Tag Archives: love

The Character Beneath



shopThe store I worked for underwent an overhaul a few years ago. Having sat comfortably on her stoical British bottom for slightly too long, she had realised that the young pretenders had been quietly taking over the high street as she dozed. She was dragged back to her feet, dusted down, and buffed and polished to within an inch of her life. New work practices were devised by earnest young executives sitting in air-conditioned ivory towers, far away from the mêlée of the shop floor. Monday morning meetings became an endless list of new rules and regulations, to be rolled out across the shop floor by myself and other equally fraught, and, at times, incredulous floor managers.

These actions were understandable, all businesses need to move forward. But one factor hadn’t been taken into consideration. And that was those staff members of a certain age, who had grown up with the comfortable slipper feel of their workplace, and weren’t impressed by the sudden switch to blood red stilettos!

My food department became the proverbial rug, under which these blots on the new sleek appearance were swept. I didn’t mind. Because I ended up with some of the most glorious characters I have ever worked alongside!

Merci was a tiny pixie of a woman, eyes dancing with mischief, a deep voice rubbed raw by years of smoking. She played the dizzy card to great effect, but was in fact possessed of a rapier sharp mind, and outrageous wit. Her sparse blonde hair was the bain of her life, and barely a week passed where she wasn’t trying some bizarre treatment in the hope of suddenly developing a flowing mane. One memorable month she gamely massaged snail slime into her scalp, despite the merciless teasing she received. Her personal life was marked with tragedy, but she was the consummate professional, and it was never mentioned at work. Most glorious of all was her frequent habit of using entirely the wrong word, with hilarious results. My favourite was one very busy afternoon, the two of us manning the tills, with a queue that snaked across the floor. A tourist asked her if everyone in Gibraltar spoke Spanish and English.

“Oh, yes,” came the reply. “In Gibraltar, we are all bisexual!”

And then there was Jane. Almost a caricature of an English shop assistant, lank hair held back from her face by two grips, shirt always pulled and gaping across her chest. Slightly stooped, sensible shoes, short socks, vaguely crumpled. No matter how busy we were, she moved at Jane speed, a slow careful crawl, with a slightly nasal voice that matched perfectly her pace. Apparently always in a semi-comatose state, she in fact did not miss a thing, and managed her section with frightening efficiency. A keen sense of the ridiculous hid beneath her surface, and would bubble up in unexpected moments. What fascinated me most about her was her true love story, which she told me one quiet afternoon. Forced into a loveless marriage at sixteen, with a small child, she had met the love of her life when she was eighteen. She was on a rare night out with her younger sister, and saw him from across the dance floor. He asked her to dance, and one week later, she moved in with him, and never left. When she told me of the moment she knew he was the one, it brought tears to my eyes.

“He asked me to dance, and took my hand, and I knew at that moment that I never wanted him to let it go again.”





I love to watch you as you sleep.

Your face wiped clean of stress and care.

The furrow gone between your brows.

The pillow tumbled mess of hair.

A leg escaped from tangled sheets,

Still sweet scented with desire,

Your body languid in repose,

Sated after passion’s fire.

I love to gaze upon you thus,

Feel my heart swell with loving ache,

Then nestle close against your skin,

And hold you safe until we wake.



Thirty Years



Thirty Years


 One of the challenges I read about on The Daily Post  just recently was Fifty by Vincent Mars. The challenge was to write something in exactly fifty words. For someone who talks way too much, that was one mighty challenge. So here it is. The moment I met up with my torn-apart again (I once read somewhere that we were all once joined to our soul-mate, and then torn apart. If we are blessed, we find them again. Told you I am an incurable romantic!).

It also gave me a really good excuse to play around on picmonkey again!!













Hey Dad, It’s the Barber!!




We never really got off on the right foot, did we? I should have been the perfect child, the jewel atop your perfect marriage. Except there was no perfect. The marriage existed, and I was the result. At best a rough diamond! Far too similar to you for comfort. My mother was, is, beautiful, Dainty, fragrant beautiful. Always out of your league. So you used brute force to keep her, control her, reduce her to a shadow of the woman you fell in love with. You tried the same process with me. I had your brain, your fierce intelligence. Sadly, your hairy legs, terminal acne, and your forehead, large enough to land small aircraft on easily. And ultimately, your temper.

You chose to make the best of a bad job, and exploit my brain. I won a scholarship to a private school at the age of four. You encouraged them to fast track me, push me forward, basking in the glow of my achievements. I was painfully shy, terrified of you, and you made me take part in speech competitions, music recitals, activities that made me physically sick with nerves, and laughed at my fears. You entered me for yet more scholarship exams, and refused me the opportunity to accept any of them, sending me instead to a huge comprehensive, when I was not even ten years old.

I loved you dearly, tried so hard to please you, and that was my greatest mistake. In this, I mirrored my mother. The more we tried to please you, the more brutal you became.You told me I was all nose and teeth, and that no self respecting man would have anything to do with me.

And then you pushed things too far. I fell totally in love with words, and music, and history and art. You would only accept the sciences as real subjects. Refused to let me follow the path I wanted. So I left school. You didn’t even realise for six months. I became a hairdresser. A bloody excellent hairdresser! One of the best, in fact!! I even ran my own salon. And you told people that asked that I was a barber.

I also fell in love with the most beautiful man. He should have been everything a father would wish for his daughter. Smart, intelligent, caring, well bred. You hated him, and made it your mission to drive him away. Yet welcomed my subsequent partners. When the first one left me, pregnant, you asked how he was coping. Said you wished I had taken my ‘A’ levels. In advanced contraception, perhaps?

The man I married sought to control me, as you had. For too long a time he succeeded. And then, finally, the real me surfaced. Said *&@k you,and clawed her way back! It hasn’t been easy. Still isn’t easy!

But i learned a valuable lesson from you. I learned that control isn’t love. Real love is trusting others to make their own choices. To encourage them to follow their own path, even if you don’t agree. Let them make their mistakes, and learn from them. Make them believe they have wings, and they can fly. My children have the most beautiful wings, and they will soar.

And I am doing what I should always have done. I am writing. I am loving every word that I write. And I am writing for the man I love. The one you thought you had driven away.



Letters to the Master


Maintaining any relationship requires a huge amount of commitment, and genuine love for your partner, embracing their faults, and foibles, as well as their more obvious attributes. A long distance relationship becomes more complicated still, for despite the obvious advantages (no dirty underpants, the bed and duvet to yourself for most of the time, no pressure to wax, ownage of the remote control!) there is a need to keep your correspondence fresh. Daily face to face interaction naturally produces conversation, phone calls and emails do not have the same effect. In fact, they can be a minefield of misinterpretation. It is too easy to slip into a half-hearted ‘Love you’ ‘Love you too’, as you both go about your separate lives, in separate countries.

Fortunately, my Long Lost Recently Found Again (so wish that made a decent acronym, sadly LLRFA just looks like a worthy charity) and I, in our previous incarnation, had already experienced the rigours of distance, in pre-internet days. No instant contact then, we relied on the postman, which could sometimes take weeks. For a while, I lived in Scotland, and he would insist on addressing the envelope Scotland, England, which would result in the postie throwing it at the door in disgust, and not posting it!! So both of us recognise the first signs of distance meltdown in each other, and act swiftly to stop it in its tracks.

And then, of course, there is the S word (my apologies to anyone under 25, who is now horrified that ancient people like us even remember what the word means!). That too requires some creativity, and imagination. And this is, in part, what led to the Bob Emilys. And the suggestion, from Him, that I start a blog, based on these imaginary letters from my vibrator. So I have rejigged them slightly, made them more suitable for general consumption. Imagine, if you will, as you read them, that they are spoken in the slightly refined voice of a valet, or butler.

So here it is, my first idea of how my blog would evolve. I hope you enjoy the concept!!


Dear Mr Vladlock,
I am writing to let you know how unbearable my life has become since you reappeared in my mistress’s life.
Before you, life was simple. I spent many a lazy day lying in my comfy drawer, occasionally performing my duties when Madam required.
But then you burst back on the scene, and suddenly I am on demand at any hour of the day!! In truth I have taken to hiding, in the hope that she wont find me!! My batteries have taken a battering, and my good vibrations are now shaky trembles!!
And now she berates me for not getting things right!! He does it this way, He is wonderful, why can’t you be more like Him ……blahdiblahdiblah!!!!!!
I fear my life will never be the same!!! I wonder, as you pace about in your purple pants, if you have any thought to the trauma you have caused me!!!
Respectfully yours,



Dear Mr Vladlock,
It has been a while since we last corresponded, and as I thought, my life has changed immeasurably since you rediscovered my mistress.
I knew immediately that my days were numbered, and retirement beckoned. Her demeanor at your return, and her constant comparisons of our abilities, always in your favour, reduced my batteries to nought, and my vibration to a mere flicker.
In truth, I could never compete with warlock magic, and the arrival of the wand spelled the end ( see what I did there? SPELLed!! She has taught me well, sir!!)
So here I am in Frimley, in a very comfortable drawer, close to all the amenities, and with opportunities to meet lovely retired ladies called Mavis and Euphemia, and indulge in post-bingo capers.
However, I implore you to cherish my mistress, for within the witch lives an angel with a shining soul. Also be aware, a joy of the erotic that could exhaust a less magical being.
All I ask is that you write occasionally, and assure you that I am willing to return, should you require my services.
Kind regards,
Robert Rabbit (Bob)
p.s. New year wishes to my distant cousin, Mr. Lightyear


Dear Mr Vladlock, 
May I take this opportunity to thank you for my recall into the witch’s home. My welcome has been gratifying, apart from Leon the cat, who, I fear, may have, at an earlier juncture, misunderstood our conversation about my role regarding serving feline related parts of my Mistress’s anatomy , and seemed to think my role was to supply him with small rodents!! Indeed, he has been quite vociferous about my failings in this area!! 
Your last missive regarding my mistress was most complimentary, although I believe I have heard mention of impossible galaxies too. My error, she has corrected me, it appears I heard the phrase ‘****ing impossible *itch’.
May I just say how honoured I am to be representing your image. Given the detailed and passionate description of your prowess that I have listened to( endlessly) for the past few months, I can only hope that I can rise to the occasion, and stand proud!!! I assure you, I will do my best, as my mistress has promised not to send me back to Frimley, but instead will set me up in a studio apartment on the beach in Marbella. Such a relief, the thought of bingo halls and Euphemia for ever more was quite distressing!!!
My apologies, that was slightly ungallant, but I am sure you can understand!!! The smell of mothballs, and the occasional spiderweb. Awful!!!
It appears I have to step into the hex now, so sadly I must finish this correspondence. 
Best wishes Mr Vladlock,
Kind regards,
p.s. She does love you so very much


Dear Mr Vladlock,
Once more, I feel impelled to write to you.
Although initially I had reservations regarding the introduction, at your behest, of the Wand, and indeed feelings of inadequacy, the two of us have forged a close relationship whilst ensconced in our drawer. I have introduced him to the finer things in life, such as opera, and the works of our beloved Bard, William Shakespeare. And he has widened my world with his passion for Lucha Libre!!!!!
I suspect you may not be cognizant with this sport, it is indeed a form of wrestling new to me. He is known as La Varita Nariz Purpura Grande, and has suggested I adopt the name Roberto el Conejo!!
He admits he is in awe of you, Vladrock the Impaler, since despite our combined efforts, my mistress is never happier than when she is with you!!
Indeed, it was quite touching to watch the concern on her face when you were so recently afflicted with the ague!!
I attach an image of myself and my homey ( he assures me this is the correct street talk) on a recent foray into Wrestlemania!!!
Best wishes and kind regards, your mutha (see how I evolve!!)
Robert Rabbit



Dear Mr Vladlock,
Or as my mistress now assures me I should address you, Mr Vlad Alexander. Which is indeed a  name that sums up both your innate class, and your intriguing otherworldliness!! She has become ensconced in all things literary, and is spending every free minute of her day transcribing memories of her moments with you onto the rival for my attention, the Laptop. The Wand and I have discussed this, and we have come up with the perfect plan to lure her back into the sweet tryst we previously enjoyed. Since only the promise of your touch could distract her, I have fashioned a cunning disguise. I hope meets your approval, kind sir.
Yours always in awe,
Robert Rabbit


To be continued………………………………………………………………………



So why Bob and Emily? I chose this name, because it was the reason behind my venture into blogging. A bond reformed, dictated by distance, 1500 miles to be precise, became an epistolary relationship. Oh, I love that phrase. I want to use it again and again! To date, we have exchanged over 2000 emails, in the space of six months. Emily was the result of an autocorrect of email whilst he was typing on the tube, which delighted me, and is now part of our language. Along with numerous other words and phrases which have come about by accident, yet fit perfectly. We have managed to meet up, to spend time together, and that is another blog completely. In fact, a book, I suspect.

Those meetings, however, led to Bob. Aka B.O.B. as in battery operated boyfriend. Aka Robert Rabbit. I sent a series of emilys in the form of letters from Bob, expressing his dismay in being usurped in my affections, and the dramatic changes he was facing as a result. Accompanied by photos, to illustrate his new direction. I may share those one day, perhaps not yet! There were moments when I questioned what the hell I was doing, spending an hour preparing a vibrator for a photo shoot!! But it seems they were funny enough for Him to encourage me to write properly, to share my thoughts and ideas with a wider audience.  So here I am. Bob and Emily.

Should I change the tag line? I don’t think so! Live, love, laugh. I know, it is a hackneyed phrase, that appears on numerous Facebook posts. But it summed up how I approach life, and thus became the first thing I had tattooed on my body. At least, I hope I did, since I chose to have it done in chinese lettering, and for all I know, my lower back now reads like a take-away special. I also had my birth sign (Cancer) included, and even I have to admit that it looks more, somewhat disconcertingly, like 69. But I do believe, very strongly, that those are the ethics we should adopt, that love and laughter are what define us as humans, and that we should live life to the full, every single day.

A survivor’s guide. I am the consummate survivor. No matter what has been thrown at me, I have held my breath, and floated back to the surface. I could have curled into a corner, and sobbed “Poor me!” But I learned, very early on, to really enjoy even the most basic of pleasures. Don’t be mistaken, I am not an all forgiving, tree hugging marvel! I am horribly sarcastic, I don’t suffer fools gladly, and as I get older, I become more of a snob. I can’t abide insincerity, and I have no time for mind games. But no matter how bloody awful my life has been, there is always some poor sod who has been dealt a far worse hand. So I relish sun on my skin, laughter with friends, a huge hug from my kids, smelly dog trying to lick my face, and dancing on my own to really loud music! And my emilys. Love my emilys.

And now, suddenly, I have an amazing new world to explore, a huge wealth of talent that I can sink into, a delicious cocktail of images, ideas, and stories. So thank you, for including me in this fabulous adventure, I hope you enjoy my musings as much as I relish yours.

Should I Change My Name?



I woke.

And you were next to me,

Face soft in repose,

Lips slightly parted,

The hint of a smile dancing there.


I breathed deeply your sweet scent,

And felt my heart swell with the joy of you.


I blinked.

And you were gone.

The memory of you escaped as a single tear

That rolled down my face,

And softly kissed the corner of my mouth.


I miss you.

I love you. Read the rest of this entry

Open letter to the man on the cloud!!!


fat man on cloud

Dear Mr. Smug Man on the Cloud,

I am not quite sure at which point I hacked you off so much that you made it your mission to turn my life into the strangest game of cat and mouse. One of which Tom and Jerry, or indeed Itchy and Scratchy would be proud.

I figure I must have been supremely evil in a previous life, Lucrezia Borgia perhaps, to have set you on the course that you follow today. And your strategies have been viciously perfect, cutting me down at every turn. For every moment where my life seems to open up, and set me free, there is a tripwire to bring me to my knees.

Ha!! Nothing too sad, or mad, or bad. No devastating story of pain or horror, no heart wrenching moment that would mark me as a victim. And justify front page news.  Just those damn tripwires. Those moments waved in front of me, brief flashes of maybe, that I ran towards, only to fall flat on my face. Moments that made me long desperately for a life more normal, one where I wouldn’t have to fight for every smile.

You gave me a fierce intelligence,  one to be envied, and chose to counter it with a lack of confidence and belief. Those that tried to boost that confidence, you took away. And those that I should have been able to trust, hurt me. And boy!! Did you have fun with my appearance. I was the first child, and grandchild, my father was a keen photographer, and yet it is a testament to my lack of appeal, that apart from a single shot taken in silhouette, and a couple of professional christening pictures, there were no more until my first Christmas five months later. My mother openly admits that despite the heat of that summer, she would cover me in blankets and slap away the hand of an unsuspecting soul who tried to take a peek.

I had a fleeting moment of girly cuteness at the tender age of three, all chubby cheeks, and curls, and dimples. So at that point you chose to inject a sudden growth spurt, which meant I was taller than my teachers at the age of eight. My dainty mother desperately enrolled me in ballet lessons in the hope that I would emerge as a swan, but eventually even she could no longer listen to the instructor’s pained entreaty “Gently, dear, GENTLY!!!!”

And then there was puberty. You really excelled yourself there. Thought it would be really fun to let me experience it a good eighteen months earlier than any of my peers. Not content with having given me a forehead large enough to land small aircraft on, and a pair of full lips that would not become fashionable until years later, I now had to deal with a virulent case of terminal acne. My doctors at the time took this opportunity to use me as a guinea pig for the latest range of lotions, pills and potions,the most memorable of which caused my skin to slough off at such a rate, that I was a shoe-in for the lead role in The Singing Detective. But you saw fit not to endow me with anything in the breast area, which, combined with my height, led to shop assistants constantly addressing me as “Son.”

Needless to say, my love life was not the thing that sonnets are written about. Briefly, you showed me true passion. I fell deeply, totally in love. And for a short while, I was happier than I had ever been in my life. But hey!!! Guess what??!! Tripwire!!! And that moment was gone. Instead, you chose to make brutality my normality, until I believed I deserved nothing more.

OK, you gave me my children. I will allow you that. They are the most amazing, wonderful, beautiful creatures, and they take my breath away. But even there, you chose to play games. More tripwires, and heartbreaking moments, where I had no option but to let them go, thankfully briefly. You didn’t plan those ones as carefully as the others, underestimated the bond we have. Will always have.

Oh yeah!! A few other of your finer touches. Varicose veins!! You did actually give me decent legs. And then turned them into a map of the London Underground. And stretch marks. Despite having already given me a skin oily enough to fry an egg , at the first sign of pregnancy, my skin fell apart! And my stomach!! And those long awaited breasts appeared at the same time, only to be inflated to gargantuan size, and subsequently came to resemble deflated balloons.

The depression demons are your piece de resistance. They have brought me to the edge of destruction, with their suffocating murmuring, and soul destroying power. Leaving me unable to talk, too scared to leave the house, to face the world. Tempting me with their whispers, to let go and fall.  But I have learned to recognise their lies, and wriggle free of their fingers. To relish the simple things that make me smile. Sunshine. Good food. Moonlight on the sea. The delight of a smelly dog as I walk through the door. The ping of an email from someone I love. Loud music. And huge belly laughs!!

So beware, you are starting to lose this game. I have the UV light and the aerosol can, to expose your tripwires. I have good friends, and amazing children. I have love, and laughter. I have tattoos! I have rediscovered passion, and it is even better than ever before. And best of all, I have hope. And ambition. And a damn good pair of lips!!!

Bring it on!!! You haven’t beaten me yet!!!