a party. Felt the shame and the pity of his private life exposed to the glare of his friends' scrutiny. And it had done no good. She needed these encounters. And so she arranged more soirees and drank more vodka and behaved ever more sexually in front of his nose. Seemingly oblivious to his presence, or his anger.

But this time another woman was there. The long running object of his lust. Blonde where his wife was dark and interested in the things that he liked rather than dismissive of his hobbies. She knew what was going on and, like his other friends, tried to distract him. It was never a good combination. Her... and beer. Teri... and Stella. Two women guaranteed to challenge his reserve and make him vulnerable. Forcing him to forget his priorities and think only of his most basic needs.

There was unfinished business between them. She had gone away before. Stopped attending the same functions. It was too dangerous. They both knew it, but when he had told her about the party this evening, she had said she would come. With her renewed presence in his life, it was only a matter of time and consumption of alcohol before things got out of hand.

They wore the same cologne in its different genders but it did nothing to mask the pheromones that were calling to each other across the kitchen as he watched her sitting on the worktop. He had so many photographs of her in that room and had lost count of the number of times his imagination had pushed her over the sink, ripped aside whatever little outfit she was wearing and plunged into her.

The chemistry had started the very first day he had seen her several years ago and, both being married, they had fought it in their minds and with real fisticuffs. Sparring verbally and physically as they fought against closing the connection. But they were not always strong and, occasionally, life's vicissitudes made them cling to each other emotionally until the mutual attraction became impossible to ignore.

Diving in... and then out again. Regret bitter on his lips in the face of his infidelity and betrayal. The inward promise never to do it again, they hurt each other repeatedly as their bodies did the talking whilst their minds tried to do the right thing.

So, fuelled by the rejection of their real lives and a large quantity of brandy, the magnetism grew to all-consuming proportions. She made him feel attractive and wanted in a way he had quite forgotten. He yearned to be her protector and show her how beautiful she was.

From hidden glances, friendly caresses became openly tactile and on to blatant embraces. They forgot about the curious glances of any onlookers, responded to the frantic messages coursing from one body to another and lost their inhibitions in a world where only that person existed.

The party continuing to rage downstairs, they found themselves in a darkened bedroom and, with the drink-fuelled amnesia of the truly desperate, they forgot about the consequences in a melee of heaving breasts, throbbing desire and slippery nakedness, driven to consummation by the intensity of a lust that had spanned the majority of a decade.

And, as the pounding exploded in an agony of release through the darkness of those seconds that surround mutual fulfilment, there was nothing but completion. Until reality forced its way back and the ramifications of discovery ground into their elation.

Whatever his original reasons, Pandora's Box had been opened and the contents had begun to flood out.

Whether he wanted to or not, they could never be recaged.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Broken Strings

This song captured my attention on the radio the very first time I heard it. By the time it got to the line about not being able to play on Broken Strings, I was almost in tears.

I don't think anything can prepare you for what it's like to live life in a marriage that is damaged. A relationship that is closed off and perpetually angry. Yes, we think we can live without love. How can it be any different to living alone?

But it is soooo not the same. All the time, you share personal space with a person that you used to adore. You are reminded of the partner that you used to hug and with whom you wanted to share the minutiae of your life. Suddenly, you look up and realise that is all gone. There is just this constant fug of bad feeling, where you tiptoe around each other on eggshells, trying not to upset the apple cart. Dodging difficult subjects and not having conversations that could end in recriminations or just be cut off by a stomping departure. Silence reigns and repression is King.

The cold, dark days of depression where you long to have someone hold you and stroke your hair. Wrap you up in caring human contact and make you feel warm and safe in a loving embrace.

And yet, to what purpose? To reach out in entreaty for that solace in the knowledge that it would probably be given but never unreservedly or wholeheartedly. To accept half the prize could no longer be enough.

I don't think I can even begin to describe just how lonely it feels to have your heart full of nothing but black sadness at the destruction of something that once seemed so worthwhile and strong. An empty void still fluttering within your chest.

Once you go beyond sexual intimacy, is there really any way to return? The growing gap between two bodies in the shared bed symbolising the ever widening chasm between two lovers who used to be so close and the yearning ache that engulfs everything you do because you just don't know this person any more.

Where you wish that you could just forget the past and start afresh. Pretend again that those things don't matter and try to remake a happy home, but, in your heart, you know that it is a waste of effort and energy because nothing will change. Sooner or later you will be back in this bad place with even more resentment than before.

Blame and fault no longer seem to matter. You grind yourself around the mortal coil, one foot after the other, day following night following day.

And all you can do is pray for the strength and purpose to continue or the courage to end it soon.

Let me hold you
For the last time
It's the last chance to feel again
But you broke me
Now I can't feel anything

When I love you,
It's so untrue
I can't even convince myself
When I'm speaking,
It's the voice of someone else

Oh it tears me up
I try to hold on, but it hurts too much
I try to forgive, but it's not enough to make it all okay

You can't play on broken strings
You can't feel anything that your heart don't want to feel
I can't tell you something that ain't real

Oh the truth hurts
And lies worse
How can I give anymore
When I love you a little less than before

Oh what are we doing
We are turning into dust
Playing house in the ruins of us

Running back through the fire
When there's nothing left to save
It's like chasing the very last train when it's too late

Oh it tears me up
I try to hold on, but it hurts too much
I try to forgive, but it's not enough to make it all okay

You can't play on broken strings
You can't feel anything that your heart don't want to feel
I can't tell something that ain't real

Well the truth hurts,
And lies worse
How can I give anymore
When I love you a little less than before

But we're running through the fire
When there's nothing left to save
It's like chasing the very last train
When we both know it's too late (too late)

You can't play on broken strings
You can't feel anything that your heart don't want to feel
I cant tell you something that ain't real

Well truth hurts,
And lies worse
How can I give anymore
When I love you a little less than before

Let me hold you for the last time
It's the last chance to feel again

Thursday, 12 March 2009

HNT: Scrum Pox

Designer stubble. Don't you just love it?

George Michael, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and, of course, my Ruf. However, such facial adornment comes at a cost to the women in their life. That damn stuff can cause a real reaction in the skin of the ladies it is rubbed over.

As you can see from the picture, the skin of my body is just as susceptible to the allergy as that on my face.

Within a short while of starting to kiss, my nose and chin have become quite tender from the prickle of those emerging hairs. The only thing that prevents my skin from becoming covered in the sores of scrum pox is liberal application of aloe vera gel to cool and soothe. Ruf has attempted to time his shaving regime so that I get the optimum amount of bristle-free action but his stubble starts to reappear within a couple of hours so it is a very exact science.

And then we discovered the clippers. You know, the ones that are used to shave skulls. I have often helped Ruf to administer a Number One to his own head and I love the contrast between his shaven head and the longer beard hair. So it occurred to Ruf that perhaps this could work on his beard too. There is still an optimum length, but it lasts a lot longer than the difference between clean-shaven and spikey and the overall improvement as far as discomfort is concerned is well worth it.


Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Brothers... and Sisters

'No, it's the older one. Always the wrong brother!'

Big Mac and Little Mac.

Even when they had lived together for the best part of a decade, he had always been aware of her attraction and closeness with his younger sibling. And now, more than thirty years on, she had proved yet again her preference.

Friends Reunited had a lot to answer for! Perhaps he shouldn't have registered as Mac McCarthy. But it had been his name first and his little brother had copied. When he had contacted her after three decades of silence, he wasn't sure what he had hoped to achieve, but it was obvious from her response that she had never expected to hear from him... because the nature of her reply was so obviously addressed to Murray. Being so much closer in age, they had always had more in common.

He was in his early twenties and she had still been at school when they originally got together. He had heard about the sisters from Murray and his friends. He vaguely knew their big brother, who had been in the year below him at school. The older girl, Shelley, was prettier and slimmer although, according to Murray, sexually very inexperienced. She had told Murray that she had a crush on Michael. So, he had gone to the party with the intention of seducing the one closer to his own age. Had almost succeeded, except that she had got out of her skull trying to keep pace with him at drinking and had been forced to retire to throw up her guts with her head down the toilet

A little while later, Tara had appeared on the stairs next to him. They had started kissing, moved on to her bedroom and that was the beginning. He could still remember her sister's face when she saw them come out of that room together. He watched her tears at their betrayal for the rest of the night. It had made him feel rather ashamed because he knew how much she liked him and he couldn't deny that he still had feelings for her. He couldn't really explain why he had done it, other than that he was pissed and Tara had been available. She was also outgoing, confident and sexy. The only problem was that she was quite chubby in that half-grown schoolgirl way.

He set about training her in ways to lose weight. Introduced her to his lifestyle and her part in it. Waiting around until he decided to pick her up after football or whatever else he was doing with his mates.

Sometimes when he went to fetch her, Shelly would be there. She was really into that Jane Fonda workout stuff. Always dressed in a low-cut leotard and tight leggings, her skin glowing with a light sheen of perspiration when she opened the door. He would have to try to look elsewhere because otherwise his lingering attraction to her would make itself obvious. And he had to stop his mind from comparing their figures.

When he introduced Tara to his mates, they took the piss a bit. Michael's 'schoolie', they called her, but, like a chameleon, she adapted herself to whoever they were with and charmed them until they all loved her. When he bought himself a house, he moved her in. She did the housework, catered for him and his friends and the sex was fabulous. He was a big boy and yet she seemed not to have too much trouble accommodating him.

Murray was not impressed. He had always had a soft spot for Tara and they had had a couple of dates together but he didn't like chubby girls so had not pursued it. Suddenly he watched his older brother turn the duckling into a swan. No matter that she used the little blue pills to help achieve and control it. They all used the little blue pills and smoked whatever came to hand. It was part of their social interaction.

But as she grew up and matured, Tara became much less easy to control. She would disagree with him. She got herself a job in the City and began taking evening classes to gain better qualifications. She didn't have so much time to devote to his needs. She made him angry. Especially when he could see her getting on so well with Murray when they went out.

Sometimes at family social events, he would look at her sister and wonder whether he had made the wrong choice. Especially when he was drunk. That was always the worst. One night at a club, he had asked her to dance to a slow tune with him. It had taken her a while to get over him but now she was involved with someone else. She seemed unperturbed by his proximity and yet he was sure that she still had a soft spot for him. She smelt so good, her arms around his neck and her body pressed against his. He whispered in her ear 'Shelly, why did you have to get drunk...?' She had paused for a moment in disbelief before shooting him a look of utter contempt and leaving him standing alone in the middle of the dance floor.

It wasn't long before the disagreements became rows. He had to restrain himself because Tara could enrage him to the point where physical violence was a distinct possibility. When she walked out and returned to her parents' house, he was so angry he put all her stuff in a black plastic sack and threw it on a bonfire.

Eventually her solicitor made him settle out of court to pay back what she had put into the house during the time that they had lived together. With that closure, he thought he could just draw a line under her and walk away.

But she was often there at the back of his mind, even a decade later when he got married and had kids. His new wife gave their daughter the name he and Tara had once picked out. She had no idea why he was so against the choice but, eventually, Mrs McCarthy had her way. He wondered what had happened to Tara but knew that it would do no good to try to find her.

And then, thirty years later, he discovered Friends Re and there she was. Happy, successful... but still preferring the company of his brother.

Fate is a strange creature.

Monday, 9 March 2009