Sunday, 7 February 2010

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED...

...To a new home: http://andeatingit2.com/

You will be automatically redirected in a few seconds. If you're not, please click here to be taken to the new location.

Please change your bookmarks and look for our brand new feed!

Thank you for visiting!

Friday, 5 February 2010

Toyota Recall - In Car Entertainment Revisited

It was about this time last year that I traded in my lovely old Range Rover for a Toyota.

With all the current problems, I can't help but be reminded of the fun I had in the old girl and, in particular, this little gem:

During the libel trial, the entire court moved out to the car park to watch reconstructions of the alleged sexual act in the front of a Range Rover – once with the central characters showing the impossibility of such an action and then one with two members of the press corps, proving that, if you remove the seatbelt, you provide the headroom – so to speak.


Read more...

For a post every day and the latest information on the Toyota Recall, go to my new domain at http://andeatingit2.com



For this weekend only Ann Summers are offering a £10 discount on selected Rampant Rabbits.


Thursday, 4 February 2010

HNT: The Secret of My Success

Looking back, I suppose any popularity that this blog may have achieved has always been down to the appeal of my fabulous arse, which featured whenever I commented.

This is really strange when you consider that I had spent the previous three decades locked into a mindset where I loathed it. But you people seemed to like coming over to have a look at it and spending a short while reading some of the ramblings of my hormonally-imbalanced, testosterone-fuelled, over-sexed brain.

When companies first began to approach me asking how much I would charge to allow them to put a textlink to their site in my sidebar, I was gobsmacked and just laughed it off. But then, I separated from my Husband and I started having to think about money. I needed to set in place some alternative revenue streams so that I didn't have to keep going cap in hand to him to supplement my own meagre earnings.

Accepting the advertisements seemed to be the most obvious thing to do. So, I bit the bullet, stepped into the Brave New World and asked the marvellous AAG to help me to set up my own domain so that I wouldn't have to worry about 'Content Warnings' which took the ads off the front page. *Pauses for a moment to allow the applause for AAG's handiwork to settle down*

*Numpty Alert* What I hadn't thought through was that my old place over at Blogger was actually pretty popular and had accumulated a large number of backlinks over the 2.5 years of its existence. It was these which gave it its value and not many advertisers were terribly keen to invest in a new site with a Page Rank of 0 and very few backlinks. Instead of winding down the old site, I found myself having to run it in tandem, whilst I begged and pleaded with all the wonderful friends on my Blogspot Blogroll to update their links and feeds to the new site - and thank you so much to all of you who responded to my plight so quickly x

It was extremely fortunate for me that the lovely people over at Kristen Archives chose this moment to put the new site up as their Featured Blog. Hopefully, some of my other linkees have received some bloglove as a result of the sudden influx in traffic.

Whilst the result of this has seen the domain's Alexa ranking move ahead of the Blogspot's level of Global 931,080 and United States 455,951 to Global 752,751 and United States 84,317, the data for the number of sites now linking in is not available and so, unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have had much effect on my Page Rank, which has stayed resolutely at 0.

Other sites show the Alexa rating for my old Blogger site at 1,195,636 with a Page Rank of 3 and 19,273 backlinks (the Alexa site itself shows the backlinks to be 123) and the new domain listed as only 2,497,755 with 9 backlinks so it's all very confusing as to which figures to believe and what else I can do to get the new site up to parity with the old.

So, this is the part where I need to beg and plead for a huge favour from my regular Reader and anyone who might have stumbled across my bottom as a result of the efforts of a Truly Lovely Gentleman today.

Basically, what I'm asking is if you would all help me to save my bacon conduct an experiment.

If you link to http://andeatingit2.com in your blogroll and send me an email at havingmycake [at] gmail [dot] com, giving your blog url, then I will link back to you - both here and on the old PR3-ranked Blogspot blog.

Another way to boost the rankings is to link to one of my posts within one of yours. Again, if you let me know what you have done, then I will return the favour on both blogs.

Page Rank's algorithm is based upon how many backlinks you have and the number of backlinks that those who backlink to you have. This means that, if we all help each other, everyone can benefit from a boost to their ratings.

The idea is to see how long it takes to regain my PR3 ranking on the new domain... and return a share of the linky love in the process.

The base we started at on 21st January 2010 was a ranking of 2,497,755 with 9 backlinks and a Page Rank of 0. It would be great to see what sort of movement can be achieved with a concerted effort and how long it takes, so I'm really hoping that you can help me out.

Obviously, if anyone else has any more information on other strategies I can employ, I would be grateful to be educated.

Because, as always, the true secret of any success that I may have lies firmly with you guys x

Please click here to comment over at the new domain.





Magnifying glass picture courtesy of: http://entrepreneurthearts.files.wordpress.com

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Mo Mowlam

I watched 'Mo' last night on Channel 4.

According to Wikipedia:

Marjorie "Mo" Mowlam (18 September 1949 – 19 August 2005) was a British Labour politician, who was the Member of Parliament for Redcar from 1987 to 2001, and served in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Mowlam's time as Northern Ireland Secretary saw the signing of the historic Good Friday Peace Agreement in 1998. Her personal charisma, reputation for plain speaking and fight against a brain tumour led her to be perceived by many as one of the most popular "New Labour" politicians in the UK; a fact reflected in the standing ovation she received when Tony Blair mentioned her name in his speech at the 1998 Labour Party Conference
.

But she was so much more than that. She was a woman in a man's world, who could achieve great things because she was a woman. With a woman's intuition and guile and lack of ego.

Julie Walters played her brilliantly, but the script was also fabulous. I remember those dark days of The Troubles and the bombs in London from my children. I also recall the various characters who appeared on the News, sometimes voiced by the voices of actors because they were not allowed to be heard for real (Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and other politicians from Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA) and sometimes ones you wish were being voiced by actors because their accents were so harsh and their tirades so strident (Ian Paisley).

They were like children squabbling over so many quarrels that went back hundreds of years. Religion and violence and nationality, with some wanting to remain part of Britain and others wanting to be part of a united Ireland, depending upon whether they were Protestant or Catholic. Cities, towns and sometimes even streets were split in their allegiance because of their religion to the extreme that part of Belfast was sectioned off around the Shankhill Road to keep their area separate from the rest.

But it's even worse than that. The Orangemen (Protestants) would hold regular marches along long-set routes that took them into Catholic areas and would insist on being able to follow their time-honoured traditions several times a year, almost deliberately goading the Catholics; and then the Catholics would put up barricades to prevent the marchers. Violence would erupt.

Each side had their own renegade paramilitary groups who committed violent atrocities with bombs, doorstep shootings and kneecappings, even on their own side if they thought someone was being too friendly with the other. I can remember hearing on the News about people being 'tarred and feathered'. It was a horrible time.

When New Labour came to power, Mo was given the job of Northern Ireland. The Government there had been used to the 'no quarter given' policies of Margaret Thatcher and Mo really took all those retrenched and angry men by surprise.

She had no ego. She was calm and firm and committed to achieving what was right, without thought for any danger to herself. For her, peace was the goal. And if, by belittling her, they could forget their differences and join together in some way, she was happy to let them do it.

Her handling of the talks required them to debate and discuss 'without putting their cocks on the table'. This, for me, was the most visually descriptive line of the whole programme because that's exactly how men negotiate. But most men loved her. For her jolly camaraderie and her ability to call a spade a spade. She was not feminine in that flighty, accepted way but one of the boys. She was instrumental in bringing about a temporary ceasefire, as well as being involved in setting the level playing field for the eventual accord that was reached, although her relationship with the Unionists was deteriorating rapidly because they felt that she was too sympathetic to the views of Sinn Fein.

At the end of the day, she was forced out - the programme said by 'Tony Blair's spin doctors' - but, in his speech celebrating the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, Tony, himself, mentioned her by name and she received a standing ovation.

Five months before the Genereal Election of 1997, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour, but insisted on continuing to campaign and have treatment simultaneously. Her cancer went into remission but later returned and she died in 2005.

The saddest part about the programme was her realisation that it might well have been the tumour's effect on her brain that caused her unique character traits and the bubbly charm that everybody so loved. Which part of her personality was Mo, and which part the cancer?

She was an extraordinary, brave and wonderful lady who stands out from all the other politicians in my memory and this programme celebrating her life and her amazing achievement had over 3.5 million viewers, making it Channel 4s most viewed programme since 2001.



Alternatively you could rent it from LoveFilm.










Monday, 1 February 2010

Red Star Trek

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Sunday, 31 January 2010

Bedtime Stories

Last night, Ruf and I watched The Reader, the film that won Kate Winslet her Oscar recently. It's such a strange tale, but so beautifully acted by all the protagonists.

And it got me to thinking.

I know that I love it when Ruf reads me my bedtime story over the telephone when we're apart.

To be able to just lie there, in the darkness, listening to the sound of his voice, the words filtering into my brain and allowing my imagination to run riot.

So I wondered if any of my Readers would be interested in having me read them a bedtime story from my vast back catalogue of erotica... or even one of my rants.

If this is for you, click on Bedtime Stories here or in the side bar to find out more.

And, if enough ladies are interested, I might even be able to persuade Ruf to become involved...





Or rent the Reader from LoveFilm










UnderRated: Learning F.A.S.T.



I have two friends who have had strokes and both have made a good recovery thanks to the prompt actions of those who were around them.

If you notice any of the symptoms listed, it's time to dial 999.

As mentioned in the recent FAST campaign on television, a stroke acts like a fire within the brain. There are drugs that can be given which will stop the spread of the damage. The FASTer you act, the more of the person you can save.

I think the FAST message bears reiterating here.

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Saturday, 30 January 2010

Drowning in Silence... Revisited

After my shower with the Mystic Wand, I was reminded of this:

The final night of that weekend is one that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

After the hustle and bustle of our friends had gone, it was just the two of us left in that big house. We are used to being together within the confines of a four-room flat and the volume that suddenly surrounded us was quite strange, especially knowing what we both had in mind for the coming night.

On the first evening, as soon as I saw that shower, I knew that at least one of our fantasies was going to be fulfilled over the following 48 hours. It was one of those big walk-in cubicles and there was definitely comfortably room for two. When Ruf also mentioned how big the shower was, I knew exactly what he was thinking.

I have had shower sex before, I think. In the deep, distant past. I recall snapshot memories of hands and soap, followed by acute disappointment at the discomfort because water and soap are not good lubricants.

So, after snuggling up on the sofa for an hour after tea as we companionably read the Sunday supplements and let our food go down, I was not surprised when Ruf stood up and held out his hand. He pulled me off the sofa and led me up the stairs towards that room.

I was a bit scared to be honest. That tiny snippet of memory kept trying to surface in my head and, after some of the challenges to our lovemaking over the previous few days, I didn't want this fantasy to go awry.

Because this is a big one.

How many times have I stood in a shower, letting the torrents stream over me and imagined his hands washing me. Wanted to feel his body pressed against mine as the water subsumed us. Tried desperately to capture the feel of him inside me, simultaneously filling and immersing myself in heat and moisture.

But this is Ruf. I do not need to say anything. It is as if he knows. As if he senses my dilemma, my concerns. And he treats me as he always does. His lips take mine and he flies me away somewhere else where I no longer have the capacity to think about anything but the passion that he generates in me. Clothes evaporate and there is only nakedness and the sound of the water pattering against the plastic base as he leads me inside and turns me to face him.

So often, I have refused to do things because 'I don't want to ruin my hair' and it must have given him enormous pleasure to push me straight under the flood surging from the showerhead. Hot, wet rivulets drenching my crowning glory, cascading across my face and down my body. Eyes closed as I felt him start to apply the soap. Each centimetre of my skin was gently washed and rinsed as the water flowed over me. My mind engulfed by the twin stimuli of the diluvian downpour and the caress of his fingers, leaving me breathless and longing.

Wanting him with every fibre of my being. Hyperventilating with the intensity of what was happening. I couldn't breathe properly as the deluge gushed over me. With panic in my chest, I gasped and panted for air and looked up at him through the barrier of my sopping fringe. Visibly trembling with the effort of breathing through the overwhelming emotion of everything that I was feeling.

Looking back, I don't think I have ever felt so sexually aroused as at that moment. I am incapable of putting into words the magnitude of the desire I felt. Sheer, unbridled, naked lust for this man. And, from the expression on his face as he looked back at me, I know he knew it too.

Admiring him through the steam and spray as I watched my own hands soaping and rinsing the body that I have come to adore. The stubble of his chin. That dimple. The hair on his chest. The tattoos on his arms. His strong belly and shapely legs. And that cute little butt. Before sinking to my knees to wash the part that so frequently joins us. Cleansing and sluicing as the water spurted around my shoulders and over my face. I pushed back my sodden hair, opened my mouth and took him.

Clamping my hands onto his buttocks, I devoured him as the deluge consumed us. Until he could take no more and dragged me up for kisses, taking me back to that state of intense arousal where I was shivering and panting, the feeling of hysteria not so far away. Pulling away and turning, I bent over so he could take what I so willingly offered. Alternately gripping my ankles and clawing at the tiles, I opened my mouth to scream... and drowned in the heat of him, lost in a world of steamy, wet wantonness.

For a brief moment he left me alone beneath the jets, shaken and very much stirred, as he dried himself. But it wasn't long before he was helping me to step out and tenderly rubbing the towel over every last inch of skin before wrapping me in it as we kissed again.

Just one look into his eyes was enough to tell me that this was only the first instalment.

He took me by the hand once more and led me to the bedroom with its six foot expanse of pushed-together beds.

The night was still young, there was tape to be tied, toys to be tested.

In a big, detached cottage, deep in dark woodland.

Where, best of all, no one could hear me scream...




Friday, 29 January 2010

HNT: Mystical

I suspect that many of you will remember my test drive of the MyPleasure Fairy Mini Wand at the end of last year. It became, very definitely, my favourite toy of the year.

However, the problem with it was that it was not available in the UK. I spoke to LoveHoney, but there were problems with making the plug suitable for the UK's electrical current. 'But,' they said, 'We do have something similar that you might like to try'.

So, last week, I came home to find my first ever parcel sitting outside the door of my flat. I brought it in and it remained, unopened, hidden down the side of the bed, in case I had a visitor, until Sunday morning when, after the stresses and strains of a very busy week and a succession of late nights, I found myself in the mood for some gentle relaxation.

It was the Vibratex Mystic Wand.

Made by the people who first introduced us to the 'Rabbit Pearl', which was the vibe originally featured on Sex And The City, a design which was then adopted by the rest of the industry, this is a company recognised for the quality of its craftsmanship.

It's about 8" long and just under 2" in diameter, with a smooth silicone head and no latex, phthalates or jelly materials. According to the blurb, the powerful vibrating massage head delivers extra sensation with six speeds but promises to be extra quiet at every setting.

On reading the instructions, it said that it was showerproof, so I thought I'd test that out - especially as I've never masturbated with a proper toy in the shower before. I always wanted to try with my toothbrush but I just didn't think I could explain the fact that I was brushing my teeth simultaneously.

Anyway, back to the job in hand, so to speak. I set the camera up on auto-timer and checked that, sitting on top of the cistern, it would get the cubicle in the frame and then I set the water running. Switching the device on, I flicked quickly through all six programmes and very pleasant it was too. Allowing it to settle at a gentle, steady buzz that started my juices flowing, before I revved it up to a higher setting. That's when I nipped out and depressed the button for the auto-timer before jumping back in and settling myself just in time for the flash.

It was then that I discovered the va-va-voom series of pulses. Oh, my word, now those are fabulous. It wasn't long before I could feel the shivers making their way up my body from my nether regions to my brain.

It was at that point that I should really have stepped out again to take another photograph, so you could have seen me rising up on to tip toe, bending my knees and leaning forward to get the maximum effect. The flexible head allowed me to gain the optimum placement to appreciate the finer points of this wonderfully portable toy.

I smiled as I remembered the last time that I had assumed that position, bent over my chest of drawers in front of the mirror with Ruf pushing himself into me. Four long weeks ago... the reflection showing his muscles as his lower abdomen hit the soft whiter than white cheeks of my bottom. Reminding myself of that particular image was more than enough to do the trick.

Obviously, I would have left the cubicle and set the camera to take that picture but I'm afraid, dear Reader, that I put my more pressing need above your own and I stayed put as the climax hit and I felt the cares of the previous week washing away down my thighs on their way to the plughole.

Is it as good as the Fairy Mini Wand?

Well, it only has four batteries as opposed to the Wand's six-pack.

The flexible silicone head (don't forget to use non-silicone-based lube with this one) is somewhat bigger than its competitor's and it doesn't have the two attachments that make the Wand such a wonderful package.

But, it is showerproof and very very portable, neither of which advantages are shared by the Wand.

I think it's something that I will be keeping in the bathroom, ready for Ruf's visit next weekend.

And then I will let you know :)

For non-mousers click here

HNTbutton

LoveHoney January Sale

Alter Ego

Please can I remind you to change your links and feeds to http://andeatingit2.com

Reading MKL's post about <a href="http://mykafkaesquelife.blogspot.com/2010/01/hanna-taiwanese-fairy-tale.html">Hannah</a> and then contrasting it with the pictures of celebs without make-up, made me think about the situation from a slightly different perspective to my normal zealous schadenfreude at the plastic people getting caught out by the paps.

Sure, it still makes me feel good to hear about Hannah's determination and achievement.  And even better to see those painted ladies, who have always given me such an inferiority complex, as they really are.

But then I started to wonder what it must be like for those troubled women.  To be two people and to revel in their public face, the one that is airbrushed and primped and pampered to perfection, all the time trying to deny the real person.  To have that poor little mite paraded as something to be disparaged because she isn't wearing make-up or has a spot.  What must the emotional turmoil of that scenario be like to deal with?  How many counsellors will it require to repair that type of damaged psyche?

And then I am reminded of my own alter egos.

The first came about when I was locked in the depths of my desperate battle against anorexia.  After so many downtrodden, repressed years as a nobody, I reinvented myself as a woman trying to succeed in an extremely masculine world.  

She sought help from the great and the good and, for some reason, they acknowledged her struggle and her persistence.  They listened and advised.  No one had ever really done that for her before.  But, because she was so different to the norm, these men were kind to her, without asking for any reward other than that she put into practice what they were teaching and improved herself.

She listened and learned and made a name for herself.  She succeeded... and I looked for recognition and congratulations from those nearest and dearest to me. 

But there was none.

No mention of a hard battle, fought and won.  No appreciation.  No pride through association.  Nothing.

That was when she realised that something drastic needed to happen.  A coup d'etat that would free me from the binds that tied and constrained me.  It was she who gave me the courage and the determination to seek what happened next.

And so I met Ruf and pursued the chance to be happy with every breath in my body.

Joanna Cake exists because of him (and Angela, of course).  Joanna took up the weapons wielded by her predecessor and really started to make things happen.  She wrapped me up in her persona and made me feel safe, no longer weak and helpless as my world began to disintegrate around me. 

Using the public approval that she had acquired from the wonderful people with whom she had come into contact through her writing, she began to build me up until I broke down the barriers and forced myself to face up to what was happening in my life. 

Her dogged insistence took me to the Counsellor and her bravery forced me to act when I had reached the nadir in my marriage.  To bounce off the bottom and pursue an upwards path.

Her common sense and business acumen helped me to sort out the various financial implications and make myself a new life in a new home.  She got me through the long nights when I was frightened and living alone for the first time in my life.

And now she is helping me to begin to make a living doing what I love.

But, when I look in the mirror, wearing no make-up as usual, I see me.

Joanna Cake and her predecessor stare out from behind my eyes, defiant and empowering.

And now I begin to understand.  That inner fire and determination.

It has always been me.










Wednesday, 27 January 2010

An Inconvenient Truth

So, ladies, let's get it out in the open!

You've just returned from a long weekend with your husband/lover.  For two nights and two days, you've made love, you've slept, you've made love, you've eaten and then you've repeated the cycle, over and over again.

The following morning, or maybe the day after that, you start to become aware that all is not well 'down there'.  It just doesn't feel right.

At first, it's just a vague sense of unease, which slowly becomes an irritation which then begins to itch.  Until, before you know it, you don't care where you are, you just want to rub or scratch at it.  The only thing that brings any relief is when you point the high pressure shower head in that general direction.

If you don't do anything about it then, before long you will notice an unpleasant smelling yellowish-white discharge in your pants.

The vagina is a very delicate eco-system and it doesn't take much to upset it.  Over the previous 48 hours, you've caused additional lubrication, excess friction and repeatedly invaded it with a foreign body.  Add into the equation that you will probably have been drinking a lot more than usual and eating lots of processed, sugary snacks.  It's not surprising that your pussy is throwing a bit of a hissy fit.

If you're suffering with any of the symptoms of thrush, candida or yeast infections, before you start a course of antibiotics or embark on any other type of pharmaceutical intervention, you should click <a href=" http://www.treatthrushcandidaandyeastinfections.com">here</a>

For the rest of this article, I'm over at my new site:


http://andeatingit2.com

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Abortion - A Retrospective

I often find myself thinking about that baby... that time.


It can be the most unlikely things that trigger the memory... and sometimes the most obvious.

For more on this, please visit:



Please update your feeds and bookmarks to reflect this.  Many thanks, Joanna x

Monday, 25 January 2010

Mute Monday: White Horses

If you're seeing this, then you haven't updated your feed or link to my new home at

http://andeatingit2.com


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Sunday, 24 January 2010

CineKink

Hi Guys


If you've arrived here, it means that you haven't updated your feed reader or link page to my new home at:


http://andeatingit2.com





Co-founder and director of CineKink Lisa Vandever is looking for a group of kinky film-lovers to help spread the word about the kinky film festival. I’d love it if you’d read below about her work and check out the website for more information.

I’d love it even more if you’d repost, tweet, facebook and otherwise share this post about CineKink’s events and need for support.

And I would love love love it most of all if you’d consider becoming a Proud CineKinkster yourself. Read on for all the details. –aag


————

The seventh annual edition of CineKink NYC is scheduled for February 16-21, 2010.

Once again the kinky film festival will feature a specially-curated program of films and videos that celebrate the wide diversity of sexuality. Along with a wealth of screenings, plans for the event also include a short film competition, audience choice awards, presentations, gala kick-off party and sexy AfterGlow celebration, all to be followed with a national screening tour.

While we’re just finalizing the schedule, among this year’s stories are a couple’s first brush with the world of swinging, a judge forced to choose between his legal career and his wife’s hunger for S/M and a French sex farce with actual sex in it! Viewers will also get a look at the boylesque sensation Waxie Moon and take part in “Bring It!,” our annual show-down between some of adult entertainment’s hottest directors.

Attendance at the CineKink NYC event, which runs over six days, averages 3,200-3,400 overall. Turn-out for tour appearances, which vary market-to-market in terms of venue size and number of screenings, ranges between 150-1,500 per city.

Additionally, mail updates currently go out direct to nearly 2,000 CineKink subscribers. These updates are also posted to various lists and groups both local and national, targeted primarily to people interested in alternative sexuality, and forwarded regularly to others within the communities. Estimate total reach for this is around 20,000 people per update.

Mention of our sponsors also goes out to our list of approximately 1,200 press contacts which cover mainstream, adult and alternative media outlets. All sponsors are included in press releases we send in advance of CineKink NYC; press releases for tour appearances include mention of all sponsors at the Gold level or higher.

We would love to have you as one of our official sponsors! Included below is information on our sponsorship packages, each designed to give businesses and individuals affordable opportunities for exposure. In addition to the levels detailed below, we will happily tailor a package or benefit to meet your individual marketing needs. Alternative opportunities might include the sponsorship of a specific event or screening, or even a CineKink festival award presented in your company’s name. Information on additional options and advertising opportunities can be found on the CineKink sponsorship page or send me an email with any other questions!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Iris vs Gigi

I held them. One in either hand, vibrating on maximum and they seemed pretty much identical for power. It's only by doing so that you can appreciate the difference in their physical sizes. And then I realised that I'd never be able to photograph them for you this way....

Read more at my new domain at:

http://andeatingit2.com

Thursday, 21 January 2010

HNT: Losing My Blogspot



 
Joanna Cake is moving house!!!


After three years with Blogger, Ive decided to become an independent woman with my own domain.


Lose the blogspot and come see my lilac HNT over at:


ANDEATINGIT2.COM

And don't forget to alter your bookmarks and feedreaders too!





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Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Coming Soon...

It won't be long now...

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Letter From America - And How UK Customs Charge You To Receive a Gift

I had a nasty shock recently, courtesy of Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs.

A very kind friend in the United States had sent me a beautiful gift - an Alaskan Ulu and chopping board.



It really is the most wonderfully crafted piece of kit and Ruf absolutely adores it. My friend carefully chose the handle to be made from Alaskan wood, rather than the normal bone so it is completely vegan friendly.

I have had an enormous amount of vicarious pleasure watching Ruf contentedly chopping up all the garlic, herbs and vegetables that he likes to mix together to provide me with the most amazing vegan sustenance.

It was the perfect gift. Thank you, Michael x

But, back to the Customs problem. I knew that the parcel had arrived in the UK, because I got a letter from a courier service stating that they were holding an international parcel on my behalf, but that they would not deliver it until various charges had been paid.

These were detailed as VAT (that's value added tax) at £13.88 plus a Customs clearance fee levied by the courier company of £8.

On researching this further, I discovered that this is not a new thing, it has been going on for some time, although I had been unaware of it.

Basically, for anyone else sending gifts to the UK from outside the European Union, the facts are these:

Any goods imported into the UK over the value of £18 are liable to import VAT; gifts between private individuals over the value of £40 are also liable for VAT. Goods and gifts over these values may also be liable for Customs duty. As of the 1st of December 2008 you will no longer be required to pay customs duty for goods up to the value of £135, however you will still be required to pay import VAT and excise duty where applicable.

Customs duty is a tax charged on goods produced outside the EU. It is controlled by HM Revenue & Customs. The purpose of Duty is to keep competition equal and fair and to bring the cost of imported goods up to the same cost as those produced within the EU. Once duty is paid, the goods are in 'free circulation' and can move throughout the EU without restriction.

Certain goods such as wines, spirits, cigars, cigarettes and tobacco are subject to what is called excise duty. When you buy excisable goods in the UK the price you pay includes this tax. However, if you import these goods either from the EU or from outside the EU, you will have to pay Excise Duty and VAT on them. The Excise Duty is often more than the cost of the goods, and private consumers buying excisable goods over the Internet should be extremely careful as there are different regulations governing the purchase of these goods on the Internet.

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a tax normally charged on the supply of goods (and services) made by a VAT registered business. However, imported goods are also subject to VAT. This is to prevent a purchaser gaining an unfair advantage by buying non-EU goods VAT free..

Gifts sent as parcels from the US are examined by Customs officials there and can be sent to the UK free of Duty and VAT only if they comply with these rules:

* The value of the goods must not exceed £36 (approximately $72).
* Packages must be correctly declared.
* They must have been sent by a private person abroad to another private person in Britain.
* The gift must be for the use of either yourself or your family.
* There is no commercial or trade element.
* Any alcohol, tobacco products, perfumes or toilet waters are within the Customs allowances and costs (see above).
* They must be of an occasional nature only, such as a birthday or anniversary.

It is possible for the sender to pay these charges in advance or in retrospect but no parcel will be released, unless the fees have been paid.

Unpaid parcels, resulting from disputes about Customs charges, cannot be delivered and will be returned to sender if they have been held at the depot for more than 20 days.

Naturally, because of the holiday period, I paid up promptly and the parcel arrived the following morning.

I suppose I should think positively because I believe VAT went up at the beginning of this year, so it could have been even more, but it just seemed very wrong that a gift could incur these charges; something that was not going to be sold on or used for commercial gain.

You have been warned!



I just had to post this, since it really made me laugh... and the original Proclaimers' video has had embedding disabled by request.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Mute Monday: Chase


http://www.dl.ket.org/webmuseum/wm/paint/auth/desportes/desportes.fox-hunt.jpg

 





Sorry, not many pics this week, guys.

Been working on SOMETHING BIG!!! Hopefully to be revealed later in the week :)


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Sunday, 17 January 2010

OverRated: Laxatives for Anorexics and Bulimics

It was in the news a few weeks ago that moves were afoot to stop laxatives from being available off the shelf in pharmacies and, presumably, supermarkets.

Apparently, as with paracetamol-based products and cough medicines, we need to be protected from ourselves and our addictions.

I fail to see how taking it off the shelf and making it dispensary-only is really going to stop people from using them for nefarious purposes, specifically those suffering with eating disorders.

What we really need is for more information to be available on the subject. For those of us who have trodden this well worn path over many years to educate those who follow in our footsteps. And, hopefully, to prevent them from making the same mistakes and suffering the same long term health consequences.

For anyone who thinks that laxatives are a good idea for dieting, the many years of intestinal difficulty that I suffered as a result of taking that route to facilitate my own eating disorder should provide a stark warning.

In my late teens and early twenties, I was both bulimic and anorexic. Mostly, I would eat nothing and use the laxatives to lose more weight but, if I did binge, I went through purging myself by putting my fingers into my mouth and activating the gag reflex until I vomited.

This is a totally disgusting process, which rots your teeth and just makes you feel permanently nauseous.

After several months of this, I could bear it no longer and moved onto laxatives to do the job more discreetly.

As a result, my poor bowels never really knew where they were.

Sure, it seemed to work for a while but then my system just became totally confused.

I was either completely constipated, with the waste building back up through my system and causing terrible bloating which only added to my distorted perception of my own body.

Alternatively, my stools were so loose that I was terrified to go out for fear of soiling myself.

However, my body dysmorphia meant that I persisted in this ridiculous routine of starving and purging myself.

Then followed the worst symptoms. The acute stomach cramps every time I did try to eat something. These were so painful that I couldn't walk. My gut would go into spasm, causing my belly to distend. I wanted to be sick and to defecate to ease the painful swelling but was unable to do either.

Although I only used the laxatives regularly for a year or so, these problems continued for decades afterwards, even during the time periods when I thought my anorexia was under control.

IBS and Crohns Disease were all suspected at various times, but now I know that a lot of it was triggered by my reliance on laxatives.

The damage this did to my intestinal walls was exacerbated by my predominantly bread-based diet and stressful lifestyle. The candida (gut bacteria) proliferated and leeched through into other parts of my body, causing thrush and other yeast infections.

After suffering with this for many years, I have chosen to try the anti-candida diet for the last few months and start making my gut more healthy by taking probiotics.

I haven't used a laxative for over twenty years, but only now that my diet has improved have I actually started to recover from the damage that my prolific use of them caused.




For more information on how to treat thrush, candida and yeast infections, click here




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Friday, 15 January 2010

A Scandalous Love Affair

To A:

I shall miss you so much when I'm dead
The loveliest of smiles
The softness of your body in our bed
My everlasting bride
Remember that when I am dead
You are forever alive in my heart and in my hea
d

Harold Pinter to Lady Antonia Fraser
Written in the summer before he died


In all this snow, I've had time to catch up on this week's newspapers and I found this article in The Times on Saturday.

You're probably all too young to remember the scandal.

It was 35 years ago, after all.

Two marriages ripped apart so very publicly by an affair between the aristocratic socialite historian and author, Lady Antonia Fraser, and the Jewish playwright, Harold Pinter.

She was the daughter of Lord Longford, wife to the Tory MP, Hugh Fraser, and the mother of his six children. He was married to the actress Vivienne Merchant.

As a teenager who had just discovered the historical novel, I was fascinated and simultaneously so sad for all the protagonists.

Everyone said that it couldn't last, because they were so different. But it was their very difference that made them so strong and their marriage would survive for over three decades.

After Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, they were one of the most talked-about couples of the Seventies.

I thought some of you might like to read their story.




Thursday, 14 January 2010

HNT: Bottoms Up

Hey Guys!!!


Come and see more like this at my new domain over at:


http://andeatingit2.com


"Why do you insist on viewing the anus as some kind of human USB port just waiting to have all kinds of hardware plugged into it?"

Mark Corrigan, Peepshow

Ruf fell about laughing when he heard this quote.

He always views my bottom as his own personal property.

He was first in there and it's almost as if he feels that he planted his flag.

Entering it has become one of his favourite pleasures, whereas, for me, it can be something of a trial.

Sometimes, it is the only thing that will really 'hit the spot' so to speak... and, at others, it can be excruciating agony that requires proper breath control to endure before entry is properly achieved and he can be accommodated in his entirety.

But, more than anything, just like Jez in Peepshow, Ruf likes inserting gadgets - fingers, thumbs, glass dildos, metal dildos, vibrating dildos.

And, providing I have something stimulating my clit, I'm not averse to it either.


For non-mousers, click here


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Wednesday, 13 January 2010

e[lust]#5

Welcome to e[lust] - your source for sexual intelligence and inspirations of lust from the smartest & sexiest bloggers! Whether you're looking for hot steamy smut, thought-provoking opinions or expert information, you're going to find it here. Want to be included in e[lust] #6? Start with the rules, check out the schedule in the site's sidebar and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!



♦ This Week's Top Three Posts ♦


Late Arrival: An Airport Encounter - I saw a possible haven ahead: a pilot disappearing into the pilots' lounge. I could think of nowhere else that would offer us even a modicum of privacy. Time to brazen it out. With her still walking obediently alongside, I pushed my way into the lounge.

The Condom Question. Confession #397 - Luckily, this time I had my wits about me enough to reply with a categorical, Yes a condom is absolutely necessary, darlin, but history has proven that, while I'm naked and horny, I can offer no more justification as to why such protection is paramount.

No more... - "I'm so sorry, I can't...". Words, words, so many words... reasons and reasoning and things and stuff and none of it made sense, and through all of it, disbelief, dread, a sickness of heart... I couldn't quite believe what I was hearing.

e[lust] Editress


Sex as a Panacea - As I begged “faster” “harder” “more!” I felt my orgasm come on, a mere minute or two after we began with this combination. A thunderous orgasm overtook me as he kept up with the dildo and I with the Climax for the first big wave.

♦ Featured Post (Lilly's Pick)


Bad Girl - I take off my coat and stand proudly before her in my black lace corset, suspenders, stockings and heels. She looks me up and down and smiles at me when she catches my stare. Desire is already zinging through my body.

See also
: Pleasurists #59 and #60 for all your sex toy review needs

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!


Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships


Blowjob Tips!
Companioning
Domestic Violence on MTV's 'Teen Mom'
From Helper To Survivor
Good girl, bad girl...
Girlie Toys
If the Peg Fits
Illicit Encounters
Insecurity, You can Kiss My Ass
Nothing is perfect, which is why there is communication
Regaining my Femme
Studying
The Condom Question. Confession #397

Erotic Writing


All Rise For the Queen
Bad Girl
Centre of Attention
Crying Uncle
Ending The Decade With Wes
Invading The Boy's Club - #4
Last Night
Late Arrival: An Airport Encounter
Lorraine's Coming Out
My reputation precedes me
Party Doll
The Beginning
The Erotic Touch of a Stranger

Kink & Fetish


1st night out as sub
Being my Master's Shoe Slut
Bondage and Being Ignored
Caning in the snow at New Year
Mind Games and Number Games
Much Ado About Punching
No more...
September 2010: A Slave's Initiation
The Intimacy of Being Taken
Thievery
The workhouse maid, punished
The Porn Reports, Part 1
Violence and BDSM
Yes, No, and Consent
"You're a good little fuck toy"

News, Interviews, Politics & Humor


Delegating Gaga
I Hope He Does "Animal" Next
Sometimes I'm Not So Sexy...

Problems Commenting

I don't know if anyone can help me, but I don't seem to be able to comment on a lot of people's blogs when I'm using my laptop.

The blogs in question have a comments box like this

As you will notice, they are blogspot blogs and I am signed in on my blogspot account. If I use the broadband PC at the house, I am able to comment, but not when I'm using my laptop.

Some people have managed to adapt their comments pages so that it comes up with the same comments box that shows on my posts, but I'm not sure what it is that they've done.

Can anyone explain what's going on? Is it something I can configure on my laptop or what do the bloggers need to do to change things at their end?

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Joanna Cake's Secrets To Achieving A Healthy Body Weight

As a recovering anorexic, I could tell you the most successful fast diets, but they won't help you to stay slim unless you have the willpower to continue with ever more restrictive regimes, until finally you have beaten the sensation of hunger and are eating virtually nothing.

In other words, you're an anorexic too.

What happens with most people who diet is that their weight yo-yos. This is because the the initial weight loss is achieved through the body using up its fat reserves, but then it goes into siege mode.

So, as soon as you've achieved your goal weight/got fed up with going to the gym five nights a week, and you go back to your normal eating patterns, the body will start to store some of this food as fat because you have alerted it to the possibility of another potential famine.

You start to put weight back on...

And so the cycle begins again.

What I've discovered over the years is that the best way to achieve a good body weight is to eat smaller amounts little and often, combining foods from the three major food groups to ensure that the body's metabolism can process it correctly. If you start counting calories by cutting out carbs or proteins or fats, your body can't do its job properly because it needs elements from all of them to maintain the optimum levels of glucose and insulin, which allow the body to function without being tired or hyperactive.

In addition, you have to get out and do some exercise every day: a brisk 20 minute walk or a yoga class - or, better still, don't take the car, walk to the yoga class. Don't exercise solely with the idea of losing weight, do it because it is all part of achieving a healthy lifestyle.

If you choose something like yoga, you will discover that it helps to keep your mind in shape as well as your body. Focussing on the body's physical movements in the various postures and the breathing techniques means that your mind cannot run off in all directions, planning the day's activities and the shopping list. It has to become still and just think about what the body is doing and the effects of that action. And, at the end of every class, is a short period of relaxation, where you just lie down and try to empty your mind totally.

This de-stressing is hugely beneficial and, done regularly, you will notice that you are much calmer and more relaxed about every area of your life.

Exercising is the best way to get your metabolism working, but it's no good getting into the habit of saying, I can eat two biscuits today because I will work it off tomorrow. The trick is not to eat the biscuits at all. In order to stop yourself from even thinking about sweet things after dinner you need to find something to keep your hands busy.

That's how I discovered knitting.

My Nan used to knit everything - socks, jumpers, hats, scarves. You name it, she could produce it from her two busy needles. As a child, she tried to teach all of us 'grands', but all I could make was a very uneven scarf in plain knit - I couldn't even manage to purl. I was always adding in or losing stitches so the width tended to vary dramatically throughout its length and there were often holes!

However, when I became an anorexic, I decided to learn how to knit, just so I could focus on something other than food. I worked with a group of girls who had formed a knitting club and so there was always someone who was an expert to show me how to get started and sort me out when I made a complete hash of it... or just to explain some of the hieroglyphics and shortforms that seem to crop up in a lot of knitting patterns.

I grew to love it, knitting and purling and all the other more complicated stuff, especially cabling and colour changes. I knitted for myself and then I started branching out to family and friends, even designing my own pictures for the front of jumpers - well, it was the '80s. Pretty much anything whacky went.

It's an extraordinarily relaxing pastime with a worthwhile end result and, once you have the basic skillset, it's very easy to progress onto the more advanced stitches and designs.

As part of my new internet business, I'm always on the look out for ebooks that I can market and, recently, I found this easy-knit book.

The site includes a free email beginners course which takes you through how to cast on and knit a simple scarf. After that, everything else that you need to know about the different stitches, yarns and patterns is included in the book, which you download onto your computer. It even helps you to understand all those abbreviations you get in the more advanced knitting patterns.

So, for anyone who wants something useful to keep their fingers away from the biscuit tin whilst they're working on their new eating strategy, then this is a great skill to learn and a quick and simple way to acquire it.

For those of you who are already adept in the art, there is also a book on Knitting for Profit. This is a carefully researched plan that guides you through everything you need to know to make a successful business out of your hobby.

How to get free patterns and free yarns, how to choose which garments will sell and the best wools in which to produce them, as well as how to market and to whom.

Knit Easy!

Monday, 11 January 2010

Sunday, 10 January 2010

The End of Time

I walked home in the snow today and I have to admit that I cried for some of the journey.

It was a week later than the rest of you, but I finally sat down to watch Part 2 of the final adventure of the Tenth Doctor, originally shown here on New Year's Day.

David Tennant has revitalised the role that was originally given new life by Russell T. Davies and Christopher Eccleston and I am really sad to see this talented actor move on.

The story itself was carefully formulated, with moments of comedy and tragedy skilfully woven together to have its entire audience weeping unashamedly at one moment and then on the edge of our seats the next.  The supporting cast worked their socks off, with the mesmerising John Simm as The Master and Bernard Cribbens, his normal solidly lovable self.

I honestly thought that the Doctor had cheated death, even though I knew that his replacement had already been chosen, and those final scenes were magnificently acted.

I can remember the first time that I saw the Doctor regenerate - from Patrick Troughton into Jon Pertwee. It was very upsetting for a youngster to be deprived of a character that was so central to the programme, but I soon got used to the new model.

However, David Tennant's tenure in the role has made such an impact. He made the character his own in a way that has been missing for so many years, aided by the award-winning stories provided by Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffatt and a series of interesting companions, culminating in Catherine Tate's marvellously irritating Donna.

The episode was a fittingly superlative showcase for his acting talents.

The new incarnation, Matt Smith, has a huge set of converse boots to fill.

Doctor Who: The End of Time, Parts 1 and 2

Friday, 8 January 2010

Bodies Revealed

At the very end of 2009, Ruf and I went to see the Bodies Revealed Exhibition.

For both of us, it was a very revealing and illuminating experience, particularly given our recent conversion to the wonderful world of yoga.

To be able to see the relationship between all the muscles and tendons was so useful, especially as all the bodies were in 'active' positions.

Everything had been treated with the Polymer Preservation Process, which means that the tissues look as if they are still normal flesh but in reality have been sort of fossilised in silicon.

Since the first of Gunther von Hagans' exhibitions back in 1995, Body Worlds, along with its many derivatives, has received a lot of publicity, some good and some bad because of the source of the exhibits. When I mentioned to Softboy that I was going to see it, he said that he had really wanted to go but refused to do so when he was told that the bodies were those of Chinese political prisoners. I don't know the exact truth about their origins and I tried to put thoughts like that out of my mind and just learn as much as I could from what I was seeing.

According to my research, this accusation was first levelled back in 2006 and was strenuously denied. Certainly, the Bodies Revealed website says that the cadavers were all willingly donated to the scientific community and this is something that a lot of people do have written into their Wills. It's a bit like organ donation, I suppose, because giving your body up for medical research will preserve lives in the future.

A physiotherapist friend, who went on a course that utilised cadavers to help the students to learn exactly how the body works, told me that the bodies were treated with the utmost respect because being able to use them is such a huge gift to the living.

He said that to see a human body, complete with its fascia - the envelope of connective flesh that runs beneath the skin and links all the constituent parts of the body together - was amazing. In all the anatomy books, this section has been removed so that the muscles and tendons are not obscured. And yet the fascia is just as important as those more obvious connectors.

In certain relaxation poses, the pressure of the fascia on the brain caused by the positioning of the legs acts as a massage and this helps to stimulate the feel good endorphins which allow the person to truly enter a totally relaxed state.

Having tried the position myself, which is similar to the 'recovery position', I can vouch for the general sense of well being that ensues.

I had been forewarned about the section on the unborn child. The glass jars, in various sizes depending upon the developmental stage of their sad contents, was simultaneously fascinating and upsetting, given the procedure that I was forced to undergo a couple of years ago. But, with Ruf's arm around me... and I guess that's the real difference from that horrible time... I was able to reflect and learn, with just a silent prayer for all those babies. In some of the samples, it was possible to see the defect that had stopped their journey into the real world.

For more information about the exhibition and the processes involved in preparing the bodies themselves, click here

Thursday, 7 January 2010

HNT: The Best View in the World




The best view in the world from every angle.

Ruf adores looking at it prior to diving in and I'm rather partial to looking down and taking in the whole scenario myself.

For so many decades, I hated the thought of a man observing me there. Worried about the smell and the taste.

Now that my hormones are in complete disarray, I feel as if my innards permanently wreak like a day-old tuna sandwich, no matter how scrupulously hygienic I am.

Apparently, as Ruf constantly reassures me, this is not the case.

Perhaps my nasal passages are clearer than his... or maybe the hormones have sent their receptors out of whack?

But I guess I just have to believe his fervent protestations that I am giving him a great deal of pleasure by permitting him to perform this act and if I could only lie back, relax and stop fretting, I could make it even more enjoyable than it already is.

Because, what becomes obvious as time goes by, is that he just loves my cunt.

And I have to stop trying to dissuade him.

I've tried to be a bit clever here because I couldn't choose between two pictures. One was taken at his flat and one at mine.

So, there should be a click-thru and a mouseover, Blogger permitting.

For non-mousers click here


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